8 Places In The World That Are Covered In Poop, So You Know Where Not To Go On Your Honeymoon
Remember a few weeks ago, when we were all freaking out about how our favorite hipster beards were completely infested with feces? We all breathed a sigh of relief when we found out that that report was complete crap, but we shouldn’t get too excited: Although our favorite facial hair may not, in fact, be covered in poop, it turns out that some of our favorite places certainly are.
You might gag to realize that these places are covered in a heavy blanket of excrement, you may be relieved (or completely horrified) to learn that that is a fairly normal state of being. Poop is literally everywhere; Phillip M. Tierno, a microbiologist and the author of The Secret Life of Germs , told NY Mag, “We, as a society, are literally bathed in feces. Wherever a man touches, there are feces and fecal organisms present.” Studies have found traces of poop in offices, kitchens, hotel rooms, cell phones, shopping carts, climbing walls, and pretty much everywhere else. Since locking ourselves in our closets and refusing to come out ever again is not a practical solution to this state of affairs, we might as well resign ourselves to living in a (literally) shitty world.
Read on for 8 cringeworthy stories of places with major poop problems. Enjoy. And then go wash your hands.
1. Mount Everest
Many people cite climbing Mount Everest as one of their ultimate dreams (not me, obviously. That sounds like a lot of work), but I doubt that any of those would-be adventurers dream about a mountain covered in feces. In March, the head of Nepal’s mountaineering association announced that human waste left on the mountain by climbers has become a major environmental and health hazard for the world’s highest peak. Over 700 climbers attempt to tackle Everest each year, leaving their poop behind them; because it’s buried in snow, it never really decomposes.
2. The EPA Offices In Denver
In 2014, Government Executive got hold of a copy of a memo sent to employees at the EPA office in Denver, CO, which asked them to stop leaving feces in the hallways, as well as other bad bathroom behaviors like purposefully clogging the toilets with paper towels.
3. The National Mall, Washington D.C.
Recently, the National Park Service commissioned a pack of border collies to keep Canadian geese away from the monuments and the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool of the National Mall. Apparently a single goose can produce a pound of waste a day, which mars the Mall and messes with the reflecting pool’s plumbing.
4. The White Sand Beaches of Hawaii
I know that you just cried, “No! Not Hawaii! Anywhere by Hawaii!” but it’s true: A large portion of Hawaii’s famously beautiful white sand beaches are made of poop – parrotfish poop, to be exact. Parrotfish use their hard beaks to chip away and eat pieces of dead coral. The coral passes through the fish in the form of sand. According to the Huffington Post, “the native Hawaiian name for the female redlip parrotfish translates to ‘loose bowels.’” Pretty, right?
5. San Francisco
There is so much human excrement in public in San Francisco that a few months ago, software engineer Haochi Chen created an interactive man to track incidences of public defecation, called (of course) San Franshitsco. The map shows that, in addition to be one of the best cities ever, San Francisco is also a giant toilet (In 2012, a buildup of human feces was actually responsible for clogging and breaking down BART escalators). Why the high rates of public excrement, you ask? It has primarily to do with SF’s large population of homeless people, who lack access to proper bathrooms. A number of organizations are now working to improve homeless people’s access to sanitation facilities.
6. This Apartment Building In Seattle
Since February of 2014, residents of Potala Village Apartments in a town outside of Seattle, have been paying to have the dog feces around their building DNA tested. The building’s property manager told Huffington Post that before the testing, "There was poop inside the elevators, in the carpeted hallways, up on the roof. They're lazy, I guess." By testing the poop’s DNA, the manager can identify the culprit and fine the dog’s owner.
(Can I just say that I don’t understand this at all? Not the DNA testing, but the idea that people would just let their dogs go to the bathroom in the elevators and hallways. If you’re not responsible enough clean up after your dog, then you shouldn’t be allowed to have a dog.)
A couple of weeks ago, the Huffington Post ran article about what seems to be a trend of public defecation in Florida, pointing out that “In the last 30 months, Florida has had at least five people arrested on charges that include some form of inappropriate defecation.” Eww. My favorite is the case of Brenda Schumann, a 51 year old in Vero Beach, who was arrested in 2013 for allegedly relieving herself on the floor of her home after finding her husband in bed with another woman. Her response? "I found him in bed with a naked chick, what was I supposed to do?" What indeed?
8. This Highway Exit In Indiana
In February, a tanker accidentally spilled 400 gallons of raw human sewage onto an exit ramp on an Indiana highway. The highway had to be shut down and cleaned, which became especially difficult when the waste froze, creating what USA Today poetically dubbed “a toxic poopsicle.”