Shutterstock

Here's your extra-sad edition of Toilet Tuesday, news from loos across the world.

Back up this Toilet Tuesday is a disaster zone:

THE ABSOLUTE WORST, IN GHANA

When using a public toilet, people might fret that the seat is dirty or the TP roll barren. Few folks probably worry about the walls falling down and a sucking pit of brown sewage swallowing them up for eternity. Yet that dismal fate did descend upon a group of Ghanians at a public bathroom in the aptly named High Tension, a suburb of the coastal town of Kasoa.

The crappiest of disasters occurred on Saturday morning, with witnesses spotting people running away from a 28-seat bathroom as its structure caved in. A team of concerned neighbors responded to help pull stunned, muck-covered individuals from the underlying cesspit, but an excavator was needed to clear away heavier rubble. The rescuers saved five people, but it was too late for one man, a 58-year-old tro tro driver, who perished in the ooze.

According to the Daily Guide, the collapse may have been caused by a buildup of methane in the waste tanks, which can hasten sudden cave-ins. The owner of the bathroom reportedly knew it was in poor condition but hadn't done anything about it. For Ghanians who never want to step into a public crapper again, don't worry: A disaster official has promised that "all such dilapidated toilets would soon be demolished" in place of better-designed facilities.

A COMMUNAL TOILET FOR ANIMALS, IN BORNEO

Poop here. (Jeremiah Harris/Wikipedia)

When a tree shrew needs to take a dump in jungles of Malaysia, where does it go? To the public bathroom, of course, just like us!

Except in this case the "bathroom" is a hollow pitcher plant called Nepenthes lowii that flourishes on the slopes of Mount Kinabalu in the dense rainforest of Borneo. Over the eons, the plant has evolved an interesting morphology unlike other pitchers, which digest prey that fall into their water-filled interiors. The N. lowii has a network of bristles around its lid that are tipped with a sweet, white substance. This liquid serves as a lure for animals to climb up to the plant's “bowl” and defecate into it, fertilizing the pitcher in the process.

The organism seems to thrive on this strange diet: A 2009 study by Australian botanist Charles Clarke found that N. Lowii specimens get 57 to 100 percent of their foliar nitrogen from tree-shrew feces, and that the plant's orifice geometry is perfectly matched for shrew's pooping ease. Plant lovers who are having trouble raising this curious species might try changing its diet.

LOW FASHION, IN CANADA

If you missed the ninth annual toilet-paper fashion show in Toronto last weekend, it's been posted on YouTube for all to chuckle at. The White Cashmere Collection, a charity event staged by tissue giant Kruger Products, featured more than a dozen Canadian designers crafting evening wear and shoes out of the stuff you normally use to wipe a tush. The theme this year: “old time Hollywood glamour.”

Top image from Shutterstock.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. An aerial photo of downtown Miami.
    Life

    The Fastest-Growing U.S. Cities Aren’t What You Think

    Looking at the population and job growth of large cities proper, rather than their metro areas, uncovers some surprises.

  2. a photo of a BYD-built electric bus.
    Transportation

    A Car-Centric City Makes a Bid for a Better Bus System

    Indianapolis is set to unveil a potentially transformative all-electric bus rapid transit line, along with a host of major public transportation upgrades.

  3. Transportation

    When a Transit Agency Becomes a Suburban Developer

    The largest transit agency in the U.S. is building a mixed-use development next to a commuter rail station north of Manhattan.

  4. a photo of a tiny house in Oregon
    Design

    How Amazon Could Transform the Tiny House Movement

    Could the e-commerce giant help turn small-home living from a niche fad into a national housing solution?

  5. Warren Logan
    Transportation

    A City Planner Makes a Case for Rethinking Public Consultation

    Warren Logan, a Bay Area transportation planner, has new ideas about how to truly engage diverse communities in city planning. Hint: It starts with listening.

×