• Question: why do farts smell? -especially my nans!!!

    Asked by sas6 to Daphne, Darren, Jon, Katherine on 21 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Daphne Ng

      Daphne Ng answered on 21 Mar 2012:

      Farts smell because they are made up of gases which are produced by bacteria in the intestines. Some if these gases have unpleasant smells e.g. hydrogen sulphide which smells of rotten eggs.

      Smell of farts is also affected by what we eat. Food containing sulphur compounds such as garlic tend to result in very unpleasant fart smells!

    • Photo: Katherine Haxton

      Katherine Haxton answered on 21 Mar 2012:

      Some of the worse smells come when people’s intestines can’t digest stuff properly. That produces a lot of gas! There are lots of compounds that cause the unpleasant smells – lots contain sulfur like Daphne says, but others contain nitrogen.The compounds that smell are a tiny percentage of farts – the majority is nitrogen or hydrogen, then carbon dioxide, oxygen and methane. None of those smell but one or two are flammable.
      No, before you ask, it’s not a good idea to try and light your farts.