Everybody Farts

Now don’t go getting all embarrassed or mortified. It’s a perfectly natural human action. In fact, if you didn’t fart, you’d probably blow up like the Hindenburg. Full of gas, it burst into flames and plummeted to the ground. You not farting would be something along those lines.


Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you’d become flammable, but it’s not far from the truth. Actually, there are some surprising facts about flatulence that perhaps you didn’t know. Here are six…

Fact 1 — You can light a fart on fire.

At my bachelorette party weekend in the summer of 1982, my girlfriends and I went camping near Lake Tahoe. One night we had a few drinks around the bonfire and someone, probably Patty, mentioned that a person can light their farts. Patty always has the best ideas. At least we think so after we’ve consumed one too many Cosmo’s.


Patty 36 years later

Well, naturally we had to try it, right? Fortunately we were at a private campsite so no humans were there to witness our ridiculousness. Just some horrified raccoons. Anyway, I’m here to tell you that yes, in fact farts are flammable. We were all fortunate to leave Tahoe without second degree burns…except for Sharon, who had the good sense not to light her fart.

Karen and Sharon

Sharon (in back) and Karen (who DID light her fart)

Fact 2 — You can’t hold a fart in until it disappears.

You know you’ve tried this when you’re in public, like at a packed movie theater. But since a fart is simply a bubble of gas in your intestines, it ultimately has only one way out and it’s not from your mouth. That, my friends, is a burp. My suggestion? Before going to the movies, don’t eat foods that contain sulfur, like beans. Or cauliflower. Or broccoli. On second thought, don’t eat before you go to the movies.

veggie plate

Just say no

Fact 3 — 99% of the gas you produce doesn’t smell.

I beg to differ. In my spin class, it seemed I always ended up next to the same gal. Someone who obviously ate a ton of the aforementioned veggies. Exerting herself undoubtedly caused the buildup of hydrogen sulfide to escape, permeating the room like you wouldn’t believe. Try holding your breath for a full minute when spinning next to a perpetual farting machine. Let me tell you, it’s not easy.

spinning class

Fact 4 — You produce 500 to 1500 milliliters of gas a day and expel it in 10 to 20 farts.

And I happen to know someone who expels a good portion of hers in spin class.

Fact 5 — A significant proportion of your flatulence is simply made up of air.

Some of this air gulping happens when you’re asleep, but is mostly caused by drinking carbonated beverages and by chewing gum. Fortunately, I don’t drink soda but should I toss my beloved packs of spearmint gum? No way. That’s because farts from soda and gum are made up of nitrogen and oxygen so they don’t smell. Whew! That was a close one.

Spearmint gum

Fact 6 — Over the counter, Beano, works by cutting down on gas production.

This magic little pill works wonders in the hours following a bean-filled meal. So if you’re a tooter, you might want to check it out. Especially before going into a packed movie theater.


In conclusion, we’re all full of it. Gas, that is. As it turns out, farting is simply the result of a healthy, complex ecosystem in your intestines. So it’s actually a good thing…as long as you’re not in my spin class when you expel your quota for the day.

beans poem

3 thoughts on “Everybody Farts

  1. Were you also aware that females farts are usually more smelly than males? But when it comes to having sound or being louder, males win. I learned that from one of Mary Roach’s books. 🙂

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