There are a lot of things we don’t know about poo, even though it’s such a normal part of our lives.
From health facts to animal behaviour, we’ve got a list full of weird, amazing and helpful facts you probably never knew about poo.
1. It could hold the key to weight loss
It might be the last thing you’d expect to help with your diet, but some researchers believe your poo could lead to personalised weight loss.
A study by Sydney University’s Charles Perkins Centre found that a sample of your poo can provide the right information to help figure out what diet you should follow to stay healthy. One of the researchers, Professor Andrew Holmes, explained to Mail Online that poo samples can help understand ‘what might be good in one person might be bad in another person’.
He also added: ‘Where we are most excited is now you can say “if you do this to your diet you’ll change the bacteria and you will be able to personalise diet intervention”.’ A poo diet. Who knew?!
2. An ‘alcohol poo’ is a very normal thing
If you’ve ever found yourself on the toilet after a heavy night of cocktails, wondering why every hangover comes equipped with diarrhoea, you’re not alone. Alcohol makes your digestive tract work faster than it usually would, plus all of the extra liquid you’ve consumed means your body wants to flush it all out.
Dr. Ali Keshavarzian, director of digestive diseases at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, told BuzzFeed: ‘The increased transit time means there’s less time for absorption of water in the colon, so the stools are watery and come out as diarrhoea.
Remember to replace the lost electrolytes with an enzyme drink!
3. If you grunt while you poo, you’re doing it wrong
A study in Denmark concluded that a third of people make grunting noises while they’re on the loo, which apparently is the wrong way to do it.
Jan Fallingborg, a consultant at Aarhus University Hospital’s department of gastroenterology explained why:
‘Basically it is all about pressure and that pressure decreases when we let air and noises out of our mouth. Therefore the release of forced sounds should have the opposite effect.’
4. Poo is brown because of bile
Bile is a green liquid produced by the liver to break down fats, but it becomes metabolised as it passes through our gastrointestinal system. Through this, stercobilin (which is brown) is produced, and since our bodies don’t use it, it comes out in our poop.
5. Young women are the least likely to poo normally
In a study done in 1992, apparently less than half of the population has a daily ‘normal’ poo (without constipation etc.), but young women are more likely to have irregular and more complicated poops.
6. Sitting on toilets is not natural to us
Apparently, humans are designed to squat while they poo, as it allows the release of muscles and produces an easier poop experience. Plus you get a mini-workout every time!
You can even buy products to help you assume the correct position, while managing to sit down. Say hello to the Squatty Potty.
7. Neil Armstrong left four bags of poop behind on the Moon
Okay, so they’re called ‘defecation collection devices’, but are basically just poop bags.
7. Humans have evolved to hate the smell of poo for a survival reason
When we smell poo, we biologically associate it with dirt, disease and infection, keeping us away from it and avoiding touching it in case we pick up a disease from someone else.
9. Sloths only leave their trees for their weekly poop session
Scientists don’t really know why they poo on the ground, especially as climbing down soooo sloooowly makes them really vulnerable to predators.
Here’s a video of a baby sloth being potty trained to brighten your day.
10. White sand = parrot fish poop
Have you ever been insanely jealous of someone else’s Hawaiian beach holiday pictures? Well, they’re posing on fish poop.
About 85% of the white sand on beaches in Hawaii and the Maldives are made from the poo of parrot fish, who eat dead coral skeletons and poop them out as white sediment.
11. Pooping while on your period is scientifically proven as hell on earth
Because of the way everything is designed down there, there’s a lot of pressure on our wombs and vaginas when we need to poop while menstruating. Thanks, nature!
12. The Ancient Egyptians used poo as birth control
They mixed crocodile poo with honey to make some kind of a diaphragm. Crafty!