11 AUG 2020

Something smelly

The science and history of farts

Since the last episode Anton has turned 10 so as a little treat and a sign of his new levels of responsibility he selected the topic for this show. It’s fun and maybe a tiny bit rude but still full of science, facts and history!

Thank yous!

A big thank you to Curious Uncle Steve (sounds dodgy but he is actually Anton’s uncle. Honest!) for the artwork above.

We'd also like to thank the A Flatpack History of Sweden podcast for their lovely birthday message for Anton. Check out their great podcast and I love the charm of the episode artwork!

And finally, go listen to Smart Enough to Know Better. They recently celebrated 10 years and we were honoured to have them answer out question. They’re an amazing podcast and one of the ones that inspired Anton and myself to start our own. We pale in comparison though!

On with the show...


We hold our noses tight and learn all we can about flatulence. How is it made? Why does it smell? And who is Matshishkapeu?

Men generally fart more than women with most people farting 15 - 25 times a day - that's 0.6 - 1.8 litres of gas! However some men do it 50 times a day!

University of New South Wales in Australia

An old story from Morocco tells that farting in a mosque could kill or even blind any angels present. They’d mark the spot with a pile of stones to trap the spirit. Are these stone pillars all around the coast protecting Guernsey?

Call it an insatiable curiosity about the human condition, call it a Freudian anal fixation, call it what you will, but I, for one, am not willing to let the matter rest there. So in the interests of sharing the fruits of my intellectual labours, I present for you some thoughts on farts.

Kirsten Bell, anthropologist, not the actress!

Matshishkapeu is a powerful spirit of the Innu people of north east Canada. Every time someone released a little gas translators would be called to tell the other tribes people what had been said. Matshishkapeu itself literally means ‘farting man’ and he’s one of very few positive associations with farting.

Futher reading