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  • Our digestive systems seem to like making noise -- especially when we most desperately

  • do not want them to be making strange gurgling sounds. [gurgle]

  • And I mean, even though stomach-growling is probably one of the less offensive noises

  • your guts can produce, it’s still not something you want happening in the middle of a thoughtful

  • pause during a job interview.

  • Now, you’d think that simply eating right before that important meeting would avoid

  • that problem. Because if youre not hungry, your stomach isn’t going to growl, right?

  • Well, it might help a little, but you could still be in for some awkward moments.

  • Because even though stomach rumbles do have something to do with hunger, that’s not their immediate cause.

  • Instead, those noises are caused by the movement of air through your digestive tract. And even

  • though that air isn’t actually escaping your body, it does create some distinctive acoustic effects.

  • Your digestive system moves things around using muscle contractions. Mostly, it’s

  • just trying to transport partially digested food, but in the process, air gets shifted

  • around, too, creating sound vibrations.

  • In your stomach and small intestine, that air makes a noise that’s sorta like when

  • you blow bubbles through a straw in your drink -- except that the bubbles are either moving

  • up toward your stomach or down toward yourother end.

  • Hunger can make it worse, too. Being hungry causes extra muscle contractions to flare

  • up, because your digestive system has to clear out the remains of your last meal to prepare

  • for the next round of food.

  • When you eat, not only that does help calm down those contractions, but having some food

  • in there also helps muffle the sound a little.

  • But in the end it doesn’t really matter if youre hungry or not because if your

  • digestive system is active, it’s going to make noise. And like the rest of your bodily

  • functions, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it.

  • A big thanks to Sarah A, a supporter on Patreon, for asking us this question! If you’d like

  • to submit questions to be answered, or get these Quick Questions videos a few days early,

  • check out Patreon.com/SciShow.

Our digestive systems seem to like making noise -- especially when we most desperately

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Why Does Your Stomach Make Noises?

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    VoiceTube posted on 2015/06/02
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