14 things you didn’t know about the humble toilet…
The most expensive, the scariest, the most treasured and the artistically valued toilets…
Going to the toilet is something everybody has to do, but that doesn’t stop some peoples’ toiletary habits and experiences being more unusual than others. Check out our fifteen facts about toilets from around the world…
1. My life’s work down the drain
It’s been estimated that more than 7 million Americans have lost their phone down the toilet. That’s a lot of lost time, contacts and perhaps data. But for some it’s worse than for others. For Kanye West it is alleged to have been a particular loss, as his daughter flushed his iphone down the loo in 2016. He’d stored all his latest rap-songs on there!
2. Always check if you’re alone
Australian ‘Dunnys’ are famous for being inhabited by all sort of creepy crawlies and Aussies fail to check under the toilet seat at their peril. If you are afraid of spider, you might want to skip to the next fact now. Because the Redback spider is a particularly famous culprit and while injuries are rare, they have been fatal.
3. Art for arts sake?
The prize for most artistic toilet ever must surely go to Marcel Duchamp, who famously shocked the art world in 1917 by entering a urinal into an art exhibition – on a plinth! ‘Fountain’ as he called it, is still considered a seminal moment in the history of art …
4. Spend more than a penny…
The most expensive toilet in the world is said to be the Hang Fung Gold Toilet, worth $5 Million. The gold toilet resides in a demonstration washroom called “The Hall of Gold” in Hong Kong, and is available for public viewing – only!
5. Burn it up
In some places in the world, people will do anything for a bit of hot air. Also, in extremely cold climates sometimes fire is a lot easier to come by than running water. And so, in some of the coldest places, incinerating toilets are used. They turn your waste into harmless, odourless ashes!
6. Are the Lords sitting today?
The House of Lords in the British Houses of Parliament is viewed by many as a little old fashioned. This chamber of dignitaries has been sitting for centuries and has the rituals to go with it. One of the most cherished seats in the house is a working toilet that dates back to the 1870s. It’s a rare example of a Braemar toilet. A make of toilet that was so exclusive in its day that it used to be slang for ‘Posh’.
7. It’s no use standing on the toilet seat, the germs in here can jump 6 feet!
It’s been proven that a flushing toilet can spread germs up to 6 feet away! – now there’s a good reason to close the toilet seat gentlemen.
8. Three years of my life down the pan!
Apparently, the average person spends three years of their life sitting on the toilet!
9. World Toilet Day!
Yes there is such a thing. Actually with a more serious reason than you might guess. World toilet day is the 19th November and it focuses on bringing better sanitation to some of the billions in the world who do not have a toilet. (40% of the world doesn’t have a toilet).
The film “Psycho” was the first movie to show a toilet flushing. All too much for some more puritanical viewers which actually wrote in to complain that showing a flushing toilet was indecent!
11. Nah, you’ve got the wrong end of the stick mate.
The Romans didn’t have toilet paper so they used a water soaked sponge on the end of a stick instead! – hence the English expression ‘You’ve got the wrong end of the stick’ – meaning to get the wrong idea about something.
12. Famous songs about the toilet
There have been a number of songs written about toilets, of which probably the most famous is Johnny Cash’s ‘Flushed From The Bathroom Of Your Heart’.
13. Preserved for posterity
South Korea boasts and entire theme park and museum dedicated to the toilet! Even better, the building that houses this collection of curiosities is itself shaped like a toilet! Surely one to put on your bucket list…
14. Scrupulously examined
German toilets are famous for having an inspection tray. The so-called ‘continental shelf’ that allows users to have a good look at what they’ve produced before it’s flushed away…
15. Big in Japan
Toilets are big news in Japan. Having been a hole in the ground nation for centuries, the Japanese fell in love with the western toilet during the years of American occupation, and made it their own. Now Japanese toilets, and especially the famous Toto brand, are the most technically advanced in the world, with bum heaters, cleaners and even mood music!
Do you know…
What is the most expensive toilet in the world?
What is the most famous song about a toilet?
What’s the most valuable thing that has been dropped down a toilet?