Unusual and interesting toilets from all around the world.

Other Useful Toilet Links

Toilet Links

Buying and Repairing Toilet Hardware and Related Items

If you want to buy a particular design of toilet, or a toilet for use on board a ship or airplane, you need an industrial buying guide. Here are all the ones I know of:

Thomasnet — North America Worcon — Europe Australian Suppliers Directory Nordea Trade Portal — International
WBN maintains several country-specific business-to-business web platforms:
Africa Brazil Australia Canada Chile China Dubai Egypt France Germany India Indonesia Italy Japan Mexico Peru Russia United Kingdom

  • Answering the question, "But what if my existing toilet provides inadequate radiological contrast when the patient eliminates waste in a normal position?" and introducing the obscure term defecography: Build your own radiological commode! There used to be one of those for sale at http://www.neocast.net/2147415262.html, but that domain has disappeared.
  • On the other hand, if your question is more like "But what if I am so grotesquely obese that I need a specially designed toilet to support my quivering bulk?", then check out the Big John Toilet Seat and Support Company. Their toilets are tested to a weight capacity of a a 1,200-pound load! And by "1,200-pound load" they mean over a half-ton of flesh upon its extra-wide seat, and not, ah, you know what I mean. They seem to have taken the market niche formerly held by the Great John Toilet Company, which marketed a unit tested to a full ton, 2,000 pounds!
  • PlumberStock is an on-line plumbing supply company selling to the public at wholesale prices.
  • UK Bathrooms offers a wide range of fixtures what they call "shower toilets" with built-in bidet functions. These can range in price up to £3474 but they're top quality.
  • If you're still making plans for installing a toilet, consult the Vastru Shastra Guru to make sure you get the vāstu śāstra or vastu shastra worked out correctly. That's the geomancy of architecture according to traditional Hindu beliefs.
  • Or, alternatively, consult the Feng Shui Pundit to design a bathroom according to Chinese geomancy concepts.
  • Washloo claims to be the UK's only domestic electric bidet brand providing Japanese-style bidets that attach onto existing toilets.
  • Exeloo manufactures automated self-cleaning public toilets with automatic toilet paper dispensers.
  • Envirolet manufactures a composting toilet that looks disturbingly like a wood stove, and they encourage owners to send in photos of theirs.
  • Toiletology 101 is a web site dedicated to toilet repair.
  • This Old Toilet hosts the toilet tank lid replacement service, selling used and salvaged toilet tank lids from 1929 through today in a variety of colors. Really.
  • TSU-Tech specializes in Japanese advanced technology toilet seats, computer-controlled misting units etc. They install Toto washlet systems in New York City and the surrounding region.
  • Aquatron sells a composting toilet system: "two medium-sized Aquatron models were at the end of 1999 installed in a cabin on a mountain top in the Swedish mountains. The cabin belongs to the Swedish Tourist Association, the national organization for Tourism in Sweden. It was reported that several skiing tourists during the Easter Holidays were astonished when finding modern WC facilities at this altitude. Especially these cabins have been renown for primitive latrines."
  • The Bumper Dumper is a low-tech portable toilet mounted on a trailer hitch.
  • The Stadium Pal is an external catheter and leg-mounted collection bag for use while watching sporting events.

Toilet Museums, On-line Exhibits, and How-To Pages

  • Loo Tours offers "Lavitorial entertainments in London", 1.5-2 hour toilet-themed walking tours.
  • What if you want to ask "Where is the toilet?" in some other language? Ask the Travlang.com site. I have received complaints that they don't list enough languages (!!) or that the precise semantics for the Farsi is a bit off (!!!), but complain to them and not to me.
  • NPR's Goats and Soda had a short but nice collection of families' toilets from around the world.
  • Poozeum claims to be "the World's Largest Coprolite Museum & Resource Center."
  • Suwon-si, Korea, is home of the Haewoojae Museum, or Mr. Toilet House. Mr. Toilet, also known as Sim Jaedeok, wanted to celebrate the establishment of the World Toilet Association. He demolished his home of 30 years and built a new house shaped like a toilet. He named it Haewoojae, meaning "a house to relieve one's concerns", a term one uses to refer to the toilet at a temple.
  • Jochen Zeh was working on an art project that would "draw a line made of sparkling white toilets into a green, hilly field of upcoming wheat" in Tuscany. All he needed was: "Somebody who will lend me 200 toilets for one or two weeks. A photographer specialized in landscape and architectural photos. A magazine who will publish the photos." The entire jochenzeh.com domain where this was discussed has disappeared along with the nutty idea.
  • The owner of a toilet lid museum was looking to sell the collection. The owner-artist, a retired plumber, had made artwork from the lids for 53 years.

Toilet Science

  • "Toilet hygiene in the classical era" is an overview of historical post-defecation cleaning concentrating on the Greco-Roman world. It was in the British Medical Journal in December, 2012: BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e8287
  • Steve Mirsky of Scientific American discussed the BMJ article.
  • Four physicists at Brigham Young University studied the physics properties of urine splash-back in a urinal-like environment. Fluid dynamics revealed how to minimize urine splash-back. Summary: closer is better, as fluid streams follow the Plateau-Rayleigh instability and break up into a stream of drops, each with individual splash-back. Angle also helps.
  • Law of Urination: all mammals empty their bladders over the same duration, approximately 21 seconds, despite bladder volumes ranging from 100 milliliters to 100 liters.
  • Environmental Engineering professor Jaeweon Cho at South Korea's Ulsan National Instittue of Science and Technology has developed an energy-generating toilet that recycles human waste in three ways. Urine is processed in a microbial reaction tank, producing a liquid fertilizer. Solid waste goes into an anaerobic digestion tank, producing methane gas which a fuel cell uses to produce electricity. Remaining solids are composted to produce fertilizer. Functioning units on the campus pay students who use them in digital currency they can use to purchase coffee, instant noodles, and other items. See the professor's English langauge presentation on the project.
  • Wombats have roughly cubical droppings. This has been addressed by the Australian Academy of Science and the University College London. The November 2018 presentation How do wombats make cubed poo? by Patricia J Yang, Miles Chan, and David L Hu of the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Scott Carver of the University of Tasmania explains this. They presented their work at the 71st Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics.
  • Carla Lewis has written a fantastic reference on: composting toilets.
  • "Dogs are sensitive to small variations of the Earth's magnetic field", a paper in Frontiers in Zoology 2013, 10:80, by scientists from the Czech University of Life Sciences and the University of Dulsburg-Essen. Their abstract contains:
    Several mammalian species spontaneously align their body axis with respect to the Earth's magnetic field (MF) lines in diverse behavioral contexts. [...] We measured the direction of the body axis in 70 dogs of 37 breeds during defecation (1,893 observations) and urination (5,582 observations) over a two-year period. [...] Dogs preferred to excrete with the body being aligned along the North-south axis under calm MF conditions. This directional behavior was abolished under Unstable MF. The best predictor of the behavioral switch was the rate of change in declination, i.e., polar orientation of the MF.
  • Russian patent #2,399,858 describes a system for firing human waste projectiles from the main gun of a tank.

Toilet News and Stories

  • The Powerful History of Potty Training in The Atlantic discusses sociopolitical aspects of toilet training. Authoritarian collectivism of East Germany, uninhibited lassez-faire in leftist West German Kommunes, the belief by 1940s American anthropologists that Japanese early toilet training directly led to "the overwhelming brutality and sadism of the Japanese at war", Freudian inspired theories that authoritarian German toilet training led to robotic obedience to authority and anti-Semitism in the 1930s and 1940s, and more.
  • Historian and author Richard Melzer had his Outhouses of New Mexico exhibit at the Las Lunas Museum of Heritage and Arts.
  • BBC reported that Hong Kong police had raided triad gang-run brothels operating out of converted public toilets in an unused shopping mall. "Many of the women held are thought to be from mainland China. [....] In a statement, Hong Kong police said they arrested 51 women and 35 men aged between 17 and 72. Drugs, knives and other illegal objects were seized during the raid. Local media reports said that the brothels had been running for several months and that male and female toilets had been converted into 11 sq m (120 sq ft) cubicles used for sexual activity."
  • What Makes a Good Toilet in The Atlantic discusses pit toilets and their effect on local health and culture, especially in Africa and other places where the U.S. Peace Corps works.
  • Houki, Japan, has figured out how to recycle used adult diapers into fuel pellets. The result is used to heat the water in the town's public bath.
  • A professor at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea designed the BeeVi, an eco-friendly toilet that turns feces into methane, which can then be used as fuel. To get the raw material of feces, he created a cryptocoin. Students are paid cryptocoin for their feces deposited into this one special toilet on the campus, and can redeem that for coffee and books at a local coffee shop and book store. The professor explains that an average person poops about 500 grams of feces per day, which can be converted into 50 liters of methane, which can generate 0.5 kWh of electricity.
  • Atlas Obscura has several bathroom-themed stories.
  • The University of the Arts London had a competition, The Toilet of the Future. It was won by a raised squat toilet design.
  • Time magazine had a story in March 2009 about a toilet-themed restaurant in Taiwan. "Modern Toilet" it's called, and it's now a chain with seven outlets in Taiwan, one each in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, and plans for others elsewhere in China and in Macau and Kuala Lumpur.
  • A new toilet-themed restaurant opened in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, China in Seeptember, 2013, joining Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou which all had their own by then. Many pictures are available.
  • In the build-up to the Olympic games in Beijing, according to the BBC in March, 2008: "China is rushing to install sit-down loos for its 500,000 foreign Olympics visitors, after complaints that venues had only Asian-style squat toilets. A lack of Western-style facilities was a common complaint after some 30 test events at Games venues, officials said. 'A lot of parties have raised the question of toilets... We have told the venues to improve on this,' said Yao Hui, deputy head of venue management." Yikes, a lack of raised porcelain commodes! Much worse than China's awful human rights record, no?
  • The Internet holds umpteen copies of a story about a US Navy air mission against Vietnam. They were running short of ordnance but at the same time commemorating the 6-millionth pound of ordnance dropped (well, if you're dropping it by the millions of pounds, you're going to run out before long). A toilet had been damaged on board the USS Midway, and was going to be thrown overboard. The ordnance crew made a rack, tailfins, and nose fuse for it, and it was mounted on an A-1 Skyraider of VA-25. It was then dropped in the Delta area of South Vietnam. Ask Google to search for the standard title of the account:
    "what the hell was on 572's right wing"
    Or, the recent coverage in The Drive.

Toilet Maps and Locators, and Android and iPhone apps

  • The We Can't Wait smartphone app from the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation has over 45,000 public toilet locations across the U.S. In addition to crowd-sources location data, it has partnered with large retailers and national restaurant chains, adding another 3,000 locations.
    Android iphone
  • There are smart phone apps that let you track your bowel movements — where, when, what consistency.
    Android iPhone
  • The Bathroom Diaries has the most detailed traveler-submitted directory of public-accessible toilets I've found. It lists toilets in over 120 countries, including over 9000 in the U.S.
  • The Australian National Public Toilet Map describes itself as "A project of the National Continence Management Strategy". That's an unusual and admirable government strategy!
  • Where to 'Go' in the Great Outdoors is a pamphlet for trekkers in Scotland. This includes the extremely rare British Isles Squatter! A free copy of the pamphlet is available (if you're in the U.K., anyway).

Other collections of pictures, and stories, and other odds and ends