One of the main reasons the internet has become as popular as it is today, and why it continues to exist, is information. It is virtually the main and oftentimes the sole source of information for many of us.

And, if you’ve been on the internet long enough, you know that people online ask all of the most important questions that nobody ever needed to ask, but once somebody has asked them, we understand that we actually needed an answer.

An Imgur user by the nickname of TheGameMaker recently posted a thread of screenshots of two alleged aerospace engineers debating whether a fart would propel a person forward in zero gravity. The post, of course, piqued everyone’s interest and it went viral immediately.

It all started off with an Imgur user asking his aeronautics engineering friends a simple question

Image credits: TheGameMaker

Image credits: TheGameMaker

The simple question of “Can a fart propel you in zero-G?” quickly turned into a full-blown scientific journey

Image credits: TheGameMaker

Image credits: TheGameMaker

A number of variables were considered, like the person’s weight, fart expulsion speed, among many other factors

Image credits: TheGameMaker

Image credits: TheGameMaker

It didn’t take long for this mini science project to reach the internet where it went viral

Image credits: TheGameMaker

Image credits: TheGameMaker

Image credits: TheGameMaker

Based on their assumptions (and actual calculation), it turns out a person would travel 1 meter in 13.3 minutes

Image credits: TheGameMaker

Image credits: TheGameMaker

The comprehensive conversation assumed a number of variables—given the situation that a person is stuck in zero-G and needs to reach some graspable object, whereas said person weighs 90 kilograms, needs to travel 1 meter to reach the handlebar with the average fart expulsion speed and fart mass and whether drag comes into play, among many other things.

The duo did some calculating—not kidding, they took out sheets of paper explaining their calculations and everything—and came up with an approximate estimation of 800 seconds, or 13 minutes and 20 seconds, to cross a single meter in zero gravity conditions.

Here is a closeup of the calculations the two used to determine the distance covered using the force of the fart

Image credits: TheGameMaker

Image credits: TheGameMaker

Believe it or not, this question has been asked before. In an AMA post, former astronaut Chris Hadfield was asked about this and he said that he has tried it, but it was too muffled and joked about how it wasn’t the right type of propulsion nozzle.

The question also popped up in another subreddit, AskScience, where user VeryLittle, a nuclear physicist and moderator of the Physics subreddit, tackled it with an extensive answer. Given his assumptions, it led to the following results:

“The astronaut will now be traveling 7.7×10-6 m/s forward, which is only about 1,000× faster than hair grows. If an astronaut in space farted every day, it would take 10,000 years for him to get up to a normal highway speed.”

Astronauts also joke about this as, in theory, a fart does give out a minuscule amount of propulsion

Image credits: Get2Space

VeryLittle’s answer amounts to a significantly slower speed than that of the calculations provided by the two friends above, but the assumptions were different. Moreover, it doesn’t negate the fact that it is theoretically possible to gain speed through our internal natural propulsion system.

Now, if you loved this article, you’ll probably also want to read about a thread of facts on peeing and pooping in space. If not, why not give us your questions that the internet should answer next in the comments section below.

The science continued beyond this conversation in the form of comments…