Belly buttons, the wonderful birthmark that we’re all left with. Some of us have innies while others have outties. Some are pierced and have wonderful displays of jewellery (or not-so-wonderful displays), while others may just be naked and shown in are their glory. Here are 10 facts you probably didn’t know about belly buttons.
1. Some People Have No Belly Button
Some people are born with defects known as an umbilical hernia or gastroschisis – a condition where the intestines poke through the intestinal wall. These conditions result in surgery that leaves the baby with no belly button.
2. The belly button is your first scar.
Assuming you’re not one of the few that have no belly button, the belly button is actually your first scar. It is acquired after the umbilical cord is cut. All mammals start with a belly button (as long as they don’t come from an egg).
3. Belly buttons harbour mass amounts of bacteria.
Yeah, that’s pretty gross to think about, but it’s true. A paper titled “A Jungle in There,” which was conducted in 2012 investigated the biological diversity of the belly button. They found that there were a total of 2,368 species in the belly button, with the average human having about 67 different kinds.
4. Belly button piercings take an extremely long time to heal.
It takes anywhere between 6 – 12 months for a belly button piercing to heal. If it’s not properly taken care of (kept clean and dry), some pretty nasty infections that really hurt could appear.
5. Men tend to have more belly button lint.
This is generally due to presence of stomach hair. All belly button lint really consists of is some fabric from your clothing, dead skin, and hair. Want to solve the problem? Make sure you shave the hair around your belly button. Innies are also more susceptible to belly button lint than outties. There is a record for the largest collection of belly button lint.
A man by the name of Graham Barker was recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records as having the largest collection of belly button lint. His collection started back on January 17th, 1984.
7. Belly button fetishes exist.
Some people just really dig belly buttons. It is possible to have a lustful attraction towards belly buttons and there have actually been studies conducted showing the most preferable shape (it’s a t-shaped innie).
8. You can make cheese from belly button bacteria.
A Dublin science gallery had cheese made and put on display. These cheeses were made from belly button bacteria, as well as toe, armpit, and mouth bacteria. Bon appetit!
9. Navel gazing was once used as a form of meditation.
Navel gazing (or more formally known as Omphaloskepsis) is the contemplation of one’s navel and was used as an aid to meditation.
10. The Earth has a belly button of its own.
Yup, and it’s located in Utah. The “Cosmic Navel” is located in Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. It is almost 200 feet wide and between 16 and 65 feet deep. Imagine the amount of lint that thing could harbor …