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umbilicolith_removal_auburn_medical_groupLike a blackhead, but inside your belly button! Auburn Medical Group/YouTube

  • Navel stones are hardened clumps of oil and dead skin cells that camp out in your belly button.
  • Scientifically speaking, they’re called omphaloliths.
  • And — you guessed it — there are plenty of great videos to watch on YouTube.
  • If you like blackhead removals, you’ll love navel stone removals.

If you’re deep into the world of gross medical videos on YouTube, you’ve probably heard about tonsil stones. But you may not know about navel stones — or as we here at INSIDER like to call them, the blackheads of the belly button. 

To doctors, these growths are known as omphaloliths — a blend of the Greek words for “navel” and “stone,” according to a 2016 report published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Just like blackheads, they’re made from dead skin cells and sebum, the oily substance your skin secretes. And just like blackheads, they turn black (at least on the surface) due to oxygen exposure.

Navel stones are uncommon and usually don’t cause symptoms, according to a paper published in the Journal of Radiology Case Reports. Most of the time, the only treatment is just to remove the thing. 

If you already love watching dermatologists remove giant blackheads, you will adore watching doctors yank out navel stones. The method is slightly different — blackheads are pushed out of the skin, while navel stones are pulled — but the payoff is still the same.

You don’t have to take our word for it.

This May 2017 video from the Auburn Medical Group in Auburn, California, is a great place to start if you’d like to watch a navel stone removal. (PS: This doctor is also well known for his extreme earwax removals.) It takes a bit of time and tugging with tweezers, but finally the stone comes out in one piece. 

And here’s another excellent example of a clean, but hard-fought removal. It’s one of the most-viewed navel stone extractions on YouTube:

If you can’t get enough, never fear: A search for “navel stone” on YouTube currently turns up more than 36,000 results

Just because navel stones are fun to watch, though, doesn’t mean you want one hiding in your own belly button. The report in the Journal of General Internal Medicine says that navel stones are “likely” formed when someone doesn’t clean out their belly button,  so check yours for debris every once in a while. And if anything in there seems off, see a doctor for help.

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