the mystery of belly button fluff

One of my readers recently heard a strange news story on the radio, so they found the link and sent it to me.  The article is called “Revealed: The secrets of belly button fluff“.   They said it sounded like something that should go here.  (I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or not.)

Dr. Steinhauser, an Austrian scientist, has solved the “mystery” of belly button fluff.  He studied 503 pieces of fluff from his own belly button, and ran chemical analysis on the samples.  He works at the Vienna University of Technology, which doesn’t seem to fit with the story.  He said that shaving your belly will result in a fluff-free navel, but only until the hairs grow back.  And he said body piercings, such as belly button rings, help sweep away the fluff before it goes in your navel.

You may be wondering who cares about all this…  But Dr. Steinhauser said, “The question of the nature of navel fluff seems to concern more people than one would think at first glance.”  So maybe some of you have wondered.  I’ve never cared, though.  A similar Australian study concluded that the typical carrier of navel fluff is “a slightly overweight middle-aged male with a hairy abdomen.”  So it’s mostly older, hairy, fat men.  (Fortunately that does not include me.)  That study collected 5,000 samples.  Can you imagine studying other people’s belly button lint?

The article says Dr. Steinhauser also works on other projects, such as monitoring the erosion of his wedding ring.  I suppose if you want a research project that will last you the rest of your life, that would be one.   That sure sounds boring, though.  Also mentioned in the article is Graham Barker, who has been collecting his navel fluff in jars every day since 1984.   He’s now in the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s largest collection of navel lint.  I realize many people want to be famous, but there has to be a better way…

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