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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Three years of study yields secrets of belly button lint

Georg Steinhauser, an Austrian chemist, has devoted three years to examining 503 different "specimens". For his efforts, Steinhauser gets to boast of uncovering the mystery of why our navels produce belly button lint. One of his discoveries is that of a new kind of body hair that traps stray pieces of lint and then draws them "inward". And once there, Steinhauser learned, the excess particles of cotton wind up enveloped and embedded with dead skin, fat, sweat, and dust.

A biology teacher once told us that "scientists will study anything". After reading this story, I don't doubt it :-)