Finally, we have an explanation for why you fart more on planes.

There’s nothing worse than being stuck 8000 feet in the sky with a group of strangers and needing to, well, let one rip.

It’s the stinkiest travel problem of all but we finally have an explanation for why you fart more when you’re flying.

If you’ve ever felt an increased need to fart or felt bloated while flying, DO NOT WORRY, there’s a scientific reason for it. It’s called HAFE – High Altitude Flatus Expulsion – and it’s completely normal, we promise.

The ‘tongue-in-cheek’ term was coined in the 1980s by a pair of researchers and it describes a phenomenon observed when mountain climbers experienced flatulence at high altitudes.

plane farting
Don't blame your seat mate, it's not their fault. Image via Universal Pictures.

And it's HAFE that plays havoc with your um, wind tunnel, during flights.

Airplanes cabins are pressurised to between 6,000 and 8,000 feet, which is a significant altitude change for your body if you’ve come from sea level. And just as the air in your water bottle expands at higher altitudes, the gas in your intestines can expand on a plane, growing to take up about 30 percent more room than usual. And all that air needs to go somewhere.

“The air pressure in an airplane is different than on the ground,” said Dr. Scott Kalish, told the Huffington Post. “In certain people, it can predispose them to developing more gas."

Expanding gas can also lead to feelings of bloat, Kalish says, though he said he doesn’t hear that complaint often.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to minimise your mid-air fluffing - drink water, and avoid salty and fatty foods, and you'll combat bloating and decrease your pop offs.

Meet the couple who retired in their 30s and traveled the world on This Glorious Mess. 

You can also walk around the cabin to "shake up your bowels" and use an over-the-counter anti-gas medication.

But most importantly, you need to let out your farts, even if it's awkward. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen found that holding back a fart can lead to discomfort, pain and more bloating.

So, um, just breathe and let it go?

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