Ask LH: Could My Farts Explode An Overheating Laptop?

Dear Lifehacker, If I have an overheating laptop on my lap and I do a big fart, would an explosion be possible? I find myself lifting the laptop away just in case. Thanks, Beans For Breakfast

Dear BFB,

Congratulations: this is officially the silliest question we’ve ever received on Ask Lifehacker. (Well, it’s in the top three anyway. Other contenders include /”Can Exercise Change My Penis Size?” and /”Can You Recharge A Mobile Battery In The Microwave?” Yes, these were legit questions from actual readers.)

Methane and hydrogen — AKA the chemicals that come out of your butt when you fart — are both flammable. This has given rise to the highly juvenile practice of “fart lighting” or “pyroflatulence” in which a naked flame is held in front of the buttocks while passing gas.

When done correctly, this causes a small flash of blue or yellow flame to spout/spurt out of the anal cavity. More often than not, this is accompanied by braying, donkey-like laughter. (For further information, please refer to these 37,000 Youtube videos.)

So, combustion and farting do go hand in flame-wreathed hand. However, we strongly doubt that the gasses in your butt could explode a laptop, no matter how hot it gets. It would need to already be on fire and situated directly over the anus. Even then, it’s unlikely that the amount of methane emitted would make much difference to the existing flames.

In short, you’re not going to blow up any of your electronics by farting. Fart away.


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