Why Do We Like Our Own Farts?

Why Do We Like Our Own Farts?


Every single day, the human race produces
around 70 billion farts – meaning roughly 10 of those are yours! But why doesn’t your
gas seem half as smelly as those around you? Why do we like the smell of our own farts? Hilarious as it may seem, scientists have
actually confirmed the fact that, in blind-smell tests, we truly do find our own smells much
more appealing than others. Simply put, the more familiar you are with something, whether
it be a song, picture or even a smell, the more likely you are to prefer it. And because
the bacterial population in your body producing these smells is completely unique from every
other individual, our farts truly have a one-of-a-kind brand that your nose can differentiate. But, from an evolutionary perspective, our
reaction of disgust to other people’s odour is likely our brains’ attempt to prevent
us from doing harm to our own bodies; specifically interacting with sources of disease. When
you think of it, most things that don’t smell good, aren’t good for you. And the
greater the risk of disease, the more intense your response will be. Surprising as it may seem, farts can spread
disease. In fact, there are many reported cases of farts spreading Streptococcus pyogenes,
a pathogen that can cause tonsillitis, scarlet fever, heart disease and even flesh eating
disease. Seriously, the pathogen is expelled as fecal matter or poop particles in the air.
Of course, this was a major concern for our ancestors who ran around naked, but for us
underwear or pant wearing folks, farts don’t pose a real threat. And it’s important that we’ve adapted
to like our own odours, so that we can maintain proper hygiene. In the same way, mothers perceive
their biological children’s poop as less offensive than others, which allows them to take care
of them without disgust. Of course, some of you may be thinking “I
don’t find farts disgusting at all” – and you’re not alone. Perception of disgust
is a combination of variables like age, gender, culture and even personality. So much so,
that people who are more anxious or socially conservative are often more sensitive to stink
than their adventure seeking friends. The anterior cingulate cortex, which processes
surprise, also plays a big role. When we fart we know it, and can anticipate the accompanying
smell. But when somebody rips a silent but deadly fart into a crowded room, the brains
expectations of reality are smashed by the negative stimulus, making it all seem even
more foul. So next time you feel a silent stinker coming on, you might want to give
everyone a heads up. Unless of course, you’re alone; then you can bask in the glory of your
own stench. Don’t forget, The AsapSCIENCE book just
went on presale! Not only can you own a physical version of some of your favourite video episodes,
which we’ve re-drawn and updated, but we wrote a whole bunch of new chapters answering
questions that have never been answered here on AsapSCIENCE! Check out asapscience.com/book
to get your copy! We truly appreciate all of your support! You can also watch our latest AsapTHOUGHT
video “The Science of Beards” where we debate the scientific advantages of growing
it out or staying clean shaven. To beard or not to beard? Head over there with the link
in the description, and let us know which side wins! And subscribe, for more weekly science videos!