Called "wen pishi" (聞屁師 or "fart sniffing master") in Chinese, the career isn't exactly well known in China, either. Recently, it's been introduced via newspaper reports as well as a show on Jiangsu Satellite TV called Fei De Will Watch (pictured).
These specialists work at traditional Chinese medicine hospitals and help detect gastro illness through flatulence, reports People's Daily. Chinese traditional medicine offers a more holistic approach; you can read more about how it differs from Western medicine in this University of Pennsylvania piece.
Maybe like how dogs can smell early stages of lung cancer, trained humans can also sniff out serious stomach diseases via farts. The nose is one amazing instrument.
So for example, foul smelling poots might mean the bowels are infected, while other, stronger scents might even mean there is internal bleeding. Serious stuff! It's even more serious when you consider that China accounts for half of the world's stomach cancer deaths, which might be based on diet or even might be genetic.
However, this is not an exact science, and sometimes further tests are necessary. But the specialists can often reveal how something is wrong with a person's body or diet. And how much do these trained toot huffers make? They can make around the equivalent of US$50,000. That's quite a good salary in China, and enough to tell yourself it's not smelly anal oxide you are sniffing, but simply gas.
职业闻屁师年薪30万引争议 疑为嗅辨员一种 [People's Daily]
おならの匂いを嗅ぎ分けるプロ 健康状態チェックに、採用条件は厳しい [Xinhua]