1. Before there were toilets, there was “open defecation,” which is exactly what it sounds like.
It generally made people sick and/or dead.
2. The first “toilets” were just giant holes in the ground.
Believe it or not, keeping poop in one isolated area kept soooo many people alive.
3. Eventually, someone realized funneling waste into rivers was healthier than having it stew in a giant pit.
Good for people. Bad for rivers.
4. The first indoor toilets were used by royalty.
Though this was before plumbing was a thing, so waste dripped down the sides of castle walls into the poop-filled moat below.
5. Meanwhile, the rest of the world continued shitting into pots and dumping it outside their homes.
And yet, no one could figure out why everyone was dying all the time.
6. And that’s how things remained—more or less—for hundreds of years.
Until the flush toilet was patented in 1775.
7. Still, flush toilets only became popular in the mid-1800s thanks to this man:
Thomas Crapper (No, really. That’s his name). He encouraged people to use flush toilets because he was sick of tromping through human waste everyday.
9. Today, there are many different types of flush toilets in the world. Like the standard seat toilet:
You’re probably familiar with this porcelain princess.
10. The squat toilet:
The squat toilet is popular in Eastern nations. Don’t judge—many consider squatting the natural position and boast its many health benefits.
11. The shelf toilet:
Found in some parts of Europe, the shelf toilet allows you to behold the beauty of your creation before you flush it away forever.
12. The pig toilet:
Not technically a flush toilet but worth mentioning, the pig toilet turns human excrement into pig feed in one easy step! (How’s that bacon taste?) You’ll only find these babies in rural parts of India and China.
13. The luxury toilet:
Created in Japan, obviously. It has seat warmers, butt cleaners, and “massagers”…lol.
14. The bidet:
This is not a toilet. If you poop in a bidet, you will be the laughing stock of France.