Scientists Created an Animal Flatulence Database

It started with the Twitter hashtag “#DoesItFart”

Photo: iStock

Scientists—the smart men and women behind particle physics, a cure for polio, and the theory of evolution—unveiled this week their latest breathtaking discovery: a Twitter hashtag letting people know which animals fart.

According to the Telegraph, it started after a PhD student asked her Twitter followers whether snakes were capable of letting one rip (they are). Soon enough there was a bustling Twitter hashtag "#DoesItFart," offering a myriad of opinions on which animals were prone to producing flatulence.

The hashtag eventually evolved—as science dictates things so often do— into a Google spreadsheet filled with fart facts on over 60 animals. A quick glance at that fart compendium will show, for instance, that rats and zebras fart while oysters and parrots apparently do not.

While a database of animal farts is chock-full of inherent comedic value, the Washington Post argues it has scientific benefit, too. For starters, cow farts contribute considerably to climate change. The spreadsheet is also capturing the attention of children and anyone else interested in farts and engaging them in something scientific.

"When scientists can present these seemingly silly facts, it invites people to be part of what we know and to find out what we don't, which enables us to show how science works," said Cassandra Raby, a researcher with the Zoological Society of London.

Twitter has also begun studying animal vomit with a hashtag you could probably guess: