We all go to the toilet at least a few times each day, and most of us don’t think there is anything special about our porcelain throne. In fact, most of us never think of toilets until it’s time to go, or until it’s time to clean the one in our bathroom.
Here are some funny and interesting toilet facts for you.
Fact #1: Toilets have many names
Through the years and around the world, many names have been used, and are still being used to describe toilets. They have been called the washroom, the lavatory, the loo, the crapper, the WC, the privy, the John, the latrine, the shithouse, and, of course, the porcelain throne.
Fact #2: Toilets were invented a long time ago
Toilets and sewers were invented a long time ago, during the third millenium BC. The Indus Valley Civilisation, a Bronze Age civilisation from South Asia, was the first one to develop an urban sanitation system. Toilets were built into the walls of homes, and were connected to a covered sewer network.
Fact #3: The first flush toilet system was designed by John Harington
The first flush toilet system was designed by Sir John Harington, an English courtier, in 1596. His creation didn’t become popular instantly. In fact, a Scottish inventor named Alexander Cummings was the first to patent a design for the flush toilet, after improving it with the invention of the S-trap.
Fact #4: Thomas Crapper perfected the flush system we still use today
Thomas Crapper, an English plumber, is sometimes wrongly credited for being the inventor of the flush toilet. He did, however, improve the design of the flush toilet, and he invented the manhole cover. He was also the first to set up public showrooms displaying sanitary installations.
Fact #5: Many people around the world don’t have access to a toilet
It’s estimated that 2.6 billion people around the world don’t have access to a proper toilet, particularly people living in some rural areas. It’s also strange to note that in Afghanistan, only 7% of the population has access to flush toilets, while 90% of the population owns a television.
Fact #6: Toilets age just like we do
Well, they don’t exactly age the way we do, but they certainly don’t stay young forever. The average life expectancy of a toilet is 50 years, and the older a toilet is, the more water it will use due to the deterioration of some of its parts. You will most likely have to contact a plumber every now and then to fix your toilet.
Fact #7: The first rolls of toilet paper were manufactured in 1890
Even though toilet paper was first invented in China during the 6th century AD, the first rolls of toilet paper were manufactured in 1890 by the Scot Paper Company. Before that, individual flat sheets of toilet paper were sold in packages.
Fact #8: We all spend way too much time on the toilet
It’s estimated that in average, each of us goes to the toilet about 2500 times each year. It has also been said that we each spend an average of three years of our life sitting on the toilet!
Fact #9: People with a smartphone spend more time sitting on the toilet
We all know someone who has admitted dropping their phone into the toilet. Many of us use our phone while we are sitting on the throne, but did you know that the more features your smartphone has, the more likely you are to spend more time sitting on the toilet?
Fact #10: You should always choose the first toilet cubicle in a row
No one likes dirty public restrooms. If you want to avoid stepping inside a dirty toilet cubicle the next time you visit a public restroom, be sure to choose the first cubicle in a row. They are used less often than the others, which means they are usually more clean.
Fact #11: Flushing toilets spray germs everywhere
Everytime you flush the toilet, it sprays germs everywhere, from up to 6 feet. If you don’t want your bathroom to be covered with germs, you should close the toilet seat lid before flushing.
Fact #12: Not everyone washes their hands after going to the toilet
Approximately 20% of people don’t wash their hands after they go to the toilet. And the people who do wash their hands don’t always use soap, which means that a lot of people are walking around with dirty hands!
Fact #13: The movie Psycho was the first one to feature a flushing toilet
Psycho, the movie directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock in 1960, is famous for its shower scene. But it was also the first movie to feature a toilet being flushed, which caused many complaints at the time because it was considered indecent.
Fact #14: World Toilet Day is celebrated in November
One of the most interesting toilet facts is that there’s a special day dedicated just to it! The World Toilet Organization, which is committed to improving sanitation conditions around the world, was founded on November 19, 2001. This is why November 19 is now celebrated as World Toilet Day.