Here's some happy news for germaphobes: your belly button, or "umbilicus" as scientists call it, is absolutely filthy, with over 2,000 different types of bacteria living in it. As ABC News puts it, this "means you have more kinds of bacteria in your belly button than there are different kinds of ants or birds in North America."
Even more exciting is the fact that everyone's gross navel is unique; not one common type of bacteria was found in the 60 belly buttons sampled and most strands were "rare and occurred in just one individual."
For your average person, this might come as a disgusting surprise, but belly button experts are pretty blasé.
"I don't find it alarming," said Dr. William Schaffner, an expert in infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. "We knew belly buttons weren't sterile."
At least one scientist, Dr. Gregory Poland of the Mayo Clinic, is hoping the findings shed light on one of society's most dangerous and "current" trends: navel piercings.
"The current fad of women piercing their umbilicus has led to many case reports of infections," Poland said. "And with today's multiple drug-resistant bacteria, it can lead to disasters."
That's right, faddish women; your cool piercings might one day kill us all.