By Mike Pomranz
Updated May 25, 2016

Allow me to make an assumption about the average FWx reader: Most of you are too bright to buy into the old myth that chewing gum takes seven years to pass through the human digestive system, but you haven’t spent the time yet to find out exactly what does happen when you swallow gum.

That’s where this short three-minute video from Reactions, a YouTube channel from the American Chemical Society, really comes in handy. It does a great job of efficiently answering the question, “What happens when you swallow gum?”

The answer is a bit more complex than you might guess, because, no, our digestive system is actually not entirely able to break down gum thanks to the synthetic rubber used in its recipe. However, just because our body can’t break something down, doesn’t mean we won’t…er…pass it, so, yes, gum will eventually come out the other end. And it takes a lot less than seven years: “A day or two,” says Reactions.

So let this be a lesson: Never look anything up. Eventually a YouTube video will come along and solve all your problems.