October 25, 2010

The Champion of Belly Button Lint: Graham Barker

Belly buttons were invented so that lint would have a place to hang out. Wait, that can't be right... *shuffles papers* Here we are: Scientists have studied belly button lint, and here are some results of their very important research:

Solent News & Photos
Belly button lint is made of dust, dried sweat, fat, dead skin, and bits of fabric, usually cotton.
—Hairy people collect more lint than anyone else.

Which brings me to an Australian librarian named Graham Barker. He is in the Guinness Book of Records for collecting more belly button lint (or “fluff”) than any human. Right now, Graham is 45, and he harvests the lint in his belly button every day. And he’s been doing this since he was 19! Why? Here's what he says:
[I] became curious as to how much of it one person can produce. I decided the only way to find out was to collect it for a while and see . . . That's all there was to it . . . just simple curiosity.”
Solent News & Photos
And that curiosity has led to a great breakthrough for the human race! Yes, thanks to Graham, we now know that thermal underwear (or “long underwear”) gives us more bellybutton lint than any other clothing. Yes!

Best of all, the lint never decomposes or stinks. This is handy, since Graham actually SELLS his jars of bellybutton lint. Who would buy it? A museum, of course. This is historic lint!

Graham says, “[Most people] are amused or surprised that such a collection exists. A few, usually women, recoil in mock horror, thinking that lint from a navel is really gross.”

Like the athletes who will poop their pants to win, Graham is a true champion: “I will stop collecting when I'm no longer physically capable.” But he is aware that it is, after all, only lint, adding, “If my belly stopped producing lint tomorrow I might feel surprised but not disappointed.”
Story from the Daily Mail.

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