Karl Kruszelnicki], popular Australian scientist/ radio presenter/ cool guy is conducting a survey on Belly Button lint.

Why is it almost always blue-ish? Why do people with pierced belly-buttons have little or no lint? What produces it and why?

The Survey has generated a huge amount of international interest - BBC, Canada TV & even New Scientist have taken up the challenge. .

Many people believe that the colour of Belly Button Lint is directly related to the colour of clothing - in particular, the colour of undergarments. (Check the colour of the lint in your clothes dryer - usually a shade of blue?)

Various people have Done The Experiment of wearing different colours of underwear - and most of the results that have come in agrees with the theory. But some do not...

Some brave souls have Done The Experiment of shaving a doughnut-shaped area around their belly-button. Practically all of them have found that this dramatically reduces the production of Belly Button lint. But not all...

We (think) we know how The Universe began, but we do not yet understand Belly Button Lint. Scientists and curious people around the world need your help... do the survey to add to the research!!

UPDATE

The results are in! According to the official website (http://www.abc.net.au/science/k2/lint), the following was discovered in the worldwide survey of almost 5000 people:

OLDER, HAIRIER MEN WITH 'INNIE' BELLY BUTTONS ARE MORE LIKELY TO HAVE BELLY BUTTON LINT.

To expand...

  • Older people have more lint than the whippersnappers, and men have more than women.
  • Lighter skinned people have lighter coloured lint. Skin type (dry, oily, etc), however, does not have an impact on the lint.
  • The amount of lint is affected by having too much, or not enough, hair around the belly button.
  • There's no link between the build of a person and their belly button lint.
  • Bellybutton rings can dramatically reduce, and even eradicate, a person's belly button lint.

In addition to discovering all this (which would be an award in itself!), Dr Karl was awarded an IgNobel Prize for the study.