Do you know what’s funny? The planet Uranus, sounds like “your anus”. This is funny because bums are the most hilarious part of the human body. They stick out, wobble and do poos; but the funniest thing they do is farts. A fart is where air comes out of a tight hole at the bottom of your body, and as it passes by the delicate skin of your bum-eye, everything vibrates and it makes a variety of different, amusing sounds. These can run the gamut of “giant, out of control motorbike” to “pig having its hoof stepped on”, sometimes even stretching to “earthworm getting caught in the mesh of a sub-woofer”. All are funny, though, that’s what I’m trying to say.
Also, guffs reek. They smell because the air that punches through your butt pocket has pushed itself past a chamber of dormant arse-torpedos, and picked up heinous particles to release into the laughter-filled atmosphere outside your pants. This air is also full of un-sexy gases that have built up in your intestine and stomach as a by-product of the chemical breakdown of baked beans. These outrageous gases also carry with them an evil stench. That’s why your grunts are pure grim, mate.
But back to Uranus (the planet). Some scientists well versed in the art of the whiff have discovered that Uranus actually smells exactly like the entire world wants it to: like big old furry wind-logs.
Mark Hofstadter, Planetary Scientist and blow-off expert at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told Gizmodo all about it:
“If we did bring a little bit of Uranus back home, we’d find a slew of molecules, both smelly and non-smelly, in its toxic air. Mostly, there would be hydrogen, helium and methane from the outermost layers of gas. But deeper inside are traces of other gases. There’s hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, methane, and carbon dioxide.”
But which ones give the planet its scandalous botty-burp scent?
“I think the smelliest things are probably... the hydrogen sulfide and the ammonia.”
Hydrogen sulfide is found in guffs, and is a consequence of food being broken down in the body. It’s what gives your dad his own-brand after-dinner eggy-woofters. It has the distinct aroma of rotten egg, and on Uranus, holds a very tiny concentration of around 0.8 parts per million, compared to your dad’s gutterally dense 5000 parts per million. Also, the hydrogen sulfide often forms heavy clouds in the planet’s atmosphere – so obviously due to the clustering, these big boys beef out a right tang.
The other stinky gas, ammonia, is even less concentrated on Uranus, with less than 100 parts per billion. Ammonia is what causes the offensive pong found in the ingredient that gives yellow snow its colour. Really though, it’s not as big a contender as hydrogen sulfide in forming Uranus’ pungent howl.
Mark Hofstadter, Planetary Scientist and fellow toot-wrangler at NASA’s Jet Propulsion (of course) Laboratory, mentions that other gas giants probably have the faint whiff of bum, too: “They’d smell similar but not as strongly. There’s more hydrogen and helium and less of the volatile mixture.”
So basically, loads of planets smell like bottom biscuits, with Uranus being one of the most violent contenders. That’s alongside Earth, of course – your dad’s unwavering dedication to that cause is utterly inspiring.