A participant poses during the 2012 European Beard and Moustache Championships in Wittersdorf near Mulhouse, Eastern France, September 22, 2012
(Representation Pic)Reuters File

Reports over the week claiming that a study had found that men's beards are filled with fecal material or poop is now found to be false.

Since the beginning of the month, a rumour took the internet by storm after a study on men's beard claimed to have made a shocking discovery. "They're basically dripping with fecal matter (known colloquially as poop)," the so-called study noted.

Soon, dozens of news media houses ran with the story under headlines such as: "Study: Men's Beards are Filled with Poop and Nasty Bacteria," "Your beard is dirty as a toilet," and "How Filthy Is Your Beard?" but what none of these really validiated the source or the people behind the study.

The origin of the study itself seemed to have been dubious. The first report, published in Albuquerque station KOAT, had a journalist and a Quest Diagnostics lab taking samples from the beards of a small group of volunteers.

And after analysing some of them, this so-called study found a "few seemingly yucky results, and discussing the outcome with a single microbiologist — from whom a few very short, sensational-sounding, out-of-context sound bites were excerpted," a Snopes report noted.

The Guardian debunked the study claiming it never didn't actually detect the presence of fecal material in men's beards:

As far as I can tell there was no proper study, no team of microbiologists and no poo in beards. The origin of the story appears to be this segment from a TV news network in New Mexico, which involved a reporter swabbing a "handful" of men's beards and then sending the swabs to a microbiologist in a lab to culture any microbes present.

The reporter then interviewed the microbiologist, John Golobic, who identified a few of the bacteria present as "enterics", that is they are bacteria that normally live in the intestines.

"Those are the types of things you'd find in faeces," he said.

And that's all. Somehow, from this story other media organisations have managed to get poo in beards.

While it is true that human faeces are partially composed of gut bacteria, it's not accurate to describe those bacteria on their own as faeces.

The Washington Post on other hand observed that the "gut bacteria" is not the same as poop, neither its presence harmful.

The problem with this is that bacteria known to associate poop is not necessarily literal poop. In fact it's probably not. And saying that something is gross for being covered in bacteria is pretty ridiculous, because anything that exists in our physical realm is definitely going to be covered in bacteria.

I have bad news for y'all: You're covered in poo bacteria. COVERED. Look to your left, look to your right. There's probably poo bacteria on both sides and also in front of you. It's okay. It's really fine. Embrace the poo bacteria, it is a part of you because you are a multitude of microorganisms, each more special than the last.

But unless you've put it there intentionally, you almost certainly don't have poop on your face. No matter how thick your beard is.

Twitter Reactions:

ChaoticPerfection ‏@DaNaLa13 

Since beards hold poop particles, it's OK to nickname your man's beard "bae" now ladies.

Trudy ‏@thetrudz 

I swear some beardless cis man started the poop beard conspiracy. He gotta tired of getting passed over for dates. LMFAO.

Matthew Mowgli ‏@mattdipanni 

for the record, there is no poop in my beard. sorry internet, i won this round.

5FM ‏@5FM 

Umm so that poop-beard story has @djrogergoode feeling about queasy. So he's shaving his off!

Matthew Keys ‏@MatthewKeysLive 

I'm not sharing the "beard poop" story on the chance the study is de-bunked as BS in a few days. And even if not, the study isn't news.

Kennedy Jones ‏@KennedyJonesTHO 

LOL at the poop beard article written by guys upset that they can't grow a beard lol dead

Meth Lab for Cutie ‏@kiralc 

for the record, I do not care if you have poop in your beard ;)

AirRickPieYawn ‏@E_Payne09

I have no poop in my beard. TF haha. These scientists must've used homeless people to do their experiments on.