11 Messy Jobs for the Bravest Among Us


The grind of a 9-to-5 got you down? You could be doing this today.

1. Armpit Sniffer

A superhuman sniffer can be your ticket to a new career. Odor testing is a big deal to many manufacturers, and a foray into the professional world of smelling can earn you $39,000 a year. Professional smellers may whiff new perfume, wine, or air fresheners. On the downside, if they work for a deodorant company, they may also smell armpits for a living.

2. Porta Potty Cleaner

What goes in must come out. Armed with a tank, vacuum wand, and a nose clip, professional porta john cleaners suck up whatever’s lurking in the blue murk below the toilet lid. They also clean the walls and restock the mobile tinkle station with supplies. The plus? A potential salary of $50,000.

3. Pet Food Taster

You don’t need to love dogs for this gig. You do, however, need to love dog food. A number of companies hire humans to taste-test pet food for quality control. You need to have a nuanced tongue—balancing what animals like to taste and what owners like to smell. If you can stomach it, you can bring home about $40,000 a year.

4. HAZMAT Diver

If the thought of diving in raw sewage doesn’t make you gag, then commercial diving may be for you. HAZMAT divers may swim in sewage, contaminated ponds, vats of oil sludge, and paper pulp tanks to repair pipes, find lost objects, or recover bodies. With good knowledge of chemistry and biology, an experienced diver can make up to $150,000 a year.

5. Crime Scene Cleaner

Police may clean the street of crime, but they don’t ever clean the crime scene. It’s the crime scene cleaner’s job to sweep up any unfortunate gore. Not for the easily queasy, crime scene cleaners also break down meth labs and clean up anthrax scares. If you can handle constantly being around tragedy, you can haul in $600 an hour.

6. Poison Taster

Like the medieval monarchs before them, some VIPs still have professional guinea pigs to taste their food. Everything Vladimir Putin eats is tested by a taster. Even U.S. Presidents—from Reagan to Obama—have tasters. American tasters, though, oversee the whole food-making process whenever the President goes out. Most of them are Secret Service agents.

7. Roadkill Collector

Over 1.5 million deer are smacked by cars each year. Plenty of other animals scurry across the asphalt and never make it too—and it’s a roadkill collector’s job to pick them up. Collectors scan the roads for carcasses, play Frogger with traffic, and dispose of the kill at landfills or compost heaps (depending on state laws). According to a listing from 2000, roadkill collectors make around $25,000 a year

8. Frog Pickler

Those frogs you dissected in high school biology? That’s a job. Biological suppliers preserve frogs, cats, pigeons, and pigs for high school and college students. Most of the specimens are euthanized on the spot, embalmed, and then injected with colored latex so students can locate the arteries and veins.    

9. Fake Astronaut

Beginning in 2010, six people in Moscow locked themselves in a mock spacecraft for 490 days. The goal? To see if it was possible to travel in deep space—specifically Mars—without going insane. They spent 250 days enclosed in the craft, 30 days exploring a model of the Martian landscape, and 240 more days back in the spacecraft. That’s 520 days of solitude. Although they didn’t go crazy, the participants did become more reclusive.

10. Deer Urine Farmer

Deer urine is packed with pheromones that drive big bucks wild, making it a favorite lure among hunters. Some deer farmers collect and sell undiluted whitetail pee, and with 17 million deer hunters in the U.S., they make a pretty penny doing it. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, a single deer can whizz $93,000 to $303,000 worth of urine each year.

11. Professional Patient

For $15 an hour, you can get your prostate examined multiple times by a team of inexperienced doctors. Many med schools hire fake patients to help future physicians hone their bedside manner. In one sitting, your may receive 17 physicals, or, for a higher bill, you may get something a bit more invasive. Although you’re one of their first patients, you’re helping teach the next generation of doctors.

From Snoopy to Shark Bait: The Top Slang Word in Each State

There’s a minute, and then there’s a hot minute. Defined as “a longish amount of time,” this unit of time is familiar to Alabamians but may stir up confusion beyond the state’s borders.

It’s Louisianans, though, who feel the “most misunderstood,” according to the results of a survey regarding regional slang by PlayNJ. Of the Louisiana residents surveyed, 72 percent said their fellow Americans from other states—even neighboring ones—have a hard time grasping their lingo. Some learned the hard way that ordering a burger “dressed” (with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayo) isn’t universally understood, nor is the phrase “to pass a good time” (instead of “to have” a good time).

After surveying 2000 people (with proportional numbers from each state), PlayNJ created a map showing the top slang word in each state. Many are words that are unlikely to be understood beyond state lines, but others—like California’s bomb (something you really like) and New York’s deadass (to be completely serious)—have spread well beyond their respective borders thanks to memes and internet culture.

Hawaiians are also known for their distinctive slang words, with 71 percent reporting that words like shaka (hello) and poho (waste of time) are frequently misunderstood. Shark bait, one of the state’s more colorful terms, refers to tourists who are so pale that they attract sharks.

Check out the full list below and test your knowledge of regional slang words with PlayNJ’s online quiz.

A chart showing the top slang words in each state
20 States With the Highest Rates of Skin Cancer

They don’t call it the Sunshine State for nothing. Floridians get to soak up the sun year-round, but that exposure to harmful UV rays also comes with consequences. Prevention magazine reported that Florida has the highest rate of skin cancer in the U.S., according to a survey by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS).

BCBS surveyed 9 million of its insured members who had been diagnosed with skin cancer between 2014 and 2016 and found that Florida had the highest rate of skin cancer at 7.1 percent. People living in eastern states tend to be more prone to skin cancer, and diagnoses are more common among women.

Here are the 20 states with the highest rates of skin cancer:

1. Florida: 7.1 percent
2. Washington, D.C.: 5.8 percent
3. Connecticut: 5.6 percent
4. Maryland: 5.3 percent
5. Rhode Island: 5.3 percent
6. Vermont: 5.3 percent
7. North Carolina: 5.2 percent
8. New York: 5 percent
9. Massachusetts: 5 percent
10. Colorado: 5 percent
11. Arizona: 5 percent
12. Virginia: 5 percent
13. Delaware: 4.8 percent
14. Kentucky: 4.7 percent
15. Alabama: 4.7 percent
16. New Jersey: 4.7 percent
17. Georgia: 4.7 percent
18. West Virginia: 4.5 percent
19. Tennessee: 4.5 percent
20. South Carolina: 4.4 percent

It may come as a surprise that sunny California doesn’t make the top 20, and Hawaii is the state with the lowest rate of skin cancer at 1.8 percent. Prevention magazine explains that this could be due to the large population of senior citizens in Florida and the fact that the risk of melanoma, a rare but deadly type of skin cancer, increases with age. People living in regions with higher altitudes also face a greater risk of skin cancer due to the thinner atmosphere and greater exposure to UV radiation, which explains why Colorado is in the top 10.

The good news is that the technology used to detect skin cancer is improving, and researchers hope that AI can soon be incorporated into more skin cancer screenings. To reduce your risk, be sure to wear SPF 30+ sunscreen when you know you’ll be spending time outside, and don’t forget to reapply it every two hours. 

[h/t Prevention]


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