As a scuba diver, there are some questions that you may feel too embarrassed to ask, but that does not make them any less important. One such question is, “Can you fart while scuba diving?” It may seem like a silly question, but it is a very valid concern that many divers have.
When it comes to farting while scuba diving, the short answer is yes, you can. However, it is important to understand that farting underwater is not the same as farting on land. Underwater, the gas released from your body will rise more slowly due to the surrounding pressure, which can lead to the gas being trapped in your wetsuit.
Table of Contents
- 1 Can Farting Affect Your Buoyancy?
- 2 How Does Depth Affect Farting During a Dive?
- 3 Does Farting in a Wetsuit Affect Buoyancy?
- 4 Farts Can Spread and Smell Worse Underwater
- 5 Does Farting Underwater Amplify the Sound? A Valid Concern
- 6 9 Tips to Minimize Your Chances Of Farting
- 6.1 1. Hit the Loo
- 6.2 2. Avoid Eating Foods that Cause Gas
- 6.3 3. Warm up Before You Dive
- 6.4 4. Take a Gas-Reducing Medication Beforehand
- 6.5 5. Keep Yourself Hydrated
- 6.6 6. Avoid Swallowing Air
- 6.7 7. No Tight-Fitting Wetsuits
- 6.8 8. Avoid Drinking Carbonated Drinks Before Dives
- 6.9 9. For Love’s Sake Do Not Unzip Your Wetsuit Around the Crew
- 7 Letting It Out Is Better than Holding It In
The Physics of Farting Underwater
To understand why farting underwater is different from farting on land, it is important to understand the physics of gases. When you fart, you release a mixture of gases, including nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and methane. These gases are less dense than water, which causes them to rise rapidly when released on land.
However, when you fart underwater, the surrounding pressure slows down the rise of the gas bubbles. The deeper you dive, the greater the pressure, which means that the bubbles will rise even more slowly. This can cause the bubbles to become trapped in your wetsuit, regulator, or other parts of your equipment.
What Happens if You Fart While Scuba Diving?
If you fart while scuba diving, there is no need to panic. The gas released from your body will simply rise more slowly and may become trapped in your equipment. While this can make you uncomfy, it is not inherently dangerous.
Also, there’s no need to be embarrassed, just laugh it off. Even your dive buddy probably secretly lets one or two out while you’re busy gawking at the fire corals.
However, if the gas released is significant enough, it may affect your buoyancy slightly. This is why it is important to understand the effects of farting on buoyancy when scuba diving.
Can Farting Affect Your Buoyancy?
Buoyancy is a critical aspect of scuba diving, as it allows divers to control their depth and movement underwater.
Maintaining neutral buoyancy is crucial for all divers as it helps conserve air, reduces the risk of decompression sickness, and allows divers to move around underwater more easily. Any significant change in buoyancy can become a risk.
Now, technically farting indeed affects your buoyancy underwater, but the impact of a single underwater fart on your neutral buoyancy is usually minimal and short-lived. When you fart while scuba diving, you release gas that is less dense than water. This causes the gas bubbles to rise, which can affect your buoyancy.
On average, a single fart contains around 90 milliliters of gas, which is not a significant amount when compared to the overall volume of a human body in water. Displacing such a small volume of gas is no big deal.
How Does Depth Affect Farting During a Dive?
The depth at which you are diving can affect how you fart underwater. As the depth increases, the pressure on your body also increases. This can cause the gas in your body to compress, making it harder to release. As a result, you may feel more gassy at depth but have a more challenging time farting. Farting underwater becomes an impossible task at depths greater than 25 feet (speaking from first-hand experience).
Conversely, when you ascend to shallower depths, the pressure on your body decreases, and the gas in your body expands. This can cause you to release gas more easily, which can be embarrassing if you are diving with others.
Does Farting in a Wetsuit Affect Buoyancy?
“Farting inside your wetsuit is dangerous !” is a common myth propagated in the diver community and I still don’t know why.
While farting inside your insulation suit can be a tad bit uncomfortable it has no associated danger.
Wetsuits are designed to trap a thin layer of water between the suit and the wearer’s skin. This layer of water provides insulation and creates buoyancy.
Farting in a wetsuit may release a small amount of gas, but this gas is unlikely to displace enough water to have a meaningful impact on buoyancy. The trapped gas eventually finds its way out through the orifices in your wetsuit.
Worrying about farting in a wetsuit may be counterproductive. Divers and swimmers who are focused on trying to hold in gas may end up holding or skipping their breath, which can increase the risk of shallow water blackouts and other dangerous situations. If you feel like farting just pass the gas without overthinking.
What About the Smell?
Does the Odor of Fart linger on Your Wetsuit for the rest of your dive session? Another valid concern! Well, it does stay for a few moments but the intensity of it is blown out of proportion.
While passing gas in a wetsuit may create an unpleasant odor, the smell typically does not stick to the wetsuit for a prolonged period and not for your entire dive duration.
Wetsuits are designed to be relatively odor-resistant, and the neoprene material that most wetsuits are made of does not absorb odors easily. In addition, the thin layer of water between the wetsuit and the diver’s skin helps to flush out any gases or odors that may be released.
Farts Can Spread and Smell Worse Underwater
While it’s a common belief that underwater farts smell worse than farts released in the air, this isn’t true. The intensity of your fart remains the same underwater as it would be on land.
However, there are a few factors that might make farts released underwater seem more pungent. One reason is the lack of air movement underwater, which means that the gases released from the fat can accumulate and stagnate in a more concentrated area.
To add to that, water can carry smells better than air, so the fragrance of your gas might travel further in the water than you think. So, always check around to make sure your dive buddy isn’t clearing their mask (and leaving their nose vulnerable) before passing gas.
Does Farting Underwater Amplify the Sound? A Valid Concern
Now, when we fart in the air, the sound we hear is caused by the vibration of our glute cheeks and the surrounding air. However, when we fart underwater, things get a little more interesting.
Water is denser than air, which means that sound waves travel faster and farther through water than through air. So, when we fart underwater, the sound waves produced by our fart can travel much farther than they would in the air. This can make the fart sound louder and more amplified.
Additionally, water is a much better conductor of sound than air, which means that sound waves can travel more efficiently through the water. So, even if the fart itself isn’t louder, it will sound more clear and more distinct to your dive buddy. Blaming the bubbles for your underwater acoustics won’t be of any help underwater.
9 Tips to Minimize Your Chances Of Farting
While you have no power to defy Mother Nature’s will, you can certainly take measures before your dive sessions to minimize the possibility. Some of these tips are based on first-hand experience so you better pay heed..
1. Hit the Loo
One of the best ways to reduce the possibility of farting underwater while scuba diving is by going to the bathroom before the dive. Emptying your bowels before the dive will reduce the gas in your body, making it less likely that you will fart underwater.
2. Avoid Eating Foods that Cause Gas
Certain foods are known to cause gas, such as dairy products, beans, broccoli, and lentils. Instead, opt for a light meal that is easy to digest.
3. Warm up Before You Dive
Stretching your legs, doing lunges, or doing yoga poses such as the downward-facing dog can be effective in reducing the possibility of farting underwater.
4. Take a Gas-Reducing Medication Beforehand
If you have a medical condition that causes excessive gas, pop a simethicone a few hours before the dive. Consult your doctor for advice on the best medication to take to reduce the possibility of farting underwater.
5. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Make sure to stay hydrated before and during the dive to prevent the buildup of gas in your intestines.
6. Avoid Swallowing Air
When you breathe rapidly, you tend to swallow more air, which can cause gas buildup in your stomach. Therefore, take slow, deep breaths to avoid swallowing air and reduce the possibility of farting underwater.
7. No Tight-Fitting Wetsuits
Wear snug-fitting wetsuits that let your body especially the stomach region be at ease and reduce the possibility of farting underwater.
8. Avoid Drinking Carbonated Drinks Before Dives
Carbonated drinks are known to cause gas, and drinking them before a dive can increase the possibility of farting underwater. Therefore, avoid drinking carbonated drinks before the dive, and opt for water or juice instead.
9. For Love’s Sake Do Not Unzip Your Wetsuit Around the Crew
If you do end up passing a butt sneeze or two do not make the mistake of getting out of your wetsuit after the dive when your dive buddies are around unless you want them to inhale the concentrated build-up of your wetsuit trapped fart. I made this mistake and never again!
Letting It Out Is Better than Holding It In
A fart is like success. It only bothers you when it’s not your own.
There’s no need to hold in your gas if you’re scuba diving. So go ahead, let it rip, and enjoy your underwater adventure to the fullest. And remember, if your dive buddy asks, blame it on the bubbles!