Thursday, March 11, 2010

The nature of navel fluff

I've been a prodigious producer of navel fluff for as long as I can remember. In fact I've considered saving it to figure out how much I produce in a year, and whether it's enough to fill a pillow. But it looks like someone beat me to it, and published it in one of my favorite journals "medical hypotheses". I have noticed that no woman I've known produces belly button lint which made me think you needed some belly hair and a belly button with a lip to accumulate the lint. Turns out I was bang on:

"Med Hypotheses. 2009 Jun;72(6):623-5. Epub 2009 Feb 23.
The nature of navel fluff.

Steinhauser G.

Vienna University of Technology, Atominstitut der Osterreichischen Universitäten, Stadionallee 2, 1020 Vienna, Austria.

Hard facts on a soft matter! In their popular scientific book (Leyner M, Goldberg B. Why do men have nipples - hundreds of questions you'd only ask a doctor after your third martini. New York: Three Rivers Press; 2005), Leyner and Goldberg raised the question why "some belly buttons collect so much lint". They were, however, not able to come up with a satisfactory answer. The hypothesis presented herein says that abdominal hair is mainly responsible for the accumulation of navel lint, which, therefore, this is a typically male phenomenon. The abdominal hair collects fibers from cotton shirts and directs them into the navel where they are compacted to a felt-like matter. The most abundant individual mass of a piece of lint was found to be between 1.20 and 1.29 mg (n=503). However, due to several much larger pieces, the average mass was 1.82 mg in this three year study. When the abdominal hair is shaved, no more lint is collected. Old T-shirts or dress shirts produce less navel fuzz than brand new T-shirts. Using elemental analysis, it could be shown that cotton lint contains a certain amount of foreign material, supposedly cutaneous scales, fat or proteins. Incidentally, lint might thus fulfill a cleaning function for the navel


rob said...

I would like to know if a pillow filled with belly-button lint is superior in any way to a dryer lint filled pillow. While my belly button can be fairly productive it can't match how much dryer lint I get.

Anonymous said...

My belly button cotton is far superior to any material found in high quality pillows. In fact it sells on the black market for considerable sums of money. Call me if you want/need some.. I can make a good price - 07234 5673945.