15 Funny Facts About Flatulence

Gut Health

Everybody farts, so there is no reason to be shy about it.

They make some people squeamish, but to others they are just about the funniest thing in the world. If you are a part of the latter group, check out these 15 funny facts about farting so that you can show off your flatulence knowhow.

Some People Are Paid to Smell Farts

If you have a particularly excellent sense of smell, you may be wondering if there is a way to capitalize on your olfactory talents. Well, there just may be a solution for you in China (though you may not love it).

It is well known that bacterial infections and other health problems can lead to increased flatulence – it can also create farts with a particularly ripe odor which is why some people in China have started smelling their patients’ farts in order to determine whether there are any problems in their bowels. It may not be a glamorous gig, but somebody has to do it!

The Average Person Farts About 14 Times Per Day

Does that sound like a lot to you? It shouldn’t, because it is totally normal! From big ones to little ones, the average person farts 14 times per day. If you want to push things further with a little bit of math, that means that there could be as many as 104 billion farts released on Earth every single day, not even counting animals!

Speaking of animals…

Termites Fart More Than Any Other Animal

It turns out these little bugs are the biggest in the world when it comes to farts!

Some estimates have termites producing anywhere from 2 to 22 teragrams of methane each year (if you don’t know how much a teragram is, take a metric ton and add 11 zeroes to it). That is a whole lot of gas! While these little guys may not produce as much gas per capita as some larger animals, they make up for it in numbers and consistency. Some scientists even speculate that the amount of methane being put into the atmosphere by termites is speeding up climate change.

You Fart Half a Liter Per Day

Back in 1941, researchers did a study that resulted in the article, “The Quantity of Colonic Flatus Excreted by the ‘Normal’ Individual” for the American Journal of Digestive Diseases. There are a bunch of fancy words in that title, but it adds up to a bunch of scientists trying to figure out how much a normal person farts. They rounded up a group of men and used balloons to measure each participant’s farts, and it turns out the average amount is about ½ of a liter.

So, What Is a Fart Really?

We all know that a fart occurs when air that has accumulated in the stomach exits through your rear end. But what exactly is a fart made up of? Well, if you want the nitty gritty science of it, farts are comprised of 59% nitrogen, 21% hydrogen, 9% carbon, 7% methane, and 4% oxygen.

As you can see, there is quite a bit that goes into the equation every time you pass gas! However, you may be surprised to find out that…

Only About 1 Percent of Your Fart Has an Odor

While there are a whole bunch of gases mixing it up to make a fart happen, only a tiny bit of what you send out actually has any odor at all. The nasty smell that can come along with your farts can be attributed to hydrogen sulfide which forms in your stomach. That is what happens when the bacteria in your stomach break down your food.

There is one big variable that can affect just how stinky the results of that process will end up being…

Some Foods Make Your Farts Stink More Than Others

That’s right! Some foods will hardly affect your farts at all, while others will almost certainly leave you cracking open a window. Surprisingly, healthier foods are often the culprits of the smelliest farts. When the bacteria in your gut break down high-protein foods, they produce more sulfur gas. This can also be the case with foods that pack in a lot of fiber such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

It may seem surprising, but what is best for your health may not always be what is best for your nose. Speaking surprising connections between your farts and your health…

Smelling Farts Is Good for You

You might wish it weren’t true, but you may be doing yourself a bit of good every time you smell a fart. That is because you will be inhaling small amounts of hydrogen sulfide (which is, incidentally, the smelly part of the fart). This can lead to reduced risk of dementia, diabetes, and cancer because hydrogen sulfide helps to maintain mitochondria. Just don’t go smelling too many farts, as hydrogen sulfide is toxic in much larger doses.

Holding Your Farts Could Be Bad for Your Health

Everybody knows that holding in your farts can be quite uncomfortable. People who have to hold in their farts may experience bloating, pain, indigestion, and heartburn. While none of that is any fun, those aren’t even the worst potential side effects – holding in your farts could actually cause diverticulitis. This is a disease that gets its name from diverticula, which are pouches that may form in the wall of your colon if you hold in your gas.

The next time you have to fart, just remember that you are doing it for your health!

History’s Best Writers Enjoyed Fart Humor

You may have read Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales in high school, but it is a good bet that your teacher didn’t assign the part about a man who “let fly a fart as loud as it had been a thunder-clap”. You may also have read Dante Aligheri’s Inferno, but do you remember the part with the demon that used “his ass as a trumpet”?

It turns out plenty of history’s most famous writers enjoyed poking fun at flatulence. Even William Shakespeare mentions farts five different times in his plays. Best of all is Benjamin Franklin, who wrote a notorious essay titled “Fart Proudly”.

Farts Have Been Enjoyed Through All of Human History

He-Gassen is the title of a Japanese art scroll that depicts many scenes with one common element: in each scene, somebody is farting on at least one other person. This creation is dated in Japan’s Edo period, which occurred 200-400 years ago. In Ancient Rome, Emperor Claudius declared it law that people should be allowed to “pass gas whenever necessary” after hearing the story of a man that almost died from holding in his farts. In Ancient Greece, it was Hippocrates who said, “Passing gas is necessary to well-being.” However far back you go, there is quite a good chance that people were farting and talking about it.

The Average Fart Travels Just Under 7 Miles Per Hour

No, the average fart does not actually go seven miles, but that is the usual velocity of the gas you pass. It may be more helpful to think of your farts as moving ten feet per second. While results may vary, it is a good bet that none of your farts will be getting a speeding ticket any time soon.

You Fart More When You Chew Gum

It turns out that beans are not the only things that make you fart! You do not have to eat anything to build up gas – you start to develop farts when you inhale air, which you do a lot more while you are chewing. That is why chewing gum is a notorious fart-creator.

However, it turns out that chewing gum is not the only thing that makes you fart more…

Flying on an Airplane Can Cause You to Fart More

Nobody wants to admit it, but the odds are that by the time you get off the plane, most of the passengers have farted. They can’t help it! When the air pressure decreases in the cabin, the air in your stomach expands significantly. This can lead to an unpleasant bloating feeling that you can only relieve with a good fart. In fact, 60 percent of pilots reported experiencing regular abdominal bloating, which is considerably higher than for most people.

Women Usually Have Smellier Farts than Men

Remember hydrogen sulfide, the thing that makes your farts smell worse? Well, it turns out that women produce noticeably more of it than men. What does that mean? It means farts that smell worse than those of their male counterparts. In fact, scientists have done the research and it is not a particularly close competition.

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Everybody farts. In fact, most people fart 14 times a day! Considering how common an occurrence it is to pass gas, aren’t you glad that at least now you know a little bit about flatulence? Whether you think they are funny are gross, it can’t hurt to be in the know when it comes to farts.

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