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5 Places Covered in Poop

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Because waste elimination is perceived as somewhat undignified, we sometimes choose to ignore the idea that culturally or historically important areas could actually harbor ... poop. And lots of it. These five notable locations happen to be contaminated by plenty of misplaced fecal matter.

1. Mount Everest

With an average of 700 climbers every season and exactly zero janitors, the world’s most formidable mountain has been stockpiling number twos for decades: By one estimate, more than 26,000 pounds of it is deposited every year. The problem has become so acute that in March 2015, Nepal announced Everest was practically a biohazard and reminded visitors to carry all of their trash back down with them. While considerate, this will not address the existing threat: In a terrifying prediction, one geologist told Think Progress that climate change could mean all the poo buried in melting snow might one day resurface.  

2. The Streets of San Francisco

The undulating, roller-coaster layout of San Francisco’s streets has made them possibly the country’s most famous urban roadway. So why poop on it? The city is home to over 7000 homeless people who have only limited access to bathroom facilities, meaning their bowel movements are often left in the street. There were nearly 1000 "reports of human excrement" in June 2014 alone, according to the city. One resident even created a poop map, which allows people to type in an address and assess their chances of stepping in it. 

3. The Landgate Arch

Rye, East Sussex, England is home to a magnificent medieval structure dating back to the 14th century: the roofless Landgate Arch, built in the time of King Edward III. When district representatives checked in on it in early 2015, they found they could barely budge the doors. That’s because 25 tons of pigeon poop had accumulated thanks to the open-air design. An environmental clean-up crew was dispatched to vacuum the waste out, with lead scrubber Mike Walker offering a sober assessment: "It was like walking on a giant chocolate cake." 

4. The National Mall

Washington, D.C.'s reflective pool attracts a number of tourists, both human and fowl—but it’s the latter that has ridiculously poor public manners. Canada geese frequent the Mall, each one leaving up to two or three pounds of poop on the grounds every day and turning what should be a casual stroll into a fecal landmine. Park services have recently taken to walking border collies on the premises, which corral the geese into other, poop-friendly areas.  

5. The Playboy Mansion

In a 2006 tell-all titled Bunny Tales, former Hefner Girlfriend Izabella St. James claimed life inside the fabled Playboy Mansion had a distinct odor. With a number of dogs roaming the halls, she alleged it was not uncommon to step in their waste or witness Hugh Hefner scrambling to retrieve poos from dogs that weren’t yet housebroken. When a stained bedroom carpet was replaced, St. James bemoaned that it was a patterned dark blue, making it even harder to spot the piles. Hefner would later issue a denial of some of her claims while confirming others. He did not address whether houseguests have to check the bottom of their shoes.

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fun
Move Over, Golden Toilet: Now There’s a $100K Louis Vuitton Potty
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Tradesy
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Tradesy

In 2016, the Guggenheim Museum installed a one-of-a-kind, fully functional toilet made of solid gold, created by the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan just for the museum. Now, there’s another insanely luxurious art-toilet to look out for—and this one you can take home.

Made by artist Illma Gore for the luxury resale platform Tradesy, the Loo-Uis Vuitton Toilet is covered in $15,000 worth of monogram leather ripped from Louis Vuitton bags. Everything but the inside of the bowl—which is gold—is covered in that instantly recognizable brown designer leather. It's one way to show your brand loyalty, for sure.

The toilet is fully functional, meaning, yes, you can poop in it—although that would require you (at some point) to clean the leather undersides of the seat, which sounds … gross. But then again, the leather is brown, so do what you will.

A toilet art piece stands under a pink neon sign that reads ‘No Fake Shit.’
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Tradesy

Does sitting on it feel like using those squishy-soft toilet seats your grandma has? Please let us know, because we don’t have the $100,000 it would take to buy it for ourselves. Note that while the site sells used goods, the description makes sure to specify that this one is new.

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Design
A Portable Kit Relies on Everyday Items to Bring Toilets to Disaster Zones
Carl Court/Getty Images
Carl Court/Getty Images

If you look at the minimLET, you probably don't immediately think “toilet.” The kit, made by the Japanese design firm Nendo, consists of a piece of white, curved plastic, a sheet of fabric, a segmented aluminum pole, plastic bags, and tissue paper. But to survivors of natural disasters, the device may be the closest thing they get to an actual toilet while living in an emergency shelter.

As Co.Design reports, the minimLET addresses a major issue faced in disaster zones that often goes ignored: the lack of flushing toilets. Earthquakes and hurricanes can leave communities without power and clean drinking water for extended periods of time. They're also capable of destroying sewage systems. But because people can survive without private bathrooms, in the immediate aftermath of a catastrophe, the lack of toilets doesn't usually get top billing.

There are portable toilets designed for such situations, but most of them are big and bulky, making them hard to deliver to affected areas. In response to disasters like Japan's Tōhoku earthquake in 2011, Nendo devised a better solution: a portable, minimalist toilet that can be set up anywhere.

A plastic toilet seat stands on four aluminum legs.
Nendo

The minimLET toilet is compact enough to slide into a small bag, making it easy to transport and store. To set it up, you just need to secure the plastic seat to the four aluminum legs and attach a plastic bag underneath to act as the toilet bowl. The nylon cloth included in the kit works like a poncho to provide privacy in open areas.

The product is adaptable depending on the needs of the user. For added seclusion, you can also set the seat on plastic water bottles or metal cans weighted down with sand, allowing you to use the aluminum pipes as a tent pole instead of legs for the toilet. Then you can attach a cheap umbrella to the pole and drape the nylon cloth over it to form a makeshift outhouse, as you can see in the video below. The kit’s carrying case doubles as a waterproof pouch that can transport more than 4 gallons of liquid at a time.

That adaptability was a major goal for the design firm. “When living in evacuation shelters in contemporary urban spaces, various everyday items and waste materials are available" like umbrellas and 2-liter soda bottles, as Nendo writes on their website. "It was possible to appropriate such everyday items, due to the fact that these external dimensions, cap sizes, screw shapes, etc. are standardized to some extent to fit the shelves and vending machines in retail stores."

The minimLET is set to make its commercial debut in Japan sometime next year.

[h/t Co.Design]

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