Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

The Pinnacle of Science

April 22nd, 2009 · 3 Comments

navelfluffA Viennese chemist solves a riddle that’s vexed mankind since time immemorial:

The hypothesis presented herein says that abdominal hair is mainly responsible for the accumulation of navel lint, which, therefore, this is a typically male phenomenon. The abdominal hair collects fibers from cotton shirts and directs them into the navel where they are compacted to a felt-like matter. The most abundant individual mass of a piece of lint was found to be between 1.20 and 1.29mg (n=503). However, due to several much larger pieces, the average mass was 1.82mg in this three year study. When the abdominal hair is shaved, no more lint is collected. Old T-shirts or dress shirts produce less navel fuzz than brand new T-shirts. Using elemental analysis, it could be shown that cotton lint contains a certain amount of foreign material, supposedly cutaneous scales, fat or proteins. Incidentally, lint might thus fulfill a cleaning function for the navel.

An essential navel fluff blog here. And Graham Barker’s legendary collection never ceases to amaze and delight.

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