Naval Gazing

Naval fluff amazes me. ‘Why?’ ‘How?!’ Lately I’ve been able to present my girlfriend with some pretty hefty blue balls of lint thanks to a new T-shirt of mine – she’s not so enthusiastic. I started to get less mysterious about it when I realised it nearly all came off my T-shirt. Bright blue shirt – bright blue fluff. Easy.

But according to Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki (an evil supervillian’s name if ever I heard one) and his ‘systematic survey’ I’m wrong! Based out of the University of Sydney in Australia, his findings, amongst many, were that ‘contrary to expectations’ navel lint appears to migrate upwards from underwear rather than downwards from shirts or tops due to frictional drag of body hair on underwear.

This sir, I will not swallow and hopefully you will join me in petitioning for the return of his 2002 Ig Nobel Prize for Interdisciplinary Research. However one of my favourite statements on the matter is this:

‘The most disturbing story to emerge from the survey concerned a woman who used her brother’s electric toothbrush to clean her exposed belly button, causing him to develop a fungal infection in his mouth. ‘

Possibly a contributing factor to why hairless women don’t get naval fluff.

I’m also quite willing to accept his theory that ‘Navel lint’s characteristic blue-gray tint is likely the averaging of the colours of fibres present in clothing; the same colour as clothes dryer lint.’

Clever guy.
So let’s compare one time-wasting, resource-hogging layabout with another. How long can one man (almost exclusively apparently) play around in their belly button? According to Graham Barker, 25 years and counting. Finally someone from the street who’s actually on the frontline of this matter!

The depth of Graham’s blog and his personal research is almost nauseating.

But even Barker admits, ‘…that there were still mysteries surrounding the origins of belly button fluff.‘ Added with the fact that his website has been garnered with ‘useless site of the week’ I persevered. A personal highlight is his ‘2005-7 fluff displayed as a stereo pair’ (Best enjoyed using the 3D cross-eye method).

Actually, on even further inspection the extra-curricular activities of this obsessive, beard hording, God-fearing hospital worker is becoming increasingly amazing in my expectations.

To conclude, Graham proverbially rams the Ig Noble prize down Dr. Kruszelnicki’s throught when he states:

‘The fluff I collect is always the same colour… I almost never wear red clothing, so where does the red fluff come from?’

To learn more on this subject see Graham’s research or ask in at any well stocked haberdashers.