The Real Info on Shit!
Here is information on what you were all very interested in! None other, than shit! Or...poop....
What is poop made of?
About 3/4 of your
average turd is made of water. Of course, this value is highly variable
- the water content of diarrhea is much higher, and the amount of water
in poop that has been retained (voluntarily or otherwise) is lower. Water
is absorbed out of fecal material as it passes through the intestine, so
the longer a turd resides inside before emerging, the drier it will be.
Of the remaining
portion of the turd, about 1/3 is composed of dead bacteria. These microcorpses
come from the intestinal garden of microorganisms that assist us in the
digestion of our food. Another 1/3 of the turd mass is made of stuff that
we find indigestible, like cellulose, for instance. This indigestible material
is called "fiber," and is useful in getting the turd to move along through
the intestine, perhaps because it provides traction. The remaining portion
of the turd is a mixture of fats such as cholesterol, inorganic salts like
phosphates, live bacteria, dead cells and mucus from the lining of the
intestine, and protein.
Why does poop stink?
Poop stinks as a
result of the products of bacterial action. Bacteria produce smelly, sulfur-rich
organic compounds such as indole, skatole, and mercaptans, and the inorganic
gas hydrogen sulfide. These are the same compounds that give farts their
Why is poop brown?
The color comes
mainly from bilirubin, a pigment that arises from the breakdown of red
blood cells in the liver and bone marrow. The actual metabolic pathway
of bilirubin and its byproducts in the body is very complicated, so we
will simply say that a lot of it ends up in the intestine, where it is
further modified by bacterial action. But the color itself comes from iron.
Iron in hemoglobin in red blood cells gives blood its red color, and iron
in the waste product bilirubin gives rise to its brown color.
What other colors of poop are possible?
Poop is mostly shades
of brown or yellow, but other colors can arise under certain circumstances.
For example, someone with a bleeding ulcer might have tarry black poop
from the presence of partially digested blood. Bleeding in the intestine,
from an anal fissure or split, for example, can stain the poop red. Some
illnesses in babies gives them green or even blue-green poop. But another
source of blue poop in children is more innocent: it can come from eating
a concentrated source of blue food coloring such as ice cream. Intense
red food coloring can produce bright red poop. Sometimes brightly colored
foods pass through the gut almost unchanged, and the turd may be speckled
with bright red fragments such as pimentos, or bright yellow kernels of
One can experience
white poop after consuming a barium milkshake for the purposes of getting
an x-ray of the upper gastrointestinal tract.
What is the cause of yellow poop?
According to Michael
F., one cause of this is Gilbert's Syndrome. "I have a benign condition
known as Gilbert's Syndrome. It affects quite a few people, males mostly,
in their teens+. It is a deficiency in the liver where red blood cells
are broken down. I was informed when this was diagnosed that the broken
down blood cells is what gives poop a lot of its color. People with Gilbert's
Syndrome don't process as many blood cells - or not as fast - and their
poop tends to be pale brown or yellow from the lower quantity of discarded
red blood cell matter. This is especially true if there is less matter
in your intestines (i.e., on a diet - as I have noticed) to remove the
excess blood cells. Very frightening until you determine what is causing
it. Gilbert's is a totally benign thing that doesn't harm anyone, although
when a person is sick they can turn yellowish as if jaundiced, but it is
of yellow poop is a giardia infection. Giardia are tiny Protozoan parasites
that can invade the intestines and result in severe yellow diarrhea. It
is a dangerous and contagious affliction that doctors are obligated to
report to the Center for Disease Control.
What is the cause of green poop?
by ap, CrAzYMiC98 and several others)
I have consulted
with a doctor, a physiologist and a microbiologist on this question, and
the following summarizes their answers:
can have green poop if they eat a diet rich in leafy green vegetables,
or if they consume large quantities of food coloring (in ice cream, cake
Green poop can
also be caused by excess iron in the diet, from dietary supplements, for
example. If the body does not absorb all the iron consumed, the iron may
stain the poop green, the color of iron (II) salts. Ordinarily, the green
color may be masked by the normal brown poop color, but if digestion is
thrown off by illness so that bilirubin is less concentrated in the intestine,
the green color may become apparent. This can happen when a person is afflicted
Green poop in
sick babies may come from iron in baby formula not being properly absorbed,
or by green pigments in bile salts (again, green from iron).
Why is bird poop white?
by Sarah Beth)
birds don't urinate. Their kidneys extract nitrogenous wastes from the
bloodstream, but instead of excreting it as urea dissolved in urine as
we do, they excrete it in the form of uric acid. Uric acid has a very low
solubility in water, so it emerges as a white paste. This material, as
well as the output of the intestines, emerges from the bird's cloaca. The
cloaca is a multi-purpose hole for birds: their wastes come out of it,
they have sex by putting their cloacas together, and females lay eggs out
Why do dogs (and other animals) eat poop?
Many animals eat
poop on a regular basis. These include rabbits, rodents, gorillas, many
insects such as dung beetles and flies, and yes, dogs. (Keep that in mind
the next time a dog wants to lick you!) Herbivores such as rabbits and
rodents eat their own poop because their diet of plants is hard to digest
efficiently, and they have to make two passes at it to get everything out
of the meal. This is equivalent to a cow chewing its cud, only cows are
able to re-eat their food without having to poop it out first. Another
reason why animals eat poop is that poop contains vitamins produced by
their intestinal bacteria. The animal is unable to absorb the vitamins
through the intestinal wall, but can get at them by eating the poop. Another
reason that animals such as dogs and flies eat poop is that poop contains
a certain amount of protein. Dogs are particularly fond of cat poop because
cat poop is high in protein. I had a friend with a dog and a cat, and he
never had to clean the kitty litter. The dog took care of it.
Are there people who eat poop?
Yes, we all have,
at one point or another. One of the main ways that diseases and parasites
spread is through the consumption of food and water contaminated with feces.
This happens because people don't wash their hands carefully after pooping
or changing a diaper or scratching their butt. It can also happen through
careless disposal of diapers. Our microbiologist here on Guam says that
one dirty diaper in Tumon Bay can send the bacteria count through the ceiling.
But of course,
what you want to know is, are there people who eat poop on purpose?
Again, the answer is yes. Some autistic children practice coprophagy, the
ingestion of feces. Coprophagy is also listed as an unusual sexual practice
in the encyclopedia of that name.
I have known
only one person who ate poop on purpose, and she only did it once, when
she was about four years old. She says she was curious about what it tasted
like. When asked what poop does taste like, she replies, "About like you'd
By the way,
for all of you who are wondering, the author of this page does NOT eat
Can you get sick from eating poop?
Yes, you can
definitely get sick from eating poop, even in minute quantities! Although
urine emerges sterile from the body (unless the person has an infection),
poop emerges loaded with bacteria and sometimes other life forms. Many
diseases, including food poisoning, cholera and typhus, are spread by fecal
contamination. Many parasites, such as the notorious tapeworm, can be spread
through deliberate or accidental ingestion of poop.
There are some
parasites, such as pinworms, who depend on people eating their own poop
to keep the population up. Pinworms are small nematodes that live in the
colon. The females emerge from the anus at night to lay their eggs. Their
activity makes the anal area itch. The person scratches the itch (often
doing so in his sleep), procuring a small amount of fecal matter and eggs
under his fingernails, and then puts his fingers in his mouth. Once the
eggs are consumed, the person is infected with a new generation of pinworms.
I have read that almost
everyone has pinworms. Luckily, pinworms don't do much harm. You only notice
them if you have a lot of pinworms! If you want to find out if you do indeed
have them, get someone to gently touch around your anal area with Scotch
tape while you are sleeping. The worms will stick to the tape and you'll
be able to see them.
Do most people wipe their left-over poop standing
up or while sitting on the pot, and are there gender differences?
This isn't really
scientific, but I did a quick survey, and everyone asked (including both
males and females) said that they wipe sitting down. There was even a reason
provided: that sitting down spreads the cheeks apart and makes access easier.
This survey was done on Guam, and Guam is technically part of the United
States, and most people here probably use American toilet habits. However,
if you travel a bit, you will discover that people deal with left-over
poop in different ways in other parts of the world.
In Europe, for
example, that water fountain in the bathroom isn't for drinking. It's a
bidet for hosing off after using the toilet.
Asia, you don't sit on the toilet at all. The toilet is a low, porcelain-lined
trench, and the user squats over it. Next to the toilet is a bin of water.
You scoop water out of the bin with your left hand and use that to cleanse
yourself. You aren't supposed to use your left hand for any other purpose.
How come when you eat corn, no matter how much you
chew it, you poop it out in whole kernals?
Corn poop is
one of the greatest mysteries in life. I grew up pondering the same question.
This is what I think is happening:
When we chew
corn, the outer coating slips off the inner kernal. This outer yellow coating
is almost entirely cellulose, and is indigestible. It passes through the
gut untouched, and emerges looking like a whole kernal, although it is
mostly just the outer skin. The inside of the kernal is starchy and digestible,
and that is the part that we succeed in chewing up.
Is there any way to prevent corn from getting in
I know of only
one way - don't eat corn!
How does poop stay together, like in links?
by Blink182 Girl)
In humans, soft
poop is really one long, mostly continuous sausage before it comes out.
It gets its "link" look because we tend to pinch off lengths of it with
the anal sphincter as the poop emerges. If a person pinches hard enough,
the poop separates into several turd units. If the person doesn't pinch
that hard, the turds may stay connected.
If you can remain
sufficiently relaxed, you can produce an awesomely long poop that will
coil up inside the toilet.
Why does some poop float?
by High Rise)
turds that have an unusually high gas content. Sometimes the gases produced
by bacteria in our gut don't have a chance to collect into a large fart
bubble, but remain dispersed in the feces. The poop then comes out foamy,
and has a lower density than water.
What causes the burning sensation sometimes associated
by torrance crump)
This is generally
caused by a recent meal of hot peppers or related spices. The oils associated
with these foods remain intact and active all the way through one's gastrointestinal
system. These oils can also generate hot farts.
Why does some poop hurt when it comes out?
Turds can get
very large and dry if a person is constipated, causing painful stretching
of the anal opening. Pooping can also hurt if the person has hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are engorged veins in the anal area. A doctor once described
them to me as "varicose veins of the anus," which suggests that the valves
in the veins that are supposed to keep the blood flowing in the right direction
have gotten messed up. Pooping can also be painful if the person suffers
from an anal fissure, a tear in the tissue of the rectum.
Does eating meat make your poop smell worse?
Yes, meat protein
is rich in sulfides, resulting in smellier farts and poop. This is the
reason that the poop of carnivores such as dogs, cats and snakes smells
worse than the poop of herbivores such as cows and horses.
Is it possible to vomit poop?
It is not possible
unless the person is suffering from some extremely rare condition or disorder.
I had a roommate once whose summer job was to administer barium enemas
to patients in a hospital. She told me that one patient vomited the enema.
Is it possible for a man to have poop come out of
his penis, or for a woman to poop out of her vaginal opening?
by Booby Poop, Jr. and LaysTatoChips222)
fortunately the plumbing of the genitalia is entirely separate from the
plumbing of the digestive system! However, there are certain pathological
situations that can cause the pipes to get connected together wrong. Cancer
can do it, as can surgical diversions of the human tubing. Such fistulas,
as they are called, can cause feces to come out of the urinary system,
or urine to come out of the anus.
Can you blow up a toilet by throwing a cigarette
into it after pooping?
This sounds like
urban legend to me. It would take a heck of a lot of hydrogen to explode
a toilet in this manner, and intestinal gases just don't have that much.
Also, any flame would just flare up briefly. With an open toilet, you couldn't
get up enough pressure to pop the pot!
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