I Just Learned What the Bellybutton Is Attached To, And I Feel Ill

It's frankly a horror show.
Kypros via Getty Images

First, came the news that Lyle’s original Golden Syrup logo showed a rotting, bee-filled lion corpse.

Now, I find out that the belly button is attached to a completely unexpected part of the body ― frankly, I’m growing tired of learning about this cruel, gory world.

In a recent TikTok, anatomy teacher Josh Cottle Stitched a video from @dougweaverart.

In the original clip, the creator said that his wife had asked what the belly button is attached to ― so he decided to Google it.

“I thought, you know, it’s probably just attached to your abdominal wall, it probably doesn’t go any deeper than that,” the original creator said.

But nope ― they discovered that “there’s this thing called the urachus that attaches it to your bladder. Your belly button is directly attached to your bladder.”

What, sorry?

Yep! Your belly button is attached to your bladder ― and as Cottle adds on in his Stitch, “This is just the beginning.”

The anatomy teacher then explained that the urachas, a tube linking the bellybutton to the bladder, is a “remnant from the time you were a parasite ― you know, back when you were a foetus.”

Most of us know that the belly button links the umbilical cord to the baby, feeding it nutrients and oxygen via blood. The urachas is a holdover from this.

And that’s not all ― your urachus can sometimes re-open, causing urine to leak from your bellybutton (yes, seriously). This is known as patent urachas.

It gets even more terrifying

If you have endometriosis, a condition where womb lining grows outside the uterus, you may form some on the urachus ― causing you to effectively menstruate, or bleed, through your bellybutton.

This is known as umbilical endometriosis and can cause “cyclic pain, bleeding, and discharge from the navel area. It can also lead to painful menstruation.“

Also, “the urachus was not the only tube that was attached at the umbilicus” when you were a developing baby, Cottle explains.

The round ligament of the liver originally brought in nutrients and oxygen to a foetus’ body.

While both the urachus and the round ligament usually seal off, in rare cases, the round ligament can reopen if you have a condition called portal hypertension.

This can reverse your liver’s blood flow, leading to a condition called caput medusea ― this leads to a “visually disturbing” set of building, snake-like veins on the abdomen.

Err ― anything else?

Yep! Because of these connections, Cottle explains that poking someone in the bellybutton might cause a range of reactions.

Some may need to pee, due to the bladder link, he says; others will feel a twing under their ribs thanks to the liver connection.

There are also lots of nerves located along the urachas, so poking your navel can cause a “visceral, electric, unpleasant sensation” lower in your abdomen.

“If you’re among the lucky few, you might even get a pleasant tingling sensation even lower than that,” he says.

This world was written by David Cronenberg, I swear...


What is your belly button attached to? Things are about to get weird. 😁@dougweaverart #bellybuton #science #anatomyclass #todayilearned

♬ original sound - Josh Cottle