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The Wild Life of Your Bellybutton
February 1, 2011 9:01 AM   Subscribe

Ever wondered what microorganisms live in your belly button?

According to the Wild Life of Your Body site from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science: These do!.

Bonus question: Ever wondered what microorganisms live on Lady Gaga?
posted by Potomac Avenue (44 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
No.
posted by thinkpiece at 9:07 AM on February 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


Before having read anything, I must say this take navel gazing to a whole new level! ت
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 9:10 AM on February 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Was a naval doctor a coauthor?
posted by zippy at 9:23 AM on February 1, 2011


No.

How did I know that would be the first comment in here?

No, no, that one's a rhetorical question too. You don't have to answ— oh, never mind, suit yourselves....
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:28 AM on February 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Body shots anyone?
posted by Kabanos at 9:30 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


My belly button joins Poplar and Oldham on the list of "Things A Gentleman Could Find Out What Lives There But Chooses Not To."
posted by Jofus at 9:30 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, but now that you mention it...
posted by Philofacts at 9:32 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hell, in a lot of cases I'm sure we are talking macro-organisms.

In high school there was this one great big guy whose special trick was that he could fit three peanut M&M's in his navel. Three. Peanut.

Then he'd eat them.
posted by hermitosis at 9:35 AM on February 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


My ex wife worked in a couple of high end resort spas. She swore off public hot tubs after that. And you know those fancy "European" hot mud baths? How often do you think they change the mud?

That being said, we are exposed to all kinds of stuff all the time and we expose others to what we carry, so don't lose any sleep over it. Tonight. As you feel your belly button start to itch.
posted by Xoebe at 9:35 AM on February 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


i'd love a magic school bus tour of my belly button.
posted by anya32 at 9:35 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


My bellybutton -- no. Lady Gaga -- yes.
posted by kyrademon at 9:36 AM on February 1, 2011


I wonder if this could be made into a variation of The Genographic Project. Analyze the microbial DNA and then we could map the migratory patterns of belly button bacteria!
posted by Kabanos at 9:38 AM on February 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't have a belly button. I had it removed because of a hernia at the age of 5. Now I tell the kids "This is what happens when you dont clean the house". If need be I can always use it to rob liquor stores because whenever I go to the pool or beach, people seem really intimidated that I dont have a belly button. What I'm trying to say is, I laugh in the face of bacteria.
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 9:40 AM on February 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


This post is particularly relevant for me, as Lady Gaga lives in my belly button. Yeah, she parties up in there real good, feasting on lint and voiding dance-pop hits as waste products.

People ask me how we began co-existing in this symboitic relationship, and why I am standing in their garden naked, save for a pair of wellington boots. It's an interesting story, actually: it all began when I was watching a Lady Gaga video on the television one time. Seven days later, I received a spooky phone call - from Pink, who asked why I wasn't watching HER music videos any more. I guess I've just gotten sick of her monochromatic angsty power-pop - I dunno. Anyway, then the TV switched on again and Lady Gaga crawled right out in front of me!

Unfortunately, in my shock at this strange happening, I tripped and fell over right on to Lady Gaga - and she was rammed, head-first, up my belly button! I went to a reputable hospital, but they couldn't remove her - and by this time the pain, for both of us, was intense. Suddenly someone suggested shrinking her down to microscopic size. We did that, and she realised that she quite liked living in my belly button, free from the constant intrusions of the press.

However, the shrink ray also shrank off all my clothes! So, on the way back from the hospital, I broke into your back garden, and put on these wellington boots that I found, as my feet were cold.

And now that we've cleared that up, I will be on my way.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 9:52 AM on February 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


Now, let's see what I got.

A cornflake. Stale. I don't even eat cornflakes.

Some blue fluff. No, wait, grey. No, hold on, that's just the light. It is blue.

A hair. Make that two hairs.

No bacteria, though. And trust me, I looked pretty damn hard.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:03 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had my belly button replaced with a zipper.
posted by AugustWest at 10:06 AM on February 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nothing's clean, do what you can, move on.
posted by aerotive at 10:08 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, for health reasons, body shots should be strong enough to act as a disinfectant?
posted by mhoye at 10:11 AM on February 1, 2011


people seem really intimidated that I don't have a belly button

You should read Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. One of the main characters was born without a belly button. People were really freaked out in the book, as well, by this.
posted by kozad at 10:21 AM on February 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Gram Positive and Gram Negative were originally "Innie Bugs" and "Outie Bugs" before Pasteur cleaned up the nomenclature.
posted by benzenedream at 10:23 AM on February 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


hermitosis: "Hell, in a lot of cases I'm sure we are talking macro-organisms.

In high school there was this one great big guy whose special trick was that he could fit three peanut M&M's in his navel. Three. Peanut.

Then he'd eat them
"

Hello again, lunch.
posted by Splunge at 10:25 AM on February 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, there is that guy who can fit $7.50 in quarters in his belly button. I suppose that those are not alive, but still. I tried and only got $0.30 in dimes in there. I may have been drinking.
posted by betty botter at 10:54 AM on February 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I always get nervous digging around in there when cleaning it. I worry I'm going to puncture my stomach.
posted by cashman at 11:02 AM on February 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't know my SF binomial nomenclature as well as I should, so cut to the chase and tell me if any of them are facehuggers.

WARNING: GROSS STORY ALERT!!! I once had a tick take up residence in my bellybutton, it was quite painful and unpleasant for many reasons, but the fact that I didn't know what was wrong with my abdomen being the predominant reason. It finally gorged itself to the point where it exploded and caused blood to start running out of my navel. I happened to be at work when this happened and left in a hurry with little explanation to my coworkers and a terrified expression on my face. That car ride home, where I wasn't sure whether I was going to have a small alien in the car with me or if I would be holding my intestines in at the next stoplight was quite traumatic. I got home and managed to clean up and find no signs of extraterrestrial life in my abdomen except for the deflated carcass of the tick. I am now very conscientious of keeping my belly button clean. Long story short: nature is quite horrifying and your mom was right, you should wash all your major crevices regularly. END GROSS STORY

Hey, look! Kittens in a milk crate!
posted by 1f2frfbf at 11:04 AM on February 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


I don't have a belly button. I had it removed because of a hernia ...

You're not the only one:
Karolina Kurkova's Missing Bellybutton Explained (PHOTOS)
posted by Kabanos at 11:07 AM on February 1, 2011


Thanks mom, now I'm a super model and don't give me that shit that you think I'm a super-duper model.
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 11:13 AM on February 1, 2011


Thanks 1f2frfbf, I'm gonna go cry now.
posted by cashman at 11:16 AM on February 1, 2011


Hey, look! Kittens in a milk crate!

Wow, that really did take the edge off, both from your gross story and the frustrating lack of analysis on the petri dishes in the original link.

Next time I show my students a video of a laryngoscopy at 8am with no warning whatsoever, I should probably queue up some kittens as well.
posted by Maximian at 11:16 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ever wondered what microorganisms live in your belly button?

Not until 1f2frfbf's story was seared into my brain.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:29 AM on February 1, 2011


The most amazing thing about my bellybutton is that it still exists at 34 weeks pregnant. It was pretty deep to begin with, you could totally have hidden any number of things in there - though I never actually did so. Mostly because the inside of bellybuttons smells really weird.

I can't possibly explain why I know that.
posted by sonika at 11:53 AM on February 1, 2011


Even the organisms in Charlie Sheen's belly button can't survive The Sheen's lifestyle.
posted by stormpooper at 12:02 PM on February 1, 2011


Bacteria Thrive in Inner Elbow; No Harm Done
posted by Burhanistan at 12:40 PM on February 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: Holding my intestines in at the next stoplight.
posted by empatterson at 12:53 PM on February 1, 2011


I don't know how much money I could get into my belly button (a lot, it's big) but the stories remind me of when my friend's 5-year-old son came and showed her his penis. He seemed perfectly happy and relaxed, but the end of his penis was flat and round, as if it had been flattened with a hammer. She freaked out. Turns out he'd put a nickel in his foreskin.

I love that story. I don't know why.
posted by not that girl at 1:24 PM on February 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


Half the weight on my pillow: mites?? Head spins. (That'll show them)
I think I need a whiskey.
(Should make the crowd inside happy, too)
posted by Namlit at 1:54 PM on February 1, 2011


When staph colonized me, the first abscesses showed up in my belly button. (Not MRSA, but still a shitty experience, compounded by doctors who misdiagnosed the boils for months.)

Eventually, having found a doctor who diagnosed it properly and gave appropriate advice regarding treatment, I managed to decolonize myself of the fuckers. Ever since then, I clean my belly button thoroughly while showering. And I wash my hands obsessively.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 1:59 PM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I refuse to read this link, or indeed, even this thread. Yet I have been covered in other people's shit, piss and vomit (I'm a mother, natch). Odd how each of us have our own achille's heels.
posted by saucysault at 5:04 PM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think we can all admit that after reading 1f2frfbf's story, we did a thorough belly-button check.
posted by HotPants at 5:13 PM on February 1, 2011


I don't have a belly button.

Pics or it didn't happen.
posted by Scientist at 7:46 PM on February 1, 2011


Is there a doctor out there who could get me that smooth-hernia belly-button look. I like to freak people out. ...or maybe I'd like to not have wee organisms living in my belly-button, and I'm just trying to act cool about how icked out I feel after looking at those petri-dish images...
posted by dabitch at 8:34 PM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


had one acquaintance whi had such a deep bells button that she often put a marigold or a carnation in it. She was very skinny. Used to bike around town all the time with her boy friend.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 3:08 AM on February 2, 2011


I was sort of hoping this thread would be full of stories about how people can't wash their belly buttons with their husband or wife in the room, as it would destroy the mystery in their relationship.

I have a huge scar right next to my belly button. When I was 18 some friends and I were (stoned and) gathered around a bonfire, having a competition to see who had the best belly button. Naturally, I won, and Jon leaned in for a closer look, using his lit cigarette as a light source. Mistakes were made, and I ended up with a burning cigarette stuck to my belly.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 5:18 AM on February 2, 2011


Best use of 'more inside' so far.
posted by Dr. Boom at 6:42 PM on February 2, 2011


got to flag this as hilarigross
posted by Namlit at 2:36 AM on February 3, 2011


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