I have to admit, I’m preeeettty up on my animal facts. I’m not trying to sound full of myself or anything, but I do frequently binge Animal Planet *shout out to The Most Extreme* and totally used to pre-game to the show when I was in College (let’s not kid ourselves, this still occurs in my adult life). I’ve watched all the Planet Earth & Planet Earth II series, follow Discovery and Nat Geo fanatically, obsess over shark week and am overall an animal lover – which is why this hashtag caught my attention right off the bat. Emerging from the dark, scientific troves of Twitter, #DoesItFart answers the burning animal related question I didn’t even know I had.
As we all know everybody poops (that’s actually kind of a lie because Demodex mites don’t have anuses so they kind of just explode with poo at the end of their life – like I said I AM FULL OF USELESS ANIMAL KNOWLEDGE), but not everybody, or everything to be more specific, farts. And guess what? You too can have this clearly important knowledge at your fingertips all thanks to ‘Science’ Twitter.
Starting as an obviously paramount question vital to our existence, conservation researcher and PhD student at the Zoological Society of London Dani Rabaiotti posed a crucial question to the internet world that had been troubling her:
Obviously recognizing that this was of the utmost importance to our deep understanding of animals, David Steen, an ecologist at Auburn University in Alabama responded with eloquence and urgency:
And thus the hashtag #DoesItFart was born. Scientists everywhere joined forces to satisfy our curiosities about this groundbreaking question and even created a Google spreadsheet so everyone could be well-informed and the farts of the animal kingdom could be properly catalogued.
— Imogene Cancellare (@biologistimo) January 10, 2017
The growing spreadsheet was compiled by Nicholas Caruso, a PhD candidate at Alabama University. However, as he states, you do have to keep a lag on verification of these fart-facts in mind:
“Using a Google sheet that anyone can go in and edit seemed like the best way to get the most info as we can and engage as many people as possible,” Caruso told Gizmodo.
“Obviously user-submitted responses not subject to any verification or oversight should be taken with a grain of salt,” he added.
— Nick Caruso (@PlethodoNick) January 8, 2017
“As you can see by the list most of the answers were ‘yes’, so a lot of animals fart – just like us,” he told BuzzFeed News. “I think it’s interesting how this may have started a new debate of ‘what is a fart’.
And that it did! At the time of publication, several sea-creatures (octopus, squid, and cuttlefish) were classified as fart-ers, however that’s only “if we count air coming out of the siphon as farting.”
So far, this quest for information has led to many mind-blowing discoveries, including a question from a 2009 PopSci article entitled Is it true that bird’s can’t fart? The answer is yes, it is true that birds cannot fart. Shocked? Me too. But they can burp, so there’s that. I’ve also since learned that atlantic herring fart to communicate, which brings a whole new definition to ‘shit talking’ in my book.
Life will never be the same again after this eye-opening hashtag.
— Michael Reid PhD (@mjcreid) January 9, 2017
And while more data is needed, as it is within the scientific community, the hashtag spawned an equally viable question #DoesItPuke – which now has it’s very own page in the Google sheet.
— Mika McKinnon (@mikamckinnon) January 9, 2017
Either way, it’s safe to say we are all a bit more informed…and will probably never look at a few animals the same way: