Unusual and interesting toilets from all around the world.

Toilets of the World

Who Invented the Flush Toilet?

Toilets are not new, they have been around since the Stone Age, and flushing toilets are old enough that history doesn't record their invention. But then things fell apart after the Roman Empire fell apart. Flushing toilets on a modern design were finally re-invented in England a little before 1600, wrapped up in some royal court intrigue.

Sir John Harington was born in 1561 in Kelston, Somerset, in southeastern England. His mother was a gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber of Queen Elizabeth I.

The Privy Chamber was the most influential operating department within the English royal household. Control of the Privy Chamber meant control of the ruler. What had simply been the Chamber of the King had been divided under King Henry VIII (ruled 1509-1547) into the Privy Chamber, the Presence Chamber, and the Great Hall, working out from the innermost private space. The Privy Chamber included the ruler's bedroom, library, study and toilet.

As King Henry VIII grew older and fatter, the position of Groom of the Stool became ever more influential. Meanwhile, the work involved remained rather unpleasant. The Groom of the Stool, more formally titled the Groom of the King's Close Stool, was in charge of the royal excretion and was tasked with removing the excrement and cleaning the King's anal area after defecation.

Read more about the invention of the flush toilet »

Today's Featured Toilet
This ship-based toilet or head is on board the F/B Artemis Greek ferry en route from Ios to Santorini in the Aegean.

Some heads are very basic, some are unusual like this one with its spectacular view, while others are mundane, largely indistinguishable from dry-land public toilets.

You might find the hand-pumped toilets on board rented French canal boats especially interesting.
Check back tomorrow for another featured toilet!

It's Thomas Crapper's birthday!

52 days until World Toilet Day

Welcome to the Toilets of the World, where you can view toilets from all around the world. Are you wondering how to use a bidet, or even what a bidet is? Curious about what the toilets are like in a specific country such as France, Turkey, China, Greece, Japan, or many others? Would you like to see some of the worst toilets in the world? Or maybe you're interested in historical toilets, from ancient Greece and Rome, or even the Stone Age? Do you wonder who invented the flush toilet? (It wasn't Thomas Crapper) You've come to the right place! The Toilets of the World are ready for your visit. Learn about toilets, bidets, urinals, sinks, tubs, and other plumbing from all around the world.

Tour the Toilets!

Keep This Book In Your Bathroom

Rose George's The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters is a fascinating description of sanitation conditions around the world. To quote from the introduction:

[....] 2.6 billion people don't have sanitation. I don't mean that they have no toilet in their house and must use a public one with queues and fees. Or that they have an outhouse, or a rickety shack that empties into a filthy drain or pigsty. All that counts as sanitation, though not a safe variety. The people who have those are the fortunate ones. Four in ten people have no access to any latrine, toilet, bucket, or box. Nothing. Instead they defecate by train tracks and in forests. They do it in plastic bags and fling them through the air in narrow slum alleyways. If they are women, they get up at 4 A.M. to be able to do their business under cover of darkness for reasons of modesty, risking rape and snakebites. Four in ten people live in situations where they are surrounded by human excrement because it is in the bushes outside the village by in their city yards, left by children outside the backdoor. It is tramped back in on their feet, carried on fingers onto clothes, food, and drinking water.

[....] Poor sanitation, bad hygiene, and unsafe water — usually unsafe because it has fecal particles in it — cause one in ten of the world's illnesses. [....] Diarrhea — nearly 90 percent of which is caused by fecally contaminated food or water — kills a child every fifteen seconds. The number of children who have died from diarrhea in the last decade [1998-2008] exceeds the total number of people killed by armed conflict since the Second World War.

Test your lavatorial knowledge with our new  toilet quizzes! 

Quiz #1: International Toilets Quiz #2: Flying Toilets
Who is the Toilet Guru?

Who is the Toilet Guru? Is he obsessed? What is it like to be the Toilet Guru? How did Yahoo describe him? Why does this site exist?
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Let's visit the toilets!