What’s the best way of getting the public to engage with science on social media? Talk about farting animals.
That’s the thinking behind the hashtag #DoesItFart, and it appears to be working.
Scientists are contributing to a Google Drive database of animals that fart, and the hashtag is courting interest around the world.
It all started when Dani Rabaiotti, a Phd student at Zoological Society London tweeted David Steen, an American ecologist, to ask him whether snakes fart.
Dozens of scientists followed Steen’s lead, tweeting about whether the animals they study also fart.
It prompted Nick Caruso, a University of Alabama Phd student to compile the list. He told Gizmodo:
“I figured the best way to find out if a particular animal farts would be to ask the people who spend the most time with them. Which includes people who study them, or maybe people who keep them at home, or just happened to hear one fart.”
For the record, a huge number of animals fart, including bats, rats, zebras, snakes and more. Oysters, mussels and crab do not.
Rabiaotti told the Washington Post: “’Does it fart?’ is one of most frequent questions zoologists receive from kids.”
It’s no surprise then that teachers are already planning lessons around the database of flatulence.