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Why do we pass gas? - Purna Kashyap


6,540 Questions Answered

TEDEd Animation

Let’s Begin…

Flatulence is a daily phenomenon. In fact, most human beings pass gas 10-20 times a day (yes, that includes you). Where does your bodily gas come from? Purna Kashyap takes us on a journey into the intestines, shedding light on how gas is made, which foods contribute most to its production...and why it stinks.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Music by Iasper.

Most people would think that having a lot of flatulence indicates that you are unhealthy, but in reality, it could indicate that you are extremely well balanced and fit! Read the NPR article: Got Gas? It Could Mean You’ve Got Healthy Gut Microbes and find out why! Watch this TED Ed lesson You Are Your Microbes to learn more about the microbes in your life!

Did you ever read the children’s book, “ Walter the Farting Dog?” Yes, indeed, many animals have flatulence! Read the Scientific America Blog: Dog Farts Part I and II. Learn about the dog jacket that captured flatulence for testing and what was discovered!  Are dog and human intestinal microbes similar? Would you volunteer to be the “Odor Judge” mentioned in the article?

Want to get in involved in Citizen Science? Click on this National Geographic link to learn how to participate in exploring the ecosystem found in the human digestive tract. Why might this be an important study, how could it benefit future generations? Any ideas? Join American Gut and find out.

The description, “silent but deadly,” takes on a whole new meaning after watching this educational video about why flatulence smells. Can you name all the gases that those friendly gut microbes produce in your intestines? Writer Mary Roach goes into more detail about digestion in her book: Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal and discusses it on this NPR audio link.

For more information on your gut flora and other microbes in your body, watch these TED Talks:

The Brain in Your Gut by Heribert Watzke:

Meet Your Microbes by Jonathan Eisen:

The Gut Flora: You and Your 100 Trillion Friends, Jeroen Raes:

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Purna Kashyap
  • Director Richard O'Connor
  • Animator Kristin Kemper, Taisiya Zaretskaya, Casey Drogin
  • Script Editor Addison Anderson
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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