16 Belly Button Facts Everybody Should Know About Their Lint-Catcher

Diply 14 Feb 2018

Everybody has a belly button, so shouldn't we know more about them? Maybe we can start with the fact that, no, not everybody has a belly button. Sounds wrong, I know, but it's true. We'll get to that.

It's actually a pretty fascinating feature of the human body (and even some non-human bodies have them, too)! Who knew there was so much to know about belly buttons?

1. Most people have an innie. 

Reddit | ReactorFace

There's no clinical data on the number of outies versus innies in the world, but some surveys have found as little as 4% of respondents have outies.

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2. Pregnancy can turn an innie into an outie.

Imgur | KelseySnuffaluffagus

Or make it disappear altogether, which makes keeping your navel piercing a challenge. But don't worry, there are products designed to keep your piercing open even while your belly expands.

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3. Whether you end up with an innie or an outie is not a matter of your doctor's skill when removing the umbilical cord. 

Imgur | Flyovertimes

Basically, it's all about the space between the skin and the abdominal wall. If there's no space, the soft tissue will stick out, forming an outie.

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4. Not everybody has a belly button — including supermodel Karolina Kurkova.

Instagram | @karolinakurkova

And no, she's not a secret clone or anything. Mind you, she also hasn't explained her lack of navel, but she's entitled to her privacy. However, some medical conditions, such as an umbilical hernia, can lead to people being born without belly buttons. Many of Karolina's pics have had belly buttons photoshopped in.

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5. Belly button lint is more of a male problem.

Wikimedia Commons | Wikimedia Commons

Belly hair collects fibers from shirts and directs it to the navel throughout the day, where it collects and builds up into lint. Shaving the hair prevents the lint from collecting.

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6. There is a Guinness World Record for the biggest collection of belly button lint. 

Graham's Paddock | Graham's Paddock

Graham Becker owns that record because he has been collecting his navel fluff daily since 1984. When asked why anyone would want to do such a thing, he invariably replies, "Why not?"

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7. Humans aren't the only animals with belly buttons. 

Imgur | TysonJJarrett

All mammals that give birth with a placenta can have belly buttons. In some animals, however, they show up as bumps or just fade away over time.

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8. Belly button piercings take a long time to heal fully.

Twitter | @moaningmoff

It might look healed after a few weeks, but it can take a year for a navel piercing to heal all the way, and of course all that bacteria makes avoiding infection particularly tricky.

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9. Navel-gazing is a real thing that groups of people have practiced throughout history to help with meditation.

Wikimedia Commons | Wikimedia Commons

The proper word for it comes from the Greek language: omphaloskepsis. An obscure monastic order called the Hesychasts, for example, stared at their navels to "induce a hypnotic reverie."

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10. In 2012, researchers studying belly buttons found 1,458 species of bacteria that "may be new to science" by swabbing the navels of just 60 people. 

Imgur | butthesuniseclipsedbythemoon

One person harbored bacteria that had previously only been seen in soil in Japan, where that person had actually never been.

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11. That same study also found that everybody has a blend of belly button bacteria that's completely unique to them.

Reddit | Reddit

Your navel germs are like your fingerprints — 100% yours, and yours alone.

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12. Scientists have made cheese using bacteria taken from belly buttons.

Science Gallery | Science Gallery

When you move beyond being grossed out, it was a fascinating undertaking — using people's own unique bacteria to express themselves as cheese.

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13. Some surgeons insert breast implants through the patient's belly button.


It's not the easiest way to do it, but hey, the belly button is already a scar, right? Whatever works, I guess.

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14. The sexiness of belly buttons has created controversies in the past.

Facebook | Britney Spears

Execs on I Dream of Jeannie wouldn't let Barbara Eden show her navel on the show. In the '90s, teenagers tried to copy Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera by baring their midriffs in crop tops, but the style was quickly banned by school dress codes.

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15. Some people are concerned about the attractiveness of their belly buttons, so they get plastic surgery to fix it.


The procedure is called umbilicoplasty, and it can be performed on its own or as part of a tummy tuck.

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16. In fact, attractive belly buttons are popular in the fetish community. 

Twitter | @FenayBeck

In 2012, belly buttons were the second most popular fetish search on Google. So, um, do with that what you will.

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