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Farting cows: Flatulent heifers blow up a barn after methane gas buildup

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I’ll admit, the headline sounds like a bit of hot air. But I’ll stick my journalist nose on the line for this one; though please don’t ask me to do any sniffing.

Cows in Germany literally “raised the roof” on their barnyard home after their collective gaseous emissions built up and combusted, blowing the roof off of a barn in Rosdorf, reports the NY Daily News on Wednesday.

The story, taken from the German edition of The Local, said the gas “reacted with static energy from a massaging machine in the stalls, which is used to increase milk production, creating flames which soon spread.”

Approximately 90 cows were housed in the barn, and the communal efforts among them, what with the multiple stomachs churning up grass all day long and producing large amounts of methane, caused the barn explosion and subsequent fire.

Methane is an odorless, colorless, and flammable gas that is lighter than air. It stinks because, well, it picks up odor on its way out.

An article on planet change carried by change.nature.org said that cows and other ruminants produce 800 to 1,000 liters of methane emissions each day. “Measuring and reducing methane emissions from all of the world’s livestock is a serious area of study,” says the report.

So that greenhouse effect thing and the global warming concern? Blame the bovines.

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