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Scientists have discovered the secret to why feces don't sink in water

Why feces do not sink in water. Source: Unsplash.com

Have you ever wondered why feces sometimes sink in water and sometimes float to the top? It used to be thought that it was all about the breakdown of fats, but now scientists have discovered that it's all about gases. Back in the 1970s, it was discovered that an excessive amount of methane makes it possible for feces not to sink.

Nagarajan Kannan, director of the Stem Cell and Cancer Biology Laboratory at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, USA, decided to look into this topic further and told the BBC about his findings. It turned out that methane production is influenced by the intestinal microflora, which is affected by many factors, such as diet, smoking, stress, and medications.

Scientists have discovered the secret to why feces don't sink in water

Kannan and his colleagues studied the droppings of mice that had been raised in sterile conditions. Their intestines were completely free of microbes, so the experiment had to be accurate. The feces of the sterile mice immediately sank to the bottom, while 50% of the excrement of those with their own microflora in the intestines floated in the water for some time.

"Without microbes, feces are filled with submicroscopic undigested food particles and have a higher density than feces with microbes," Kannan put forward the theory.

The researchers then transplanted the gut bacteria into sterile mice. After that, their feces also began to float. The researchers performed the same procedure, transplanting bacteria from humans, and got the same result.

Scientists have discovered the secret to why feces don't sink in water

After conducting a genetic analysis, Kannan noticed that the "floating" feces were dominated by the bacterium Bacteroides ovatus, which ferments carbohydrates and causes excessive flatulence.

Earlier, OBOZ.UA wrote that the pilot told where the feces from the plane disappear during the flight. The fact that they fall on people's heads is a myth.

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