As Paul Hunn stands on a busy street corner in London, onlookers of all ages gather around. When the cameras and microphones are ready, he bends forward to unleash a booming burp. But not just any burp. Paul Hunn holds the Guinness World Record for the loudest burp in recorded human history: 109.9 decibels. That’s louder than a jackhammer at a distance of about three feet.
This is a superhuman feat that rivals the moon landing, the sub-four-minute mile, and ascending Mount Everest (at least in our opinion.) So, what is Paul’s secret to his thunderous belches? And more importantly, how can you make yourself burp on command?
We scoured medical journals and conducted plenty of primary research to find out.
What Is a Burp?
Burping (also called eructation) may seem pretty nonchalant. But to master this bodily function, you’ll need the scoop on the science. Here’s a quick overview:
- The food, drinks, and air you ingest throughout the day break down into gas in your stomach. In fact, you produce around 27 liters of gas daily—enough to fill a beach ball.
- All that gas can’t sit in your gut forever (gas pains can be brutal), so when enough builds up, it escapes through your esophagus: an 8-inch muscular tube connecting your throat to your stomach.
- The best part—the burping sound—comes from the flapping of your esophageal valve upon release. The more pressure that’s built up, the louder the burp.
It’s safe to say you know more than the average dude about burps now, so let’s dive into some techniques to belt them out on-demand.
Burp Technique #1: The Air Gulp
Of the three primary belch-inducing mechanisms, the Air Gulp is typically the quickest, easiest, and least uncomfortable.
Start by exhaling as much air as you can to empty your lungs. Next, take a deep breath and hold it in for as long as you can. Let it go, inhale one more deep breath, and swallow air just like you would swallow food or a drink.
Once you’ve gulped down enough air, you should feel an air bubble building up in your gut. Now, clench your abdominal muscles when you feel the air start to rise up and unleash a blaring burp.
Burp Technique #2: The Fizzy Chug
Carbonated beverages are like rocket fuel for belching. Drinking anything bubbly builds up gas in your stomach, which will trigger some impressive burps. But if you want to induce a Paul Hunn-level burp, sipping carbonated beverages won’t cut it. You need to chug, dude.
Slam that drink as quickly as you can. This will help you swallow excess air, produce more pressure, and build up a burp faster than drinking your beverage casually. This is how Paul Hunn prepared for his record-breaking burp.
After experimentation at DUDE Headquarters, we narrowed down the best burp fuels:
- Sparkling water
When you start to feel some rumbling, bend forward, clench your abs (or lack thereof), and let ‘er rip.
Burp Technique #3: The Reverse Sip
The Reverse Sip is a sleeper in the realm of on-demand burping techniques. It relies on both anatomy and biology, and the results can be staggering if executed properly. Here’s how to do it:
- Fill a glass with your beverage of choice.
- Bend over as if you’re drinking water from a water fountain.
- Place your lips on the side of the glass opposite you and tilt the glass so the liquid goes into your mouth slowly.
- Take a series of small sips until you finish the drink.
- Stand up straight and wait for the magic to happen.
The Reverse Sip technique triggers the same result as a carbonated beverage because it forces you to swallow bubbles of air along with the liquid. The technique works with basically any liquid, though we recommend carbonated beverages for high-decibel, ear-rattling burps.
To Burp or Not to Burp: A Cultural Analysis of Acceptance
Whether you’re leveraging your newfound skills to impress friends, relieve bloating and excess gas, or challenge Paul Hunn’s world record, all dudes should exercise caution when unleashing their gut gas.
While it’s taboo to burp in some cultures, others regard burps as a sign of respect, even at the dinner table. Here’s a breakdown of burp culture across the world, so you know where it’s safe to practice.
Europe: Most European countries, especially France and Italy, are stringent in table manners. However, Germany is an exception where it’s actually considered impolite if you don’t burp after a meal to express satisfaction.
Asia: According to food writer Shirin Mehrotra, folks in China and India generally won’t mind your burps. In fact, it can be perceived as an audible sign of appreciation after a rich or spicy meal. Other Asian countries such as Japan won’t take too kindly to your burps.
Middle East: It’s not acceptable to burp out loud in most Middle Eastern countries. Grab a napkin, or head to the bathroom as the last resort. Just save it for later, dude.
North America: Burping is frowned upon throughout most of North America, so let ‘em rip at your own risk.
“Burping is a fundamental part of the digestive process,” notes The World Burping Federation, “and the near-universal stigma surrounding it has planted the seeds of shame in countless people, contributing to a subtle, but significant, degradation of the human experience."
If you're experiencing a lot of chest pain or abdominal pain when burping, definitely seek out some medical advice. It could be acid reflux or GERD, or something you can just take a few antacids to fix (like heartburn).
There’s no shame in the burp game, dude. Your digestive system needs love too. Whether you’re burping to brag or relieve your gassy gut from a beer and burrito diet, we envision a future where this bodily function is embraced whole-heartedly.