Ever since Eve accidentally let one slip in front of Adam after she ate that fiber-filled apple, the world has been fascinated with farts. They’re funny; they’re stinky; they’re a time-honored tradition. These 12 facts show farts are more than just bacterial fermentation and swallowed air.
1. The word fart was coined in 1632, defined as “to send forth as wind from the anus.”
Even in the Dark Ages farts were used as a way to lighten the mood. Coming from the Old English word ‘feortan’ meaning ‘to break wind’, the term was often used in famous epic poems from Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespeare. Variants include the Old Norse ‘freta’ and the Old High German ‘ferzan.’
2. Farts can reach speeds of 10 feet per second.
Depending on the size of your chili burger and the force behind your sphincter, one can eject quite the speedy toot. Humans can send gassers up to 7 mph, according to Muscle and Fitness Magazine.
3. In at least five plays – including “Othello,” “King Lear,” and “The Comedy of Errors” – Shakespeare cracks fart jokes like a pimply teenager.
“Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage, blow!” – “King Lear”
“A man may break a word with you, sir, and words are but wind. Ay, and break it in your face, so he break it not.” – “The Comedy of Errors”
4. Due to higher hydrogen sulfide content, female farts smell worse than male farts on average.
Preeminent fart researcher Dr. Michael Levitt noticed a higher concentrate of hydrogen sulfide in female toots, giving ladies the leg-up on the smell factor. Don’t be ashamed, girls; men clearly take the cake when it comes to butt-bombing bathrooms and living spaces in general.
5. 9.41 million gallons of human farts are released into our atmosphere daily.
For comparison, nearly 10 million gallons of water flooded UCLA’s campus this year. Where are you, Al Gore?
6. Around 1.15 million farts happen every second on earth.
Simple math: When you factor in that the average person farts 14 times in a day, times that by 7.125 billion people, and divide by 86,400 seconds in a day, you end up with a grand total of 1,158,564 farts every second. That’s 100 billion daily!
7. In China, “professional fart smellers” make up to $50,000 detecting flatulent odors to diagnose disease.
According to Rocket News, these courageous men and women are able to identify anal illnesses and pinpoint their bodily location. The scent – whether meaty, fishy, raw, bitter or sweet – can predict whether one has a malady, such as intestinal infection or inflammation. If you’re trying to find a job overseas, tell your parents you found the golden opportunity.
8. The most prolific farters in the animal kingdom are termites.
Due to a hearty diet of wood, termites eject ungodly volumes of butt gas. It is estimated they are responsible for 11 percent of global methane emissions. That’s more than every car on the planet. A close second are camels, and a close third are zebras.
9. The Yanomami tribe of South America uses flatulence as a means of saying hello.
It is said when Ferdinand Magellan stumbled upon the Yanomami, they gave him quite the flatulent welcome. Just kidding. But these people actually exist, and numerous sources support their reputation as fart whisperers.
10. The University of Exeter said smelling farts can reduce risk of cancer, stroke, arthritis and dementia.
Exposure to tiny amounts of hydrogen sulfide (i.e. the smell of rotten eggs) can prevent mitochondrial damage. The mitochondria, as we all learned from high school science, is the “powerhouse of the cell.” Essentially, a light poof can do wonders for your health.
11. It would take nine farts from every person on earth to make a hydrogen bomb.
Let’s break it down: The average fart is combustible for 147 Joules, according to this Yahoo! Answers genius. The energy and mass of a hydrogen bomb is 1e13 Joules, according to Dr. Jay Maron. In sum, it would take 68 billion farts to create the energy of a thermonuclear weapon. Every person on the planet would have to bottle nine farts.
12. Dead people fart.
Once the body dies, it continues to contract and expand muscles, including the sphincter. If a person ate Taco Bell mere moments before death, gas could escape through the bowels up to three hours after death … up until rigor mortis sets in.