Can You Fart While Scuba Diving?
Farting while scuba diving is not going to cause any problems, apart from embarrassing bubbles (and maybe fewer friends if you unsuit near them!). At depths of more than 10m, farting may be difficult to do because of the increased water pressure…don’t force it, you don’t want to “follow through”!
Ever had that urge to fart while scuba diving but are too scared that your dive buddy may see, or are you worried if you can actually fart while diving?
Don’t worry, it is something that a lot of divers ask (yes, really!), and the answer is YES you can, depending on the depth and dive suit you are wearing.
Human flatulence (farting or passing wind) is natural, and if you feel the urge, you should let it out. Holding in a fart underwater can cause the air to expand causing injury.
If your buddy says explosive farts will rip your wetsuit, will attract sharks or will cause you to shoot to the surface like superman, they are pulling your leg – maybe they should be pulling your finger instead!
Today we will be going over the (semi) serious topic of human flatulence while scuba diving, brace yourselves, you are going to be blown away, pun intended (sorry, not sorry)!
Can You Fart While Diving?
YES, but you may feel slightly embarrassed as bubbles emerge from your dive suit…If you feel the urge, let the gas out to prevent you from injuring yourself.
So, what makes us break wind?
Well, intestinal gas is either produced by digestion or when a sufficient volume builds up from swallowing too much air – both perfectly normal reasons to fart!
As we fart underwater, gas is released into the water where it rises to the surface the same as our exhaled air bubbles from our regulator.
The ability to fart depends on what exposure suit you are wearing and the depth you are diving at.
The question that usually comes after “can I fart” is, “is there a difference farting in a wetsuit vs a drysuit?”…
Can I Fart in a Wetsuit?
Yes, the only issues that may arise are extra bubbles and giggling from your dive buddy…unless you push too hard!
When you wear a wetsuit, you have three main openings – the neck, wrists, or ankles.
If you fart (at a shallow depth) it is most likely to pass out the back of the wetsuit behind your neck, as this is the highest point when diving, unless you are deflating your BCD, in which your arm is most likely raised holding the inflator hose.
When farting in a wetsuit, you may even hear the bubbles leaving the suit sounding similar to someone gargling…try not to giggle and spit your regulator out!
The bubbles will float to the surface because the gas is lighter than water unless you are in a washing machine current, in which case you (and quite possibly your dive buddy) are going to be surrounded by your own fart bubbles!
Can I Fart in a Drysuit?
Yes, you can! Don’t worry about it affecting your buoyancy…if you are farting that much you have bigger things to worry about! Just don’t stand near any friends when you unzip your drysuit…they will not thank you!
Some people prefer to dive in a drysuit, especially when diving in cold water.
If you have ever worn a drysuit, you know they are water-tight. This means if you fart, it is likely the gas will stay inside the suit during your dive.
If you have really bad wind, farting over and over again could cause the gases to build up inside, which leads me to 2 things you should be aware of…
- If you produce excessive amounts of gas during the dive, let’s say every 30 seconds, it could affect your buoyancy. This would not happen unless you ate a very dodgy meal the night before! So, realistically, a handful of farts, will not produce enough volume to affect your buoyancy while scuba diving.
- If you have been farting during the dive, remember you will have gas trapped inside. Once the dive is over, be careful where you unzip your suit – your diving buddies may not appreciate the strong whiff that comes out!
Can I Fart if i’m Diving Deeper?
The deeper a scuba diver goes, the greater the water pressure becomes. The deeper we dive, the more difficult farting will become. Below 10m (33ft) it is usually impossible to fart.
How to Safely Fart While Scuba Diving.
Farting in a wetsuit/drysuit is no problem as long as you are not too deep. If you are at a depth where it is possible to fart, here is some advice:
- Firstly, never force a fart, putting too much pressure on your bowel movements could cause a hernia
- When you need to fart, relax and lean back slightly
- If you can, avoid farting in a drysuit
- If you are starting to get cramps from a fart, you may be too deep to let one out, very slowly ascend above 10m (33ft)
- Try not to get yourself worked up, this can make it difficult to fart
- And finally, do not push so hard that you leave more than a fart in your suit!
Does Scuba Diving Cause Farting?
With pressure changes, a question most divers ask is “could scuba diving actually cause us to fart?”
Yes, it is possible!
Sometimes we get what we call a gastric squeeze that gives us the urge to fart while scuba diving.
A gastric squeeze can occur when the air inside the body swells when descending, and then expands when we ascend. Getting gas in the gut can be caused by chewing gum while diving or over-equalising your ears with your head facing down.
If you feel any of these symptoms, it could be that you have a gastric squeeze:
- Your abdominal feels full
- Abdominal cramping
- Continuous burping
- Flatulence (gas trapped in your alimentary canal – located in your gastrointestinal tract)
- Very unlikely, but in severe cases, it could cause you to go unconscious or rupture your gut
If you have any of the above symptoms, you should try to let the gas out and stop the ascent. Only when your gastric squeeze symptoms are relieved, should you continue your ascent.
Tips to Prevent Farting While Scuba Diving
Farting can be inconvenient, but it is totally normal. So, we cannot prevent them, however, we can reduce the chances of farting while scuba diving.
Here are a few ways that may help reduce the amount of gas you release while diving:
- Always eat and chew your meal before diving slowly to ease the breakdown process – eating fast increases the amount of air you swallow causing trapped wind
- You may want to avoid those baked beans before your dive! Some foods cause the human body to release more gas, these also include, dairy products, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, and foods that contain a lot of wheat or soy
- We all know what happens when we drink too many fizzy drinks…Other than getting a sugar rush, we usually burp or fart – so best avoid these before the dive, which also includes drinking beer, which you shouldn’t be drinking before scuba diving anyway
- Finally, get your arse off that sofa! Exercising not only kicks you into shape but also helps your digestive system function properly, reducing the urge to fart often
Don’t Forget Your Dive Insurance!
Before you go out on any dive trip or holiday, it is essential to make sure you have insurance that covers you if something goes wrong. Check out our dive insurance article for more information.
Or go straight to these dive insurance company websites:
So, remember that everyone farts, and YES, you can fart while scuba diving, but you may have to deal with your dive buddy laughing as bubbles emerge not only from your regulator!
If you need to fart in your wetsuit, why not stick your finger out and ask your dive buddy to pull it, at least you will both have a laugh instead of feeling embarrassed underwater.
Or if wearing a drysuit, be prepared for a toxic whiff when you roll it down. We recommend doing this at least 1m away from anyone that could potentially go unconscious from strong smells!
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