QQs: Why Does Your Stomach Make Noises?
Our digestive systems seem to like making noise—especially when we most desperately do not want them to be making strange gurgling sounds. And I mean, even though stomach growling is probably one of the less offensive noises your guts can produce, it's still not something you want happening in the middle of a thoughtful pause during a job interview.
Now, you'd think that simply eating right before that important interview would avoid that problem. Because if you're not hungry, your stomach isn't going to growl, right? Well, it might help a little, but you could still be in for some awkward moments, because even though stomach rumbles do have something to do with hunger, that's not their immediate cause. Instead, those noises are caused by the movement of air through your digestive tract. And even though that air isn't actually escaping your body, it does create some distinctive acoustic effects.
Your digestive system moves things around using muscle contractions. Mostly, it's just trying to transport partially digested food, but in the process, air gets shifted around too, creating sound vibrations. In your stomach and small intestine, that air makes a noise that's sort of like when you blow bubbles through a straw in your drink—except that the bubbles are either moving up toward your stomach or down toward your...other end.
Hunger can make it worse, too. Being hungry can cause extra muscle contractions to flare up, because your digestive system has to clear out the remains of your last meal to prepare for the next round of food. When you eat, not only does that help calm down those contractions, but having some food in there also helps muffle the sound a little. But in the end, it doesn't really matter if you're hungry or not, because if your digestive system is active, it's gonna make noise. And like the rest of your bodily functions, there's not a whole lot you can do about it.
A big thanks to Sarah A., a supporter on Patreon, for asking us this question. If you'd like to submit questions to be answered or get these Quick Questions videos a few days early, check out patreon.com/scishow.
十分感謝 Sarah A.，Patreon 平台上的一位支持者，感謝她問我們這個問題。 如果你想提出有待解答的問題，或提早幾天看到這些快問快答影片，就到 patreon.com/scishow 看看吧。