What makes farts stink?
The odor of farts comes from small amounts of hydrogen sulfide gas and
mercaptans in the mixture. These compounds contain sulfur.
Nitrogen-rich compounds such as skatole and indole also add to the
stench of farts. The more sulfur-rich your diet, the more sulfides and
mercaptans will be produced by the bacteria in your guts, and the more
your farts will stink. Foods such as cauliflower, eggs and meat are
notorious for producing smelly farts, whereas beans produce large
amounts of not particularly stinky farts.
Why are stinky farts generally warmer and
quieter than regular farts?
Most fart gas comes from swallowed air and consists largely of nitrogen
and carbon dioxide, the oxygen having been absorbed by the time it
reaches the anal opening. These gases are odorless, although they often
pick up other (and more odiferous) components on the way through the
bowel. They emerge from the anus in fairly large bubbles at body
temperature. A person can often achieve a good sound with these
voluminous farts, but they are commonly (but not always!) mundane with
respect to odor, and don't feel particularly warm. Another major source
of fart gas is bacterial action. Bacterial fermentation and digestion
processes produce heat as a byproduct as well as various pungent gases.
The resulting bubbles of gas tend to be small, hot, and concentrated
with stinky bacterial metabolic products. These emerge as the
notorious, warm, SBD (Silent-But-Deadly), often in amounts too small to
produce a good sound, but excelling in stench.
How much gas does a normal person pass per day?
On average, a person produces about half a liter of fart gas per day,
distributed over an average of about fourteen daily farts. Whereas it
may be difficult for you to determine your daily flatus volume, you can
certainly keep track of your daily numerical fart count. You might try
this as a science fair project: Keep a journal of everything you eat
and a count of your farts. You might make a note of the potency of
their odor as well. See if you can discover a relationship between what
you eat, how much you fart, and how much they smell.
How long does it take fart gas
to travel to someone else's nose?
Fart travel time depends on atmospheric
conditions such as humidity, temperature and wind speed and direction,
the molecular weight of the fart particles, and the distance between
the fart transmitter and the fart receiver. Farts also disperse (spread
out) as they leave the source, and their potency diminishes with
dilution. Generally, if the fart is not detected within a few seconds,
it will be too dilute for perception and will be lost into the
atmosphere forever. Exceptional conditions exist when the fart is
released into a small enclosed area such as an elevator, a small room,
or a car. These conditions limit the amount of dilution possible, and
the fart may remain in a smellable concentration for a long period of
time, until it condenses on the walls.
Why is there a 13 to 20 second delay between
farting and the time it starts to smell?
Actually, the fart stinks immediately upon
emergence, but it takes several seconds for the odor to travel to the
farter's nostrils. If farts could travel at the speed of sound, we
would smell them almost instantly, at the same time we hear them.
Is it true that some people never fart?
No, not if they're alive. People even fart shortly after death.
Do men enjoy farts more?
Yes, most men take more pride in it than most women. There is a large
variation among individuals in the amount of fart gas produced per day,
but the variation does not correlate with gender. I have read that men
fart more often than women. If this is true, then women must be saving
it up and expelling more gas per fart than men do.
Do men's farts smell worse than women's farts?
Based on what I have experienced of women's farts, all I can say is
that I hope not.
At what time of day is a gentleman most likely
A gentleman is mostly likely to fart first thing in the morning, while
in the bathroom. This is known as "morning thunder," and if the
gentleman gets good resonance, it can be heard throughout the household.
Why are beans so notorious for making people
Beans contain sugars that we humans cannot digest. When these sugars
reach our intestines, the bacteria go wild, have a big feast, and make
lots of gas! Other notorious fart producing foods include corn, bell
peppers, cabbage, milk, and raisins. A friend of mine had a dog who was
exceptionally fond of apples and turnips. The dog would eat these
things and then get prodigious gas. A dog's digestive system is not
equipped to handle such vegetable matter, so the dog's bacteria worked
overtime to produce remarkable flatulence.
What things other than diet can make a person
fart more than usual?
People who swallow a lot of air fart more than people who don't. This
can be cured somewhat by chewing with your mouth closed. Nervous people
with fast moving bowels will fart more because less air is absorbed out
of the intestines. Some disease conditions can cause excess flatulence.
And going up in an airplane or other low-pressure environment can cause
the gas inside you to expand and emerge as flatulence.
Is a fart really just a burp that comes out the
No, a burp emerges from the stomach and has a different chemical
composition from a fart. Farts have less atmospheric gas content and
more bacterial gas content than burps.
Is it harmful to hold in farts?
There are differences in opinion on this one. Certainly, people have
believed for centuries that retaining flatulence is bad for the health.
Emperor Claudius even passed a law legalizing farting at banquets out
of concern for people's health. There was a widespread belief that a
person could be poisoned or catch a disease by retaining farts. Doctors
I have spoken to recently have told me that there is no particular harm
in holding in farts. Farts will not poison you; they are a natural
component of your intestinal contents. The worst thing that can happen
is that you may get a stomach ache from the gas pressure. But one
doctor suggested that pathological distention of the bowel could result
if a person holds in farts too much.
How long would it be possible to not fart?
As I understand it, a captive fart can escape as soon as the person
relaxes. This means that a lot of people who refrain from farting
during the day do so at great length as soon as they fall asleep.
Having been on a great many overnight field trips, long bus trips, and
transpacific flights, I can personally vouch for the fact that lots of
people do fart voluminously as they doze off. So the answer to the
question would be, you can refrain from farting as long as you can stay
Do all people fart in their sleep?
I have not made a scientific study of this, but I don't think all
people fart in their sleep. I think mainly those who refuse to fart
when they're awake do so when dozing off. For other people, toilet
training takes such a strong hold that they let nothing pass their
sphincters in sleep. For these people, the gas accumulates in the night
and they vent it upon awakening.
Where do farts go when you hold them in?
How often have you held in a fart, intending to release it at the first
appropriate opportunity, only to find that the fart has disappeared
when you are ready for it? I asked several doctors where the fart goes.
Does it leak out slowly without the person knowing it? Is it absorbed
into the bloodstream? What happens to it? The doctors agree that the
fart is neither released nor absorbed. It simply migrates back upward
into the intestine and comes out later. It is reassuring to know that
such farts aren't really lost, just delayed.
How can one cover up a fart?
There is a company called Fartypants that sells underwear designed to
absorb the odor of farts. If you should be caught without your
Fartypants, another ploy is to blame the dog or cat, if one should be
present, or complain about how the wind must be blowing from the
direction of the paper mill. As for the sound... if you are in a large
group of people, act oblivious and innocent, or glance quickly at the
person next to you, as if you think he/she did it. Other strategies
include coughing or suddenly moving your chair so that people think
that they misheard the fart. If you are with one other person, you can
act as if nothing happened, and the other person may believe he was
mistaken in thinking he heard a fart. CJT addresses the problem of
farting loudly in a public restroom as follows: "My solution: use a
handful of loose toilet paper, cover your butthole and it will muffle
the farting; my friends and I call it the 'Buff. Depending upon the
company, another strategy is not to cover it up, but to proudly
proclaim the fart as your own grand accomplishment and to issue a
challenge to the others to outdo that one if they think they can.
Is it really possible to ignite farts?
The answer to that is YES! (Armageddon, Armageddon!)
However, you should be aware that people get injured igniting
flatulence. Not only can the flame back up into your colon, but your
clothing or other surroundings may catch on fire. A survey done by
Fartcloud (the site, alas! is no more) indicates that about a quarter
of the people who ignited their farts got burned doing it. Ignition of
flatulence is a hazardous practice. However, if you want to try it, and
you don't have a friend to light your fart for you, you might find it
easier to accomplish the job using the Fartlighter. There have also
been cases in which intestinal gases with a higher than normal oxygen
content have exploded during surgery when electric cautery was used by