Science Finally Explains Why We Fart More On Airplanes

Senior Contributor
12.22.14 8 Comments
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Spending a few hours in a can of recirculated air is bad enough without somebody, or multiple somebodies, stinking up the joint. But, it turns out, it’s not just our terrible diets to blame for in-flight flatulence; flying itself makes you more likely to play the brown tuba, according to a somewhat lighthearted scientific paper

According to the BBC, which really tries to avoid saying fart, it’s thanks to basic physics. Even on the ground, we fart a lot: On average, a human being rips about ten good ones a day, adding up to a liter or so of gas. Now get on a plane, and there’s less pressure on you, and thus that gas will expand… making the release of it more urgent and likely.

So, that’s the problem. What’s the solution? The short answer is to not eat things that leave residue behind in your gut. Farting is generally the result of microbes in your digestive system going to town on whatever your body doesn’t make use of, according to the most hilarious scientific endeavor ever seriously undertaken. So, eating foods that don’t leave much behind, like fish, rice, and dairy, will reduce the wind. Similarly, look for low-sulfur foods, which will at least cut down on the stench somewhat.

Beyond that, mostly just try to keep it quiet. Really, there’s no need to torment your seatmate. Unless they recline right onto the knees of the person behind them, in which case, let ‘er rip.

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