28 February 2009

Belly button fluff - A major breakthrough in scientific knowledge

The last time I posted on something from the journal Medical Hypotheses it was the outrageous idea that Down subjects and Oriental population "share several specific attitudes and characteristics" . Mercifully today’s Telegraph reports that a paper Medical Hypotheses truly advances our knowledge. After three years of research Austrian scientist Georg Steinhauser has discovered a type of body hair that traps stray pieces of lint and draws them into the navel.
Dr Steinhauser made his discovery after studying 503 pieces of fluff from his own belly button. Chemical analysis revealed the pieces of fluff were not made up of only cotton from clothing. Wrapped up in the lint were also flecks of dead skin, fat, sweat and dust.

Writing in the journal Medical Hypotheses, he said the scaly structure of the hair enhances the 'abrasion of minuscule fibres from the shirt' and directs the lint towards the belly button. "The hair's scales act like a kind of barbed hooks," he said. "Abdominal hair often seems to grow in concentric circles around the navel."

He also established that shaving one's belly will result in a fluff-free navel - but only until the hairs grow back.

Dr Steinhauser, whose other projects have included monitoring the erosion of his wedding ring, said: "The question of the nature of navel fluff seems to concern more people than one would think at first glance. "We hope we have been able to provide information for doctors when they are next confronted with the simple question of 'why some belly buttons collect so much lint and others do not'."

An earlier, Australian study of samples from 5,000 people concluded the typical carrier of navel fluff to be 'a slightly overweight middle-aged male with a hairy abdomen'. (hmm that's me) Researcher Karl Kruszelnicki said: "The reason it is usually blue is that we mostly wear blue or grey trousers, often jeans, and when these rub against the body, the fibres often end up finding their way to the navel."

I say give Dr Steinhausrer a Nobel Prize now. I doubt any piece of scientific research will ever be as important and ground breaking as this. If the scientific world is not as impressed I am sure that the Vatican will canonise him in quick time. He would be perfect as patron saint of Omphalomancers!


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Ghazala Khan
The Pakistani Spectator

Devonshire Dumpling said...

Well (apart from some spamming above my comment) can I just say Jams, that you do come up with some gems! I shall think differently about my belly button henceforth. I feel very humble now to know what I am carting about in my belly button and I am a far better person for you drawing my attention to it. xxxxx

Anonymous said...

I say give him an Ig Nobel award instead

Sean Jeating said...

Spake Sergeant Pluck: Omphalos!! Did anyone at any time get closer to the essential inheritent interior essence which is hidden in the root of the kernel of everything? As sure as it is that this man is at least 99,9 per cent bicycle, as sure it is that there did never exist worthier a searcher of Omnium to become the first, last and therefore one and only Navel Prize winner.

jams o donnell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jams o donnell said...

Glad to have enriched your life DD

Agreed nursemyra. Welcome to teh Poor Mouth

99.99% Sean. He deserves the navel prize and to lean by the fire!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Yes, I fully agree with the Nobel recommendation. Although his ideas for getting rid of fluff may be bothersome for some people. For one hirsute like I am a daily vacuuming of the navel by an industrial strength vac will be sufficient, I hope.

If not, the fluff could be simply burned down in situ.

jams o donnell said...

I use a drill with wire hooks myself!