Most of us probably don’t spend too much time thinking about our belly buttons. We all have them, and at first glance, they don’t seem that interesting, but there’s much more to this odd physical attribute than meets the eye.
When you really take the time to think about it, belly buttons are pretty weird. After all, they don’t even appear to have any functional purpose for our bodies!
If you’ve ever been curious about why we have belly buttons, then look no further! Here are 10 facts that’ll make you wonder why you don’t think about yours more often…
1. They are technically scars: Belly buttons are formed from the scar tissue of the umbilical cord. When the doctor cuts the cord, a small stump of skin is left behind. After it falls off, you are left with a navel.
2. Some people don’t have them: While everyone is born with an umbilical cord, for some folks, some of the scars eventually fade away after birth. “Master of Suspense” Alfred Hitchcock was just one of these special individuals!
3. Belly buttons house lots of different kinds of bacteria: A scientific study discovered that there are upwards of 2,300 different types of bacteria that may live in belly buttons. You can read the entire study here.
4. Males are more likely to have belly button lint: A study found that the contents of that lint are mostly hair, skin cells, and fibers and that it’s linked to the hairiness of the human body. That’s why men with hairy stomachs are more likely to have it!
5. Some people collect their belly button lint: Believe it or not, collecting belly button lint really is a thing! So much so that the Guinness Book of World Records recognizes Graham Barker as having the largest collection of bellybutton lint on the planet.
6. Looking at your belly button was once a form of meditation: Greek Christian monks practiced hesychasm, which is a form of “navel contemplation.” They believed that it gave them an extensive insight into divine glory.
7. The technical term for navel-gazing is “omphaloskepsis”: On a more conversational level, though, the term “navel-gazing” is often used to refer to people who are too self-absorbed or pretentious for their own good.
8. Belly button fetishes are a thing: There was a man named Gert Heilbronn, who was so attracted to “outie” belly buttons that he attempted to make one out of his own navel. That may seem horrifying, but hey, everyone has their own thing, right?
9. Even the planet Earth itself has a belly button: Earth’s “cosmic navel” sits in Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. It’s approximately 216,000 years old and about 200 feet wide. That’s one big belly button!
10. Unbelievably, people have made cheese from their belly buttons: Biologist Christina Agapakis and artist Sissel Tolaas teamed up to make cheese from the bacteria found in people’s armpits, toes, mouths, and belly buttons. Yuck!
Who knew that there was so much that we didn’t know about belly buttons? It’s going to be difficult to look at them the same way ever again!
Share this fascinating information with your friends!
h/t Boredom Therapy