It’s one of those things that you don’t want to look at, but then you can’t stop looking at it, and before you know it you’re 10 videos deep on YouTube and emailing the creator for more.
Mark, from California, is a businessman by day, but by night he is Swirly Dude – an enigma, wrapped in a mystery, wrapped in excess umbilical tissue. There are innies, there are outies, and then there’s Mark’s.
The 26-year-old has a one-inch long belly button which has proved surprisingly popular, with one person offering him $1,ooo for an hour of footage of belly button fiddling, while another fantasised about being ‘shrunken down and tucked into [his] belly button to live forever’.
I know that ‘belly button fiddling’ is some people’s idea of hell, but I challenge you to look away…
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Speaking to UNILAD, Mark said:
While my body is fairly average, one thing about my body that has always stood out (literally) is my belly button.
I remember first noticing it was different when I was around 8 years old. My friends all had innies from what I saw at the pool or when they stretched and their shirt rode up. I’d see their normal looking belly buttons and then I’d look down at my belly button and I had this umbilical monster attached to me.
I have no idea why it looks like this, and I don’t think doctors do either. People often think it’s an umbilical hernia, but the doctors just say it’s just a lot of extra umbilical flesh.
So like, literally, my umbilical cord is still partially attached. Fortunately, the one inch of umbilical cord does tuck away nicely into my torso if I push it in. It creates a cinnamon roll shape, I call it my ‘swirly’. But even this shape was not the ‘normal’ looking belly button that my friends had so I was quite shy about the whole situation overall.
The belly button began as an insecurity for Mark, but ‘Swirly Dude’ is now out and proud. After a kind stranger complimented his unique navel in his fitness photos, Mark decided to celebrate it.
I’ve embraced it as part of my life. Something individualistic that makes me me. And plus, it’s super fun to induce shock, awe, horror, and amusement from people all across the globe.
Many of my YouTube viewers fantasise about experiencing my belly button live. They wish they could meet me to poke, bite, lick, or kiss it. Some folks have even expressed interest in being shrunken down and tucked into my belly button to live forever.
The wildest request I’ve ever gotten was for a 30 minute private video of me playing with my belly button with a little bit of moaning. This fan offered me $100 for a 15 minute video. After declining, he continued to raise his offer until I worked his bid up to $500 for a 30 minute video. I was pretty proud of the notion that I’d just secured a $1,000/hour job.
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It turns out that the belly button-loving community is larger than you’d think, and in just over a year, ‘Swirly Dude’ has a combined 150k views with 850 loyal subscribers who ask him all sorts of questions.
As for the future of Mark and his super-outie, Mark said:
Well, apparently I can make up to $1,000/hour with this thing, so I’m about ready to quit my day job and showcase my belly button full time.
Just kidding, I really just enjoy using my belly button for good and making the world a more fun, quirky place with it.
A common question he gets is if he’d ever get the excess belly button removed, but he said he’s ‘grown to love how individualistic it is’ and ‘decided it was cooler to rock one of the biggest outies on the planet’.
If you want to see more swirly goodness, head over to his weird but wonderful YouTube channel for endless navel gazing. (I know you can’t help but click)