Fart Facts

Farts. Everyone has them, and while they tend to be a source of amusement for teenage boys and a source of embarrassment for most everyone else, they are fascinating from a scientific and health viewpoint. For example, the Atlantic and Pacific herring can use air expelled through their anuses to communicate when it is dark. Read on for some more explosive facts.

12. Herring Can Communicate Via Farts

herrings

Unlike humans, who have been known to use farts to clear their beds of undesirables, the Atlantic and Pacific herring use farts to communicate as they prepare for a good night’s sleep. And scientists are pretty sure communication is behind the sounds, as they occur only when it is dark and a large number of herring are around. Whether a herring is hungry or scared doesn’t seem to factor in. Interestingly, as noise pollution becomes more of an issue in oceans (think about ship engines), these fish may not be able to communicate as well.

10. You Fart 10 to 20 Times a Day

fart

It’s hard for some people to admit, but they fart 10 to 20 times a day. Most everyone does. If you want more control over your farts, try eating slower, exercise more, and skip the gum (it causes you to swallow more air). Also, skip carbonated drinks and sorbitol. It’s also good to keep in mind that certain foods such as broccoli and beans promote farting. In other words, if you need to keep your farts to a minimum for a few days, decline cabbage, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, and beans.

9. You Have Some Control over How Your Farts Sound

Fart Sound

Some farts are silent but deadly. Others are loud but don’t seem to pack much of a stink punch. The sound comes down to how much gas needs to come out—and how quickly it does come out. Also, your sphincter muscle plays a role. If you’re chill and relaxed, your fart should be quieter. On the other hand, if you’re trying to hold your fart in (like if you’re in a major meeting), the bad news is that it is more likely to be louder.

8. Farts Sexually Arouse Some People

fart

Olfactophilia is when a person gets turned on by smells, and many farts smell. Thus, enter eproctophilia, a phenomenon in which people get turned on by flatulence. For some people, the arousal comes from the fact that farting is often seen as a social taboo. So, it can be titillating when, say, a proper, beautiful young person passes gas. In fact, quite a few people with eproctophilia say the smellier the fart, the better, as it heightens the taboo.

Related: 10 Foods That Help You Poop

7. Earth Has Experienced about 17 Quadrillion Human Farts

earth

Ever heard the fact that you are, right now, likely breathing at least one of the molecules that made up Julius Caesar’s last breaths? Now imagine everyone who has ever lived (and farted). Some scientists did this, taking the number of humans who have existed and the average human lifespan. They assigned each person 13.6 farts a day, and the equation they devised resulted in 17 quadrillion human farts, as of 2014. That’s a lot of hot air!

6. Holding in Your Farts Can Be Painful

fart

You probably won’t die or anything like that by holding in your farts. However, you could be setting yourself up for more stomach cramps and pain. If at all possible, find a quiet spot or a bathroom, and let go. But there’s more! Hold in too many farts and for too long, and you could develop fart breath. This is because the gas that’s waiting to get out might hitch another ride through your body via the bloodstream and find itself in your lungs.

5. I Could Develop Fart Breath, Really?

Painful

Yes, really. However, you don’t need to worry about your breath smelling like farts. Whew. The stink stays put in your lower body until you expel it. Now, this part may cause you further worry. The longer you hold in farts, the more you are building yourself up for a majorly embarrassing incident. In fact, your intestines may start making fart-like noises before long, but you’re not actually farting. In fact, you’re trying your best to hold them in, but you sound like you’re farting.

Related: Your Poop has the Secret to Weight Loss

4. Your Own Farts Don’t Smell So Bad

farting man

People get used to their own smells and sounds and aren’t bothered by them as much as they would be by someone else’s. That’s why when you fart, you do not flee from the smell. In fact, you may even be proud of it. Now if someone else farts, that could send you running for the hills! The good news about smell habituation is that if something’s gone wrong in your gut, you are more likely to notice when your farts smell different.

3. You Can Light Farts on Fire

Goblin Lighting Fart

You can light farts on fire, but you shouldn’t. For one thing, it could cause severe injuries. In fact, it is possible that a woman undergoing laser surgery in Japan farted, which set off the laser. The result is that she experienced burns on her legs, waist, and body. While there is some doubt as to this story, YouTube shows plenty of videos of people lighting their farts on fire. Don’t do it, as your sphincter can pull the flame back in when it retracts.

2. Dead Bodies Can Fart

gravestone

Dead or alive, you can burp and fart. Not only that, the farts can leave your body through your mouth (not just your butt) if pressure is put on the trapped gases that occur from decomposition. And this time, unlike when you’re alive, the gas does smell. Live bodies do not need to worry about fart breath reeking, but dead bodies…well, they don’t, either, come to think of it. They’re dead, so the smell coming out of their mouths won’t bother them. Still, could be a good idea to have fragrant flowers around.

1. Babies Don’t Fart in the Womb

baby

Farting does not necessarily require air, just bacteria. That said, babies don’t fart in the womb. This is because bacteria from certain foods causes farts. Babies in the womb don’t eat or digest these foods. Now, the pregnant woman may fart more. And the baby, once it is born, could be a fart machine too. Babies’ digestive systems are developing, so trapped gas can feel really painful. Plus, if they breastfeed, they are taking in more air than they would otherwise.

Related: Constipated Avoid These 12 Things
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