#10. Toilet Time
The average person goes to the toilet about 2,500 time a year, and will spend around 92 days at it over their lifetime.
In the USA some 40,000 toilet related injuries are recorded every year. These range from people standing on the toilet to reach something and slipping, to old style cisterns falling off the wall and onto unsuspecting toilet users. Other culprits include spiders under toilet seats, snakes emerging from squat toilets, and splinters from wooden seats. Although it sounds like an urban legend, plenty of people really have met their end on the toilet - even King George II died on the loo in 1760.
#8. A Royal Flush
Even a royal couldn't hope for much privacy to do their business back in the day. The Groom of the Stool was the lucky chap appointed to help the King with his bodily functions. His duties included fetching towels and water and, back in the sixteenth century, like involved wiping the King's backside. On the plus side, the Groom of the Stool was seen to hold an important and privileged position, and even had first dibs on all the King's cast-off clothing...
#7. World Toilet Day
World Toilet Day is celebrated annually on November 19th. The day was established by the World Toilet Organization (WTO) in 2001, a global non-profit which also arranges annual World Toilet Summits and founded the World Toilet College. It all sounds a bit silly, but the aim of World Toilet Day is deadly serious - a billion people in the world have no access to a toilet, and billions more have to deal with insanitary conditions. Just check out this document which highlights some of the awful consequences.
Sim Jae-Duck, former Mayor of Suwon, redesigned his house to look like a toilet in 2007. After his death it became a toilet culture museum - find out more at the museum's website.
#6. Germs, Germs, Everywhere
Thankfully, here in the UK we have nice clean toilets. In fact, the average kitchen sink contains 100,000 times more bacteria than the average toilet, and the average kitchen chopping board has 200% more faecal bacteria than a toilet seat on it. You should always flush with that seat down too, because germs can travel up to six feet if it isn't.
#5. Flush It Down
Primitive forms of flush toilets have existed for thousands of years, but the true ancestor of the modern flush was invented by Sir John Harington in 1596. He even installed one at Richmond Palace for his Godmother, Queen Elizabeth I. Although he didn't invent it, the man who popularised the modern flush was Sir Thomas Crapper. With a name like that, it was meant to be!
#4. Water Shortage
In the UK it's estimated that we use 2 billion litres of water every day, flushing our 45 million or so toilets. The modern dual flush toilet uses about 1.6 gallons (c. 6 litres) of water per flush - old style flushes use 3.5 gallons or c. 16 litres per flush. In the USA all toilets made after 1992 have had to be dual flush to try and reduce the amount of water used. During droughts - most notably in 1976 - water boards advised people to stick a brick in their toilet cistern to try and conserve water.
#3. Toilet Gods
Toilet Gods are really quite common, reflecting the central role of the toilet in everyday life. Crepitus was the alleged ancient Roman god of flatulence, while the goddes Cloacina presided over the sewers. Gifts were offered to the toilet gods in parts of Japan as protection against bladder infections and other problems, and in Korea people feared the malevolent Cheuksin who, after being exiled to the outhouse, spent her days attempting to topple children into the pit toilet.
#2. Men vs. Women
Research supports what we've always known; women spend more time in the toilet than men, but are way more hygenic. 93% of women wash their hands after using the toilet, compared to just 77% of men. Yuck!
#1. The Illumibowl
The inspiration for this post is the Illumibowl - the world's first toilet bowl nightlight. It's a motion activated light that attaches to your toilet via suction cups. Powered by three AAA batteries, the illumibowl has nine colour settings and is super simple to set up and use. I was sent one to try out and I'm really impressed by it. Anthony has passed on his love of pitch black night times to Marianna, so it's great to be able to have enough light to see by without waking anyone else up. Plus it looks really cool:
You can find out more and order your own at www.illumibowl.com. You can also stay in touch with illumibowl on social media via Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Twitter.