But current thinking is it's due to a genetic quirk affecting about one in four people.
The optic nerve (which tells your pupil to open and close, depending on the amount of light entering the eye) is very close to your trigeminal nerve (which tells your brain when there's dirt etc in your nose that needs to be sneezed out).
In some people, those wires get a little crossed. So the instruction to close your eye's iris, also gets interpreted as the signal to sneeze.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into
Whisk the flour, incorporating any bits of flour from around the edge of the bowl. When the mixture starts thicken, gradually add small
quantities of the milk and water mixture, still whisking (don't worry
about any lumps as they will eventually disappear as you whisk).
When all the liquid has been added, use a spatula to scrape
any elusive bits of flour from around the edge into the centre, then
whisk once more until the batter is smooth, with the consistency of thin
Melt the butter in the pan. Spoon 2 tablespoons of it into the
batter and whisk it in, then pour the rest into a bowl and use it when
needed to lubricate the pan, using a wodge of kitchen paper to smear it
Get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to medium.
Ladle a small amount of the mixture into the pan.
Hold the ladle so that the base is very close to the bottom of the pan
then pour in. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to
side to get the base evenly coated with batter. If you have any holes in
it, add a teaspoon of the mixture just to fill them in.
It should take
only half a minute or so to cook; you can lift the edge with a palette
knife to see if it's tinged gold as it should be.
Flip the pancake over with a pan slice or palette knife – the other
side will need a few seconds only – then simply slide it out of the pan
on to a plate.
Serve with some sprinkled sugar and a hefty squirt of lemon juice.