Here's What's Been Living Inside Your Belly Button

To anyone who's ever had their ability to nurture questioned, science now offers an infallible retort in the form of your lush, thriving belly button growth.

The Belly Button Biodiversity (BBB), a group of scientists from North Carolina State University in Raleigh and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, wants to dispel the misconception that all bacteria is "bad bacteria," so naturally, they rounded up hundreds of scientists, students, and science bloggers to study the types of bacteria nestled deep within their navels.

BBB grew their collected samples and found that each belly button biosystem varies considerably from person to person. In total, they identified 2,368 different types of bacteria, and a whopping 2,188 of those were only found in less than 10% of the samples. But you can rest easy knowing that most of the strains were completely harmless.

The study remains silent on whether innies or outies offer the better home. More troubling still: the question of how that 10% managed to create an Eden of belly button fauna is left entirely to our imaginations. [New Scientist]

Image: Belly Button Biodiversity