How much attention do we really pay to our belly buttons? Not much, right? Well some scientists at North Carolina State University are giving navels some serious consideration, studying the germs that take refuge there. Prepare yourself for midriff-related shock and awe.
Research assistant Jiri Hulcr, PhD, tells Everyday Health our belly buttons are an “ideal location” for studying bacteria since most people all but ignore their navels daily. While we don’t love the idea of little organisms just chilling in our nubbins, Hulcr reassures us that, “We absolutely need bacteria in order to survive … the presence of bacteria is not harmful.” So basically, just don’t think about it and you’ll be fine.
Germs aside, these scientists have discovered some interesting facts about the belly button, so if you’d like to know a little more about your navel, read on!
Innie or Outie?
If you’ve got an innie, don’t think you’re special. Hulcr and team discovered through their research that ‘outies’ are pretty rare, with only 4 percent of participants boasting this button type.
It’s a Scar!
Yup! Belly buttons are technically considered a scar, as it marks where our umbilical cord was cut. The cord is clamped the moment we arrive into the world and the leftovers eventually fall off leaving us with our buttons! So when you think about it, we really do all have scars. That’s deep.
Your Belly Button Can Change Shape!
Indeed it can. During pregnancy a woman’s innie can pop out as their belly expands leaving them with an outie. We do think a bumpy baby bump is extra adorable!
There’s an Ideal Shape
Now we have to worry about how fit our navels are, too? Everyday Health reports that a study conducted by the University of Missouri found that a small, vertical, T-shaped navel with a flap of overlying skin was the most attractive belly button of all belly buttons. You’re looking at yours right now, aren’t you?
It’s cool if you do. Some of us are more prone to belly baggage than others — specifically males who are older, hairy and sport innies (sorry, Dad). Turns out belly fuzz is pretty unavoidable — lint is an accumulation of clothing fibers, sweat, skin cells, and bacteria. Ah, it’s such a magical place.
Bet you didn’t know your belly button was so interesting! Find more fun belly button facts at Everyday Health.