One of the few pieces of good news to emerge over the last few months is this: Scientists have finally figured out the foods that make farts smell worse, meaning that the cure to that rotten-egg odor may be as simple as a little conscientious meal-planning. Problem is, the study in question only investigated a human diet — and as a bunch of animal researchers have been working hard to illustrate, farting is far from just a human problem.
As the Washington Post reported earlier today, there’s a new hashtag making the rounds through science Twitter: #DoesItFart, which, as you may have guessed, is here to answer any and all questions about which animals are capable of passing gas. (There’s a spreadsheet, too, in case you have a burning desire to see all the farters of the animal kingdom in one place.) Here’s a sampling, from the Post:
So, which animals cut the proverbial cheese? Tons, it turns out. Bats do, according to David Bennett, a PhD candidate at Queen Mary University of London. And the bigger they are, the harder they honk.
Rats, zebras and bearded dragons are also among Those Creatures That Fart. Birds, on the other hand, do not seem to have a biological need for passing gas, but they could let one rip, theoretically. Marine invertebrates such as oysters, mussels and crabs? Alas, they are whoopee-impaired.
But the hashtag has a purpose beyond making scientists giggle at their own handiwork, the paper explained: Whether or not a given animal farts is apparently a question that zoo employees often receive from their youngest visitors. If a little scatological humor keeps piques kids’ interest in biology, well, everybody wins. And if #DoesItFart has you jonesing for more internet things at the intersection of animals and potty humor, there’s always #Junkoff, scientists’ social-media competition to find the animals with the weirdest genitalia — though maybe don’t peruse that one at work.