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Facts about farts: More than you need to know about human flatulence

Posted by mandyf on July 27, 2011

Photo by Jon Sullivan

A rose by any other name is still a rose which is why flatulence is still just a fart. There is no use pretending anyone is above ripping off a machine-gunner, sneaking out an SBD (Silent But Deadly), or bringing kids to a shrieking laughing fit with a squeaker. Grown-ups to for that fact too, because no matter how repulsed we may act about them, farts are actually pretty funny. The smell is often anything but funny, but the sounds and faces people make when passing gas can be hilarious. Maybe those are the thoughts of an immature adult that pretends to be 13 still, mostly to try to get into movies cheaper, but most people would agree in their own thoughts even if not aloud.

Flatulence itself is pretty misunderstood. In the simplest of terms it is one way the body helps release pent up pressure. The human body is full of various gases in varying concentrations and while some escape in a constant unnoticed flow, others need to be expelled more forcefully – like squatters in that building you bought hoping to fix ‘er up for a nice profit. With that said, here are some fun and often largely unknown facts about farts.

* Most people fart around 15 times per day. There is no distinction based on age or gender. Most escape unnoticed, but they still count.

* The temperature of human flatulence tends to be 98.6 degrees – normal body temperature. They may seem warmer than that on the way out, but in reality they are not.

* The cowpea is considered to produce the smelliest flatulence. Nobody is exactly sure why, but if you wish to experiment it is advised you do so in a wide open area with lots of air vigorously circulating about. The last place you want to experiment with this would be at work, or on an airplane where it would be re-circulated over and over again.

* Corpses do not really fart in the sense of muscles relaxing and contracting to allow escape. It is more of the pressure building to a high enough point that gasses are forced out of whatever orifice is available in the vicinity they gasses are trapped. In less scientific circles though it’s still pretty much just a fart.

* While it may seem like flatulence is nothing but pure stink, the reality is the things that make flatulence smell so bad are miniscule – just 1 part per 100 million! That is some seriously highly concentrated stink. Imagine what say 5 parts per 100 million would be like…. Pure horror…

* Being overly active in the flatulence department may run in families. While no studies have been able to confirm the test – that’s right, the one test – of  this theory, it is believed to be highly plausible. The fact is that offspring tend to have the same intestinal parasites present in their mother which would indicate a pre-disposition to the flatulence patters of the parent, and children tend to have the same dietary habits as parents which is a huge factor.

* Each time you pass gas, the expulsion is roughly 9% carbon dioxide and 7% methane. Each of those gasses is said to contribute to global warming, so in theory 15 times per day everyone is contributing to melting the polar ice caps and ending the world as we know it. Al Gore has not yet chimed in on this.

* While a single fart may seem like a simple thing it is actually pretty complex. The life cycle of a fart begins in the intestines where various bacteria – chiefly E. Coli – are going through their normal paces which results in said bacterias micro-farting in your intestines. This is hardly noticeable to you unless it is one of those cases when they are extraordinarily active and you feel the gas pains that result from that. All of those minuscule micro-farts collect and are expelled at one time – or in some cases a few times, or in really cool instances machine-gunner rapid fire succession.

* A human fart will never set a land speed record, but in a laboratory setting they have actually been clocked going as fast as ten feet per second.

* Human flatulence is flammable. While it is not suggested, you can light a fart on fire as is seen every weekend on some college campus somewhere in the world after about the eight beer when singed butt hairs and a potentially burnt brown eye seem like worthy sacrifices to the God’s of juvenile scientific experimentation.

Passing gas is nothing to be ashamed of – everyone does it. Still, if you know you will be predisposed to being particularly raunchy due to a certain meal avoid people if at all possible or keep some spray handy. It is all fun and games and laughs and giggles until that one deadly MOAF escapes and has people considering jumping out of windows for sweet release.

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One Response to “Facts about farts: More than you need to know about human flatulence”

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