Navel lint

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Green navel lint.

Navel lint, also called belly button lint, belly button fluff or navel fluff, is a collection of fluffy fibres in one's navel.


Many people find that, at the beginning and end of the day, a small lump of fluff has appeared in the navel cavity. People have wondered why this happens for many years. In 2001, Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki of the University of Sydney, Australia, did a survey to find out why this happens. This is what he found out:[1]

  • Navel lint is mostly stray fibers from one's clothing, mixed with some dead skin cells, and body hair.
  • Unlike what most people think, navel lint comes from a person's underwear and not from their shirts or tops. The fibres move there from friction of body hair on underwear.
  • Women have less navel lint because of their finer and shorter body hairs. Older men have it more because they have more hair and it is thicker.
  • Navel lint's color is usually blue-gray. The color is most likely an average of all clothing colors worn.[2]
  • Navel lint is entirely harmless and does not need to be corrected.

Dr. Kruszelnicki was awarded the Ig Nobel Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in 2002.[3] The Ig Nobel Prize is given for "achievements that cannot or should not be repeated".

Austrian scientist Georg Steinhauser has also done research on the navel lint.[4][5]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Fluff gazing". BBC News. 2001-12-11. 
  2. Graham Barker. "The Incredible World of Navel Fluff". Graham's Paddock.  – Barker is the Guinness world record holder for collecting Belly Button Fluff.
  3. Richard Macey (2002-10-05). "Not noble, but navel fluff study wins prize". Sydney Morning Herald.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. Sawer, Patrick (2009-03-01). "Revealed: The secrets of belly button fluff". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  5. Steinhauser, Georg (24 February 2009). "The nature of navel fluff". Medical Hypotheses. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2009.01.015. http://www.medical-hypotheses.com/article/S0306-9877(09)00047-4.

Other websites[change | change source]