7 of the World’s Most Picturesque Places to Poop

Barafu Camp, Tanzania. Image Credit: © Jørn Eriksson / 500px 

As any seasoned traveler knows, while everybody poops, not everybody does it in the same way. Confronted with foreign toilets, you may be baffled as to what those extra buttons mean, or by the fact that it looks like a shower stall with foot grips. But in some cases, vacationing means a toilet with an incredible view. 

The expert jet setters at Lonely Planet have combed the world for the most picturesque lavatories on the planet. The resulting book, Toilets: A Spotter’s Guide, is a collection of more than 100 glorious lavatories from Alaska to India to Antarctica. We can’t guarantee they smell nice, but they certainly make up for it in ambiance. 

Perhaps the book’s synopsis puts it best: “In these pages you’ll find porcelain pews with fantastic views, audacious attention­-seeking urban outhouses, and eco­thrones made from sticks and stones in all sorts of wild settings, from precipitous mountain peaks to dusty deserts.” 

See six more of these breathtaking commodes below: 

Thiksey Monastry, Ladakh, India. Image Credit: © Bernhard S. / 500px

Red Woods Toilets, Rotorua, New Zealand. Image Credit: © Fran(E)K S / 500px

Monument Valley, Utah, USA. Image Credit: © Jure Kravanja / 500px

Log outhouse, Chena Hot Springs Resort, Alaska, USA. Image Credit: Sunny Awazuhara- Reed / Design Pics / Getty Images ©

Eco-toilet, British Columbia, Canada. Image Credit: © Susan Breau / 500px

The toilet on Silk Caye, near Placencia, Belize. Image Credit: © Tomas Mahring / 500px

These would make a great "wish you were here" postcard set. The book is $12 here.

[h/t Co.Exist]

In-Flight Bidets Could Be the Next Big Thing in Plane Design

There are plenty of things to hate about flying, but having to repeatedly use a public (and very tiny) bathroom over the course of several hours is up there. That could change in the near future, though. Travel + Leisure reports that Zodiac Aerospace, a manufacturer of plane cabin interiors, is working on a fancy plane toilet like no other—outside of private jets, that is. Yes, it's a toilet with a built-in bidet.

Zodiac debuted its new design at the recent Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany. The company's latest and greatest toilet, which you can operate from a remote control that would be installed on a wall of the bathroom, features an adjustable water spout that retracts and can provide a nice spray for both the front part of your undercarriage and your back end. For those who understandably worry about germs on their airplane toilets, it comes with a special UV light to disinfect the loo.

According to Travel + Leisure, Zodiac's bidet-equipped toilets will most likely appear first on airlines based in places like Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, where bidets are more commonplace. The design might not be so appealing to airlines in the U.S., which is strangely averse to two-in-one toilet/butt-washing technology.

It's rare to see a plane upgrade that's actually good news for travelers. While there is the occasional proposal that might make economy travel more comfortable—like a design that would make middle seats wider and more accessible, or a seat that could alert the crew if you're having a panic attack mid-air—most new proposals would make flying even more of a nightmare than it already is, like a seat Airbus proposed in 2014 that would put passengers essentially in rows of bicycle seats for their entire flights.

Zodiac hasn't announced whether a specific plane or airline already plans to put this upgraded toilet into use, so it could be a while before you get to use it for yourself. Sorry, butts.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

Live Smarter
Bathroom Hand Dryers Might Be Blasting Us With Poo Particles

Using a public restroom can be a stressful experience. People inevitably shake the flimsy stall doors to check for occupancy. Soap can be missing and gastrointestinal noises can be heard. Now, a new study has found that the perils of public voiding may not end at the sink. The wall-mounted hand dryers—often believed to be a sanitary solution—could be blasting fecal bacteria right back on your hands.

Published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, the report looked at 36 bathrooms at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Samples of bacterial colonies were taken on plates. A typical bathroom air sample averaged less than one colony, while plates positioned underneath a hand dryer for 30 seconds averaged 18 to 60 colonies per plate.

Researchers aren't yet sure whether the dryers are actually harboring bacteria or simply sucking it up and then blowing a concentrated amount back out: Swabs of dryer nozzles had only minimal bacteria levels. Researchers found that installing a HEPA filter in the dryers dramatically reduced their bacterial load.

Bacteria in a public bathroom are likely coming from nearby toilets, which don't have lids and can release fecal particles when flushed. So what do you do if you don't want weaponized poo on your freshly washed hands? Avoid the dryer and stick with paper towels. But for relatively healthy people who aren't immunocompromised, a few blasts of contaminated air probably won't harm you.

[h/t CBS Pittsburgh]


More from mental floss studios