In blind smell tests, scientists have confirmed that we truly do find the smell of our own farts more appealing than the farts of others. But it’s not because we’re all huge creeps.
As humans, we're more likely to prefer something that’s familiar to us - whether it’s a song, an old blanket, or a smell - than something that isn't. And because the bacterial population that’s responsible for producing our various smells is entirely unique from every other fart-producing bacterial population, our farts truly have a one-of-a-kind brand that our noses can differentiate.
So it makes sense that we’re not typically bothered by our own odours, but why is it so difficult to be around other people’s? “From an evolutionary perspective, a reaction of disgust to other people’s odour is likely our brain’s attempt to prevent us from doing harm to our own bodies,” says the latest episode of AsapSCIENCE, “specifically, interacting with sources of disease.” Think about it - most sources of bad odour aren’t particularly good for you, whether it’s excrement, rotting food, vomit, or milk past its use-by date. And the higher the risk that you could contract a disease from the source, the more intense your natural disgust levels with be.
But wait, does that mean farts can spread disease? The answer, unfortunately, is yes. Watch the latest episode of AsapSCIENCE above to find out how.