Much like a sneeze, a burp is your body’s way of taking care of itself.

A burp is really nothing more than the sound of gas escaping your body. When you drink or eat, you also swallow air.

As you continue to eat or drink and therefore continue to swallow air, the gasses build up in your stomach until your body releases them in the form of a belch or burp.

One of the most common causes of burping is eating too fast. The faster you eat, the more likely you are to swallow extra air. Fizzy carbonated beverages, such as sodas, contain tiny gas bubbles, which also can increase the chances of burping.

Burping in public may be impolite, but did you know it could actually be valuable, too?

Researchers estimate that cows in the United States burp 50 million tons of valuable gasses into the atmosphere each year. If those gasses could be collected, the annual burps of only 10 cows would provide enough energy to heat a small home for an entire year!

Fun facts about burping:

  • In some cultures, burping after a meal is a compliment to the cook.
  • The official medical term for burping is “eructation.”
  • Farm animals produce so much gas that scientists consider them to be a major contributor to the greenhouse effect.


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    • Hi, Miss21! That was a creative way to let us know you visited this Wonder of the Day® about burping! Thanks for hanging out in Wonderopolis today! :-)

  1. Well now I know why people say My compliments to the chef thanks that was really helpful um……… also why do dogs wag there tail?

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Have you ever wondered…

  • What causes a burp?
  • Are burps good for the environment?
  • How do you make a soda bottle burp?

Wonder Gallery

Wonder #49 - Burp Static ImageVimeo Video

Try It Out

Conjure up your inner mad scientist, and get ready to make a soda bottle burp! Check out this experiment on the Science Buddies website.

And this one time, there’s no need to say “excuse me.” It’s all in the name of science.


Still Wondering

Learn more about the greenhouse effect from National Geographic Xpeditions, and find out how to document conservation efforts in your community.

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Wonder What’s Next?

Tomorrow we’ll spice things up in Wonderopolis with a little help from ancient food. Take a bite out of this wonder if you dare. The forecast is calling for a sudden heatwave!

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