Feeds

Why doesn't my belly button heal over?

Navel gazing

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Human navel gazing probably started with the Neanderthals 50,000 years ago and hasn’t stopped since. Our belly button does not heal over because there is nothing between it and our stomach except a few thin layers of skin.

The belly button is merely scar tissue of the umbilical cord where the cord has detached following birth. It is of no medical significance. Therefore, medical and anatomy texts pay it little or no attention.

Nevertheless, any animal that has been nourished in the womb must have a belly button, although it may not always be easily seen. According to Dr Edward Feldman of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis, "the scarring may be less obvious in some animals than in others, especially if it is covered by fur".

Where does belly button fuzz come from?

Belly button fuzz (or lint) comes from the clothes you wear. Some fabrics shed more than others. Some shapes of belly buttons are better collectors. A hairy belly button will collect fuzz better than a hairless one.

What is behind my belly button?

According to the punch line of an old joke: "If you unscrew your belly button, your bottom falls off." In reality, the umbilical vein comes from the afterbirth or placenta, which carries blood enriched with oxygen and nutrients to the developing baby.

The umbilical vein runs from the navel to the fetal liver and through a bypass vessel (the ducted venosus) to the fetal heart. After birth, the umbilical vein remains open for a time, but soon afterwards it closes and shrivels up to become a fibrous cord. It crosses the abdominal cavity in a fold of the abdominal wall lining forming the round ligament (the ligamentum teres). Sometimes things don't close as they should and an umbilical hernia develops.

Stephen Juan, Ph.D. is an anthropologist at the University of Sydney. Email your Odd Body questions to s.juan@edfac.usyd.edu.au

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.