Have you ever looked at an animal and wondered, “Does this thing fart?” Well, you’re not the only one. Scientists on Twitter decided to crowdsource a list of every farting animal known to mankind. That’s right, they’ve taken Everyone Poops to a level that you didn’t know you wanted to see until now. It all started with an inquiry directed at Dr. David Steen, an assistant research professor of Wildlife and Conservation at Auburn University. He was asked by a Twitter user: do snakes fart? It’s a fair question that we’ve all probably asked ourselves either:
- Out of curiosity
- As children
Dr. Steen replied with a tweet that read: “Sigh. Yes.” This short exchange was the inspiration behind Nick Caruso’s hashtag, #DoesItFart, and a public spreadsheet where scientists studying specific animals can contribute to. In it, they write the names of the animals that Twitter users asked about using the hashtag, and a short Yes or No answer to clear the air.
So far, the spreadsheet is young (with only 73 entries) but the insight so far is outstanding. Here are some of the most surprising animals who, like you and me, can break an air biscuit every now and then:
1. American Badger: Honey badgers are the Tony Montana of animal farting. According to the African Wildlife Foundation, they emit smelly, suffocating secretions and gas from their anal glands, which they then use to mustard-bomb unsuspecting bee hives. This causes the bees to flee their homes and leave the honey behind for the honey badger.
2. Bobcat: The rare and elusive bobcat, in its mysterious and nocturnal glory, can in fact toot its own smelly horn. Bobcats are basically giant wildcats that inhabit forests, swamps, deserts and occasional suburban areas. They’re carnivores, and they can target prey that’s twice their own size but they usually stick to mice, birds, rabbits and squirrels.
3. Burmese Python: This type of snake, and all snakes in general, are capable of popping an air tart every now and then. Although reptile experts say that a healthy reptile is not supposed to pass too much gas, as it could mean there’s something wrong with its gastrointestinal tract. Some snakes, like the Sonoran Coral Snake, can weaponize their farts like the American badger and use them to scare off unsuspecting predators.
4. Cockroaches: As if cockroaches weren’t already the animal equivalent of pus, they’re also capable of letting out some stale wind. And it’s not just any stale wind, but the stalest wind in Britain, according to Rentokil, a company that specializes in pest control. According to the company, cockroaches release more methane in relation to their body than any other creature or pest they’ve ever had to deal with.
5. Domestic Goat: Yes, goats can absolutely steam-press your Levi’s with their fart power. In fact, they often make the news because of their rancid sphincter whistle. In 2015, an airplane in Singapore was forced to make an emergency landing when the smell of goat farts was mistaken for smoke in the cargo hold. The flight was diverted, inspected and delayed for at least two hours, according to the Daily Mail.
6. Frogs: Nothing to say here except yes, they do fart. There is a note by the scientist who contributed to the spreadsheet that reads: “Pyxicephalus adspersus and Ceratophrys […] both can and do fart quite often and rather pungently (Frogs have weak sphincters, unconfirmed if audible)” So there you have it.
8. Gorillas: These large primates do indeed pack a mean honker. In fact, you can safely assume that any large primate does this, including orangutans. Like the domestic goat, gorilla farts have also made the news: staff at Chessington Zoo in London had to stop feeding their gorillas Brussel sprouts because it caused “an attack of flatulence” in their gorillas, which prompted zoo-goers to complain about the smell.
9. Grizzly bear: It makes sense that a grizzly bear should be packing the hottest wind of the forest, since they’re omnivores who will eat pretty much eat anything. These giant bears are solitary, but they occasionally get together to scavenge for food or fish for salmon in the upstream of a river. They’re also Olympic-level eaters during the summer, and they can eat up to 90 lbs of food a day while they prepare for hibernation.
10: Lemur: Our primate cousin, the ring-tailed lemur, can absolutely drop a stink bomb. Besides being able to cut the cheese, lemurs have powerful scent glands and they use their unique odor as a communication tool and sometimes as a weapon. They mark their territory using scent, and during mating season they try to out-stink each other. They do this by coring their long tails with smelly secretions, waving them in the air to see whose scent is the strongest.
12. Rats: These clever rodents toot the brown horn, but funnily enough, they can’t burp.
13. Seals: Seals, in all their lovable glory, can fart. The seals that reside on the Atlantic island of South Georgia pack a particularly strong stink punch, according to Dani Rabaiotti of the Zoological Society of London. The scientist who answered the question through the hashtag added that their farts “smell like lutefisk.” In case you don’t know, lutefisk is a traditional dish in some Nordic countries made out out of aged stock and lye.
14. Sloths: It’s been confirmed that sloths are capable of letting go of some air drifters, although it’s a sign that something is wrong with their digestive system. In general, sloths are the biggest feces storers known in the animal world. They only defecate once every 5-7 days, due to the fact that they’re really slow and defecating more could alert predators to their location.
16. Termites: Like their cockroach cousins, these critters create a kind of rectal turbulence that is so strong that it can be used against them. In an interview with The New York Times, pest control expert Terry Clark said that termites release so much methane that it can be traced and used to find them.