Crepitus was allegedly the Roman god of flatulence. He was usually depicted as a young child farting.
However, he's only allegedly so because there's controversy about whether the Romans recognized such a god, or whether Crepitus was the creation of early Christians trying to satirize pagan beliefs. According to Wikipedia,
there are references to Crepitus in ancient texts, but only in Christian works, not pagan ones.
image source: POOP Project
A toy gun that uses fart gas to "fire a toy missile into space" was patented by Michael Zanakis in 2000
To operate the assembly, the operator places the inlet tube with its valve open adjacent his anal region from which a colonic gas is discharged. The piston is then withdrawn to a degree producing a negative pressure to inhale the gas into the combustion chamber to intermix with the air therein to create a combustible mixture. The ignitor is then activated to explode the mixture in the chamber and fire the missile into space.
Zanakis argued that his toy wasn't just amusing but also offered safety benefits, because using it was safer than lighting your farts on fire:
A recreational activity practiced by some individuals is ignition of one's own flatus. This is performed by using a lit match or candle, or a cigarette lighter. So widespread is this activity that there are web sites on the Internet devoted exclusively to explaining proper lighting techniques.
A major drawback of this popular practice is that it usually involves the hazardous coupling of fire, combustible gases and inebriated participants. Reports of serious burns to body parts are not uncommon, this being especially true when the participants remove their clothing...
In view of the foregoing, the main object of this invention is to provide a safe toy which exploits the combustible properties of flatus to fire a toy missile into space.
If someone farts in an operating room, will he/she contaminate the room with germs? Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki and microbiologist Luke Tennent of Australia together devised an experiment to find out
[Tennent] asked a colleague to break wind directly onto two Petri dishes from a distance of 5 centimetres, first fully clothed, then with his trousers down. Then he observed what happened. Overnight, the second Petri dish sprouted visible lumps of two types of bacteria that are usually found only in the gut and on the skin. But the flatus which had passed through clothing caused no bacteria to sprout, which suggests that clothing acts as a filter.
Another source (below) claims that the 'colleague' who supplied the farts was, in fact, an eight-year-old boy:
Sydney Morning Herald - July 16, 2001
Incidentally, Dr. Kruszelnicki has been mentioned before on WU. See 'falling cats'
A toilet seat is never, ever going to resonate with "jewels."
Patented by Thomas Lloyd Hollister in 1939
. He called it a “gas receptor.” Basically, it was a fart collection bag. From the patent:
This invention relates to a device for receiving and storing gas formed by the digestion of foods. An object of the invention is the provision of a device for collecting and storing gas formed in the alimentary tract of the body and for absorbing liquids from the gases. Another object of the invention is the provision of a device for collecting and storing gas formed in the digestive tract, said device being removably suspended from the body and provided with a nipple having shielded perforations to permit gases to enter a storage chamber.
“An American Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing Monday morning after a passenger lit a match to disguise the scent of flatulence, authorities said.”
Springfield News-Leader - Dec 6, 2006
, a professor of nutrition at the University of Newcastle in Australia, has recently been making headlines for an article she wrote in The Conversation
in which she claimed that if you hold in a fart too long some of it will eventually come out your mouth:
Trying to hold it in leads to a build up of pressure and major discomfort. A build up of intestinal gas can trigger abdominal distension, with some gas reabsorbed into the circulation and exhaled in your breath. Holding on too long means the build up of intestinal gas will eventually escape via an uncontrollable fart.
To back up this claim she cites a 2010 article in the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences
, and this article does indeed say this:
Both H2 and CH4 are thought to be produced exclusively by anaerobic fermentation in the gut. These gases can then traverse the intestinal mucosa and be absorbed into the systemic circulation. Once in the circulation, the only known source of clearance of these two gases is via the lungs. One study found that the volume of H2 present in the bowel of ten normal subjects averaged 0.24 ml/min in the fasting state. This rate sharply increased upon instillation of lactulose, to a mean peak rate of 1.6 ml/min. It was found that 14% of total H2 produced was excreted via the lungs and that breath H2 excretion correlated well with total H2 production. Another much more physiological study of hydrogen production and excretion found that overall 58% of H2 is excreted in the breath.
However, it's hydrogen sulfide, H2
S, that makes farts smell, and according to the article, this isn't excreted in your breath: "Once in circulation, H2
S is excreted primarily by the kidneys as free or conjugated sulfate."
Patent awarded to Paul Bungo of Ambridge, Pennsylvania - July 20, 1971:
A principal object of the present invention is to provide a whisper seat for a toilet and which prevents sounds, made within a toilet bowl during a bowel movement, from being heard by other persons.
Another object is to provide a whisper seat which accordingly will eliminate the embarrassment to an occupant of a bath room that persons outside thereof have heard him during a bowel movement.
I can't imagine that this invention actually worked, because how would it stop the sound from coming out from between your legs?
If you're not eating your Thanksgiving meal alone today, it might be a courtesy to others to take one of Mr. Poincheval's gas-altering pills. They'll give your postprandial flatulence the delightful smell of chocolate. Available at pilulepet.com
. And they also have gas-altering pills for dogs! [via upi.com
Now that I know about this, I'll never view airplane travel in the same way again.