The Reason Why Airplanes Make You Gassy and How to Prevent It

PRImageFactory/iStock via Getty Images Plus
PRImageFactory/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Travelers who deboard airplanes may feel relieved to be out of a cramped cabin and away from the bad in-flight movie. But sometimes there’s still a bit of physical discomfort as some passengers report feeling bloated or having to pass gas after a flight. Here’s the reason why.

Post-flight flatulence, which is sometimes playfully described as HAFE, or High-Altitude Flatus Expulsion, is triggered by simple physics. When we’re on board airplanes, the air pressure decreases as altitude increases. Because we have air in the bowel—and more of it depending on the gases produced by foods we eat or air we swallow—the lowered pressure means those gases expand, creating a need to release them via the reliable method of farting.

Going from low to high altitudes quickly may also prevent carbon dioxide from dissolving in the bloodstream and causing it to diffuse in the bowel, leading to increased gastrointestinal pressure. (This was verified in a 2013 study in which Australian scientists drove subjects up a mountain resort to an altitude of about 5900 feet. Farts nearly doubled compared to flatulence experienced prior to the ascent and were present even 11 hours following the trip. Another example of science working for everyone.)

As for why gas seems to feel a bit more uncomfortable after getting off a flight, you can thank cramped cabins. Being seated for too long can trap air in the bowel. By the time you’re off the plane, you might feel a bit overstuffed.

If post-flight flatulence is an issue, it’s best to avoid gas-causing foods like broccoli and beans as well as carbonated beverages. Some physicians even recommend avoiding foods that fall under the FODMAP, or Fermentable Oligo-, Di, Mono-saccharides And Polyols, list. That means milk, yogurt, certain vegetables, and artificial sweeteners.

The most important tip? Get up and walk. In addition to keeping gas from getting trapped, you’ll avoid complications from sitting too long, like deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, a blood clot that forms in the legs and can lead to pulmonary embolisms.

[h/t MSN]

Amazon’s Big Fall Sale Features Deals on Electronics, Kitchen Appliances, and Home Décor


If you're looking for deals on items like Keurigs, BISSELL vacuums, and essential oil diffusers, it's usually pretty slim pickings until the holiday sales roll around. Thankfully, Amazon is starting these deals a little earlier with their Big Fall Sale, where customers can get up to 20 percent off everything from home decor to WFH essentials and kitchen gadgets. Now you won’t have to wait until Black Friday for the deal you need. Make sure to see all the deals that the sale has to offer here and check out our favorites below.



- BISSELL Lightweight Upright Vacuum Cleaner $170 (save $60)

- Dash Deluxe Air Fryer $80 (save $20)

- Dash Rapid 6-Egg Cooker $17 (save $3)

- Keurig K-Café Single Coffee Maker $169 (save $30)

- COMFEE Toaster Oven $29 (save $9)

- AmazonBasics 1500W Oscillating Ceramic Heater $31 (save $4)

Home office Essentials


- HP Neverstop Laser Printer $250 (save $30)

- HP ScanJet Pro 2500 f1 Flatbed OCR Scanner $274 (save $25)

- HP Printer Paper (500 Sheets) $5 (save $2)

- Mead Composition Books Pack of 5 Ruled Notebooks $11 (save $2)

- Swingline Desktop Hole Punch $7 (save $17)

- Officemate OIC Achieva Side Load Letter Tray $15 (save $7)

- PILOT G2 Premium Rolling Ball Gel Pens 12-Pack $10 (save $3)

Toys and games


- Selieve Toys Old Children's Walkie Talkies $17 (save $7)

- Yard Games Giant Tumbling Timbers $59 (save $21)

- Duckura Jump Rocket Launchers $11 (save $17)

- EXERCISE N PLAY Automatic Launcher Baseball Bat $14 (save $29)

- Holy Stone HS165 GPS Drones with 2K HD Camera $95 (save $40)

Home Improvement


- DEWALT 20V MAX LED Hand Held Work Light $54 (save $65)

- Duck EZ Packing Tape with Dispenser, 6 Rolls $11 (save $6)

- Bissell MultiClean Wet/Dry Garage Auto Vacuum $111 (save $39)

- Full Circle Sinksational Sink Strainer with Stopper $5 (save $2)

Home Décor


- A Christmas Story 20-Inch Leg Lamp Prop Replica by NECA $41 save $5

- SYLVANIA 100 LED Warm White Mini Lights $8 (save 2)

- Yankee Candle Large Jar Candle Vanilla Cupcake $17 (save $12)

- Malden 8-Opening Matted Collage Picture Frame $20 (save $8)

- Lush Decor Blue and Gray Flower Curtains Pair $57 (save $55)

- LEVOIT Essential Oil Diffuser $25 (save $5)

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100 Fascinating Facts About Earth

The best Spaceball.
The best Spaceball.

Did you know that there’s a place in the South Pacific Ocean called Point Nemo that’s farther from land than any other point on Earth? So far, in fact, that the closest humans are usually astronauts aboard the International Space Station. (And by the way: The map you’re about to look for Point Nemo on might not be entirely accurate; a certain amount of distortion occurs when trying to depict a 3D planet on a 2D surface.)

In this all-new episode of The List Show, Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy is journeying to the center of the Earth, and visiting its oceans, its atmosphere, and even space, in search of 100 facts about our endlessly fascinating planet.

The subjects that fall under the umbrella of “facts about Earth” are nearly as expansive as Earth itself. Geology, biology, astronomy, and cartography, are all fair game—and those are just a few of the many -ologies, -onomies, and -ographies you’ll learn about below. 

Press play to find out more Earth-shattering facts, and subscribe to the Mental Floss YouTube channel for more fact-filled videos here.