Anorak News | The Secrets Of Belly Button Fluff Discovered: Bluff Science

The Secrets Of Belly Button Fluff Discovered: Bluff Science

by | 28th, February 2009

FOR years Dr Georg Steinhauser, of the Vienna University of Technology, has toiled at the coalface of science and now he can tell the world about a body hair that traps stray pieces of lint and pulls them into the navel.

Dr Steinhauser has studied 503 pieces of fluff from his own belly button.

Under laboratory conditions, the chemist learnt that the fluff was not made up of only cotton from clothing. Wrapped up in the belly fluff – the bluff – were shards of dead skin, fat, dust and sweat.

Dr Steinhauser writes in the journal Medical Hypotheses that “small pieces of fluff first form in the hair and then end up in the navel at the end of the day”.

The scaly structure of the hair enhances the “abrasion of minuscule fibres from the shirt” and funnel the bluff into the navel. Says he:

“The hair’s scales act like a kind of barbed hooks. Abdominal hair often seems to grow in concentric circles around the navel.”

Dr Steinhauser concludes that shaving the belly will result in a bluff-free navel – but only until the hairs grow back.

Failing that, a body piercing – rings or stud – sweeps away fibres before they lodge.

Says he:

“The question of the nature of navel fluff seems to concern more people than one would think at first glance. We hope we have been able to provide information for doctors when they are next confronted with the simple question of ‘why some belly buttons collect so much lint and others do not’.”

Says Australian researcher Karl Kruszelnicki, in an earlier study:

“The reason it is usually blue is that we mostly wear blue or grey trousers, often jeans, and when these rub against the body, the fibres often end up finding their way to the navel.”

Also men eating crisps in front of the telly tend to harvest navel lint containing flakes of Monster Munch and splinters of monkey nut.

Women in Salford note that belly buttons’ contain on average twice as much bluff as women in Cheam due to the relative effectiveness of the local spray tannery.

Russians have the least bluff because they are each stitched into leather “romper suits”, which are lined with fat to stave off the cold climate.

Spotter: June

Posted: 28th, February 2009 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True Comment (1) | TrackBack | Permalink