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The Incredible World of Navel Fluff

Graham Barker of Perth, Western Australia, is a navel fluff enthusiast. Navel fluff, you ask? Yes, it's that lint that accumulates in the belly button, discovered only during moments of deep self-reflection, and often leading to difficult questions like, "Why is it blue?" and "Is this much fluff normal?" and finally "Why am I even thinking about this?" Well, Barker has made a twenty-year hobby of collecting, studying, and cataloguing his fluff, and his navel fluff collection is truly a thing to behold. Here's a picture of his "priceless collection":

And here's just a sample of Barker's discussion on the navel fluff phenomenon:

Those with hairy stomachs tend to generate more fluff, as abdominal hair is alleged to assist with dislodging fibres from clothes then collecting and channelling them into the navel. Also those with larger bellies often experience greater volumes of fluff - possibly due the tendency of large stomachs to possess deeper navels, thus a larger space for the lint to lodge in.

But how does it accumulate in the navel? Dr Donald E. Smith remarks that navels may possess a moist and sticky secretion that catches whatever lands nearby. On the other hand, Dr Bhupendar S. Gupta, whose doctorate is in the study of textile fibres, attributes the accumulation of navel fluff to the stomach's "microclimate" - where the flow of air between clothing and the abdomen carries small lint particles that get lodged in the navel.

Probably the best investigation into navel fluff was conducted by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki of the University of Sydney. He devotes a whole chapter to it in his popular science book "Q&A With Dr K" (Harper Collins Publishers 2001). ...

Seriously, people. Go read all about this. There's a whole world of research and theory involved -- although, admittedly, much of it is generated by Barker himself. See also: Barker's page of classic comments, history of fluff, and his appearance on The Tonight Show. And if that's not enough for you (perhaps you're an "outtie" who cannot collect much fluff), witness Barker's collection of beard trimmings.

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Take a Rare Glimpse Inside the World's Largest Seed Reserve
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Getty

Since 2008, the remote Arctic island of Spitsbergen has been home to the world’s largest seed storage facility, known as the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

The 11,000-square-foot facility contains nearly 865,000 seed samples—many of which are crops—and functions as both a reserve in the event of a catastrophe and as a backup for other seed banks around the world. Countries can send samples for preservation and access the reserves as needed (the effort is funded by Norway in conjunction with the organization Crop Trust). The vault was opened for the first time last year in light of the destruction caused by the Syrian War.

Access to the fault is notoriously limited, but AJ+ has a glimpse inside on its YouTube page. It’s a rare look at a place that isn’t known for its looks, but holds some of the planet’s most beautiful and valuable offerings.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]

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This Infographic Explains the Difference Between Perfume and Eau de Toilette
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iStock

Ever wondered why you can't smell the perfume you dabbed on earlier this morning? Maybe it's because you aren't actually wearing perfume. Instead, you likely applied eau de toilette, cologne, or another type of fragrance.

These sprays contain different concentrations of fragrance oil dissolved in solutions of alcohol and water. Scents with a heavier amount of oil are stronger, they're more expensive, and they also last for longer periods of time. Even the most discerning shopper might not know whether to opt for parfum or eu de parfum when perusing bottles of Chanel No. 5 at the fragrance counter—or even realize there's a difference. 

If you'd prefer to smell like a few roses instead of a field of them, it's handy to know the difference between perfume, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, cologne, and eau fraiche when you're out shopping for a new scent. Lifehacker recently ran this handy infographic by Real Men Real Style, which breaks down the strength of each fragrance along with how long it lasts. Use it as a guide to purchase the perfect product for you.

[h/t Lifehacker]

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