I know what you're thinking.
This is clickbait.
I used to respect you, Joe.
Now you're just making fart videos.
Well, I can assure you this is not clickbait, but this is a fart video.
A science fart video.
No hot air... well, maybe a little.
[OPEN] Everybody farts!
You, your mother, kittens, the dalai lama.
Probably regular llamas too.
Just about anything in the animal kingdom with a rear end can and does fart, and passing gas can have a lot of different purposes.
Herring fart to communicate.
Coral snakes fart as a defense mechanism.
The West Indian Manatee uses farting to regulate its buoyancy.
And beaded lacewings make Death Farts - gas that's specifically evolved to paralyze and ultimately kill termites... who also fart.
Like termites fart enough to contribute maybe a few percent to global greenhouse gas emissions.
That's a lotta gas.
Flatulence is a natural, common thing.
It's typically caused by either trapped, swallowed air or gas produced as a byproduct from friendly microbes digesting food in your gut.
When complex carbohydrates make it to your colon, they're broken down by a rich ecosystem of billions of microbes, passing digested bits between one another, creating gases in the process.
Your farts are really just billions of tiny microbial toots.
Humans typically squeeze out about 10-20 farts every day, each around the volume of a golf ball, totaling about a liter of gas daily.
All of our combined butt babble adds up to about 7 billion liters of human gas released every day.
The compounds that make farts stink make up less than 1% of the volume.
About a quarter is comprised of gases like oxygen and nitrogen.
The vast gas majority is a mixture of carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and methane, two of which are, yes, flammable gases.
I know what you're asking, could these billions of liters of human fart be burned to generate energy for our civilization?
I don't know, I didn't go to MIT.
Paging Elon Musk...
So if everybody does it, and it's a natural byproduct of our inner biology, why do we feel disgust or react so strongly to farts?
They don't exactly smell like roses.
In that less than 1% of smelly stuff in a toot we find various forms of sulfur, the chemical that gives rotten eggs their odor.
These chemicals are harmful in large amounts, and are often a sign of toxicity or disease, so it makes sense our noses tell us that's bad, but there's probably not enough in a couple of farts to do any damage.
Farts DO also contain a small number of bacteria.
This was shown in a scientific experiment where a subject farted - with and without pants - on a petri dish, for science.
Dare to dream, kids.
So farting is natural to do, and it's natural to find it a little gross.
Then why are fart noises so funny?
We've been letting out fart jokes non-stop since the Bronze Age and there are a couple different thoughts on why we giggle at this bodily function.
Laughing is a social behavior that helps us bond with each other.
We may laugh as a way to make the farter feel less embarrassed.
Something called "Incongruity theory" says we laugh at unexpected things, which farts usually are.
Our brain's response to confusion is often laughter - like when you see a T-rex head on a seahorse body.
But scientists don't exactly know why anything is funny.
Hehe, butt scientists.
Farting hasn't always only been perceived with disgust or giggles though.
Ancient philosophers, going back to Pythagoras, believed that your breath contained your soul.
Farts were considered a form of breath, they thought excessive farting could make you fart out your soul - which, trust me, you can't do.
Martin Luther, the guy credited for starting an entire branch of Christianity, was said to chase away the Devil and sin with his butt blasphemy.
And in the 1700s Founding Farter Benjamin Franklin wrote the essay, "Fart Proudly" (seriously, he did) in which he wished he could eliminate the "disagreeable Odour" from a fart, thus allowing one to fart proudly in public and alleviate the pain that can accompany holding one in.
Holding in a fart probably won't injure you, but it may be uncomfortable and they'll likely just come out in your sleep anyway.
So, "better out than in I always say."
Fart noises may be funny but they are also another example of the crazy, awesome way our bodies work.
Everybody does it, so everyone should know a little more about it.