Why the Human Stomach Grumbles, Particularly When It’s Hungry

In the latest episode of SciShow, host Michael Aranda explains why a person’s stomach makes noises, why the noise gets louder with hunger and how it’s just another bodily function that all humans have to contend with.

Now you would think that simply eating right before that important meeting would avoid that problem because if you’re not hungry your stomach isn’t going to growl right? Well, it might help a little but you could still be in for some awkward moments, because even though stomach rumbles do have something to do with hunger, that’s not the immediate cause. Instead those noises are caused by the movement air through your digestive tract and even though that air isn’t actually escaping your body it does create some distinct acoustics. Your digestive system moves things around using muscle contractions. Mostly it’s just trying to transfer partially digested food but in the process air gets shifted around to creating sound vibrations in your stomach and small intestine.