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“Almost all people are hypnotics.
The proper authority saw to it that the proper belief should be induced and the people believed properly.”
— Charles Hoy Fort

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Four years we've waited... four long years.

Four years we've waited... four long years. The state of not knowing had almost driven me insane, but lo... it's alright now, we can rest, we can relax, we can cease the gnashing of teeth and the clenching of cheeks, for the man has achieved glory in the deciphering of one of the greatest mysteries of humanity. It may be time for celebration. For you see...

Philosophers finally relax as navel fluff explained
* 04:00 01 April 2009 by Graham Lawton

Scientific navel-gazing has been taken to new heights by a chemist who claims he has solved one of the great mysteries of human biology: why men produce navel fluff, but women do not.

Georg Steinhauser of the Vienna University of Technology has spent the past four years studying navel fluff, or lint, and has concluded that it is created when abdominal hair catches fibres from clothing and channels them into the belly button, where they are "compacted to a felt-like matter."

This explains why navel fluff is largely a male phenomenon, Steinhauser says.

Since March 2005, Steinhauser has collected 503 pieces of navel fluff from his own belly button. The fluff was usually the same colour as the shirt he was wearing, which led him to suspect that it was derived from his clothing.

Steinhauser also chemically analysed a sample of his navel fluff and found that it matched the composition of the T-shirt that he was wearing that day, with a smattering of extra nitrogen and sulphur compounds. These contaminants probably came from sweat and dead skin, he says.


He discovered the crucial role of abdominal hair by asking friends and colleagues about the contents of their own belly buttons. "The existence of abdominal hair was a major prerequisite for the accumulation of navel fluff," he says. Shaving off his abdominal hair caused the cessation of navel fluff accumulation until the hair grew back.

"It seems this work has broken a taboo," Steinhauser told New Scientist. "People are starting to talk about navel fluff."

The largest piece of fluff Steinhauser retrieved from his navel weighed 9.17 milligrams, which he concludes is probably the maximum capacity of his belly button. This piece accumulated on a day he was wearing a new T-shirt, which tend to be more prolific producers of navel fluff. Old garments sometimes produce no fluff at all.

A T-shirt worn 100 times would lose approximately 0.1% of its mass to navel fluff, Steinhauser calculates.

"This paper had no serious background at all," he says.

Journal reference: Medical Hypotheses (DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2009.01.015)

1 comment:

Atrueoriginall said...

I wonder how much $$ was spent for such research.

I can think of a more serious issue in regard to clothing fibers that he should have researched.

This has to do primarily with women who have been pregnant and acquired a fair amount stretch marks. A stretch mark is actually an open scar and the dermal area is so thin that clothing fibers enter it often and easily (especially at the waistband).

It's accumulation is exceptional and such fibers can travel from there throughout various parts of the body, especially nylon/acrylic fibers and the like.

It's not a fluff and stuff story though because those fibers can cause havoc in the body, even illness, unlike a fluffy navel. :)

In the winter of 1962 I wore a blouse to school that my mom had packed away in our summer clothes. The box she used to pack the clothes in was a box that my dad had previously received television tubes in at work (Magnavox). It was lined with a real unusual fiberglass. The fibers were a dark green plastic looking fiber that lined the box so my mom didn't think anything of it. Anyway, I wore the blouse to school and by the end of the day a doctor was diagnosing me with everything from shingles to symptoms of undue stress. :) I recuperated of course and a few days later we figured it out.