I am impressed with their thorough analysis of butts & poop

I really thought it had to be a joke, a paper describing an automated method for analyzing various aspect of defecation. But it’s real, and published in Nature, no less. It’s well summarized in Vice, and Dr Jenny Morber put up a substantial Twitter thread about it. The level of detail and thought put into the paper on something I would rather not think about is amazing.

My one disappointment is that I failed at a prediction. When I first heard about it, I thought to myself that this has to be coming out of a German lab. But no! It’s from Stanford, the lead author has a Korean name, and the long list of authors looks like a genuinely international team. I guess the whole world can come together in their common interest in poop.

I resisted the temptation to include a figure from the paper, because they all make me slightly uncomfortable. Don’t worry, there are lots at the links I gave.


  1. says

    I clicked the Twitter thread. I have questions
    1. Why is standing in front of a loo the “male urination position”?
    2. Have they ever actually seen a child?

  2. says

    Apparently not. The child should be about 6 feet away from the toilet, trying to hit the target and frequently missing.

  3. says

    Studies in the People’s Republic show clearly that a child half the distance can achieve the target with astonishing precision. (Study conducted by the Monarch Toilet Company, results verified on this billboard I snapped through a tour bus window on the road to Guilin.)


  4. goaded says

    Did they get the idea from the Plop Trumps card game? (Nothing to do with POTUS*, but Top Trumps.)