Why Do Other People's Farts Smell Worse Than Your Own? | Summary and Q&A

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January 20, 2019
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Today I Found Out
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Why Do Other People's Farts Smell Worse Than Your Own?

TL;DR

Other people's farts smell worse because our brain tunes out the odor from our own farts due to familiarity and expectation, while reacting more strongly to external odors for evolutionary reasons.

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Key Insights

  • πŸ’ͺ Farts elicit the strongest negative response in terms of body odors.
  • πŸ‘ƒ Familiarity and expectations cause our brain to tune out the smell of our own farts.
  • πŸ˜… The smell of food we eat can be detected in various bodily excretions, including farts.
  • 🧠 The brain reacts strongly to unexpected touches and dulls sensations when we touch ourselves.
  • ❓ Tickling and the panic response are defense mechanisms in reaction to unanticipated touches.
  • πŸ‘ƒ The brain reacts more strongly to negative smelling odors from others for evolutionary reasons.
  • ❓ Viruses and pathogens can potentially be transmitted through improperly filtered farts.

Transcript

In 2005, two researchers published a series of articles investigating the subject of other people’s smelliness. They examined how much disgust people would feel and show after smelling a variety of odors, including armpits, garbage and farts. Among the stinks examined, farts elicited the strongest negative response, and across all body odors, peopl... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Why do other people's farts smell worse than our own?

Other people's farts smell worse because our brain becomes accustomed to our own smell and partially tunes it out, while reacting more strongly to external odors for evolutionary reasons.

Q: Why does the smell of our own farts become familiar and less offensive?

The more you are exposed to a smell, like your own farts, the more likely you are to tune it out consciously, making it less extreme to your senses.

Q: Can your diet affect the smell of your farts?

Yes, certain food compounds get metabolized and passed out of your body through bodily excretions, causing your farts to have a distinct smell depending on what you eat.

Q: Why can't we tickle ourselves?

The brain anticipates sensations and is more attuned to unexpected touches. It dulls expected sensations, such as when typing, and reacts stronger to externally produced touches, preventing self-tickling.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • In a study on disgust towards body odors, it was found that farts elicited the strongest negative response, and people consistently rated other people's smells worse than their own.

  • Your own farts are less offensive to your nose because your brain is accustomed to your own smell, tuning it out partially.

  • The sulfuric compounds from food get passed out of your body through bodily excretions, including your pores and breath, making your whole body smell like the food you ate.

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