toilet trivia picture


Dunny, outhouse, lavatory, loo, whatever you call it, the toilet is a luxury often taken for granted.

The average person spends around three years of their life sitting on the toilet.

That’s if they’re lucky enough to have access to one.

Around 2.5 billion people in the world do not.

They can be deadly – King George II of Great Britain died falling off a toilet on the 25th of October 1760.


But it is deadlier not having access to sanitation.

Proper toilet facilities could save the lives of more than 200,000 children in the world, according to the UN.

The countries where open defecation is most widely practiced are the same countries with the highest numbers of under-five child deaths.

Yet more people in the world have a mobile phone than a toilet.

Six billion of the world’s seven billion people have mobile phones while only 4.5 billion have access to toilets.

World Toilet Day is celebrated on November 19 with an aim towards making sanitation for all a priority.




The flushing toilet was invented by Sir John Harrington in 1596 for Queen Elizabeth I.

The first toilet cubicle in a row is the least used.

The film “Psycho” was the first movie to show a toilet flushing – causing a lot of complaints about indecency.

Your smartphone has about 20 times more bacteria than a toilet handle.

The average person goes to the toilet about 2,500 times a year.




toilet trivia picture


All good Aussies know to check before they sit. We were brought up on the famous country music song The Redback on the Toilet Seat, written and performed by Slim Newton.


There was a redback on the toilet seat,
When I was there last night.
I didn’t see him in the dark,
But boy I felt his bite.
I jumped up high into the air,
And when I hit the ground.
That crafty redback spider,
Wasn’t nowhere to be found.

I rushed into the mrs,
Told her just where I’d been bit.
And she grabbed my cutthroat razor,
And I nearly took a fit.
I said ‘Forget what’s on your mind,
And call a doctor please.
For I’ve got a feeling that your cure,
Is worse than the disease.’

There was a redback on the toilet seat,
When I was there last night.
I didn’t see him in the dark,
But boy I felt his bite.
And now I’m here in hospital,
A sad and sorry plight.
And I curse the redback spider,
On the toilet seat last night.

I can’t lie down, I can’t’ sit up I don’t know what to do.
The nurses think it’s funny but that’s not my point of view.
I tell you it’s embarrassing and that’s to say the least,
For I’m too sick to eat a bite,
While the spider had a feast.

And when I get back home again, I’ll tell you what I’ll do.
I’ll make that redback suffer for the pain I’m going through.
I’ve had so many needles, I’m looking like a siv.
I promise you that redback hasn’t very long to live.

There was a redback on the toilet seat,
When I was there last night.
I didn’t see him in the dark,
But boy I felt his bite.
And now I’m here in hospital,
A sad and sorry plight.
And I curse the redback spider,
On the toilet seat last night.


You can watch a performance of the song here.


WATCH OUT FOR THE SNAKE – more toilet trivia


If you think that’s bad, you won’t want to visit North Queensland where snakes are regularly finding their way into toilets to escape the heat and search for water.


toilet trivia picture


Imagine finding a giant python in your toilet bowl. That kind of makes the redback seem less scary.

Worse yet is the story of the Thai man who was bitten on the penis by a snake in the toilet last year.

Rescue workers had to dismantle the toilet to remove the snake from the plumbing, then carry the toilet outside before using hammers to chip off enough porcelain to remove the snake.

The man required stitches but was expected to heal completely.




While weird things find their way into toilets, even stranger things are found coming out of them.

Human body parts have been found by Thames Water “flushers”, sewer operatives in the UK – most often fingers or hands.

Pets are often found in sewers, especially goldfish.

Syringes, food (some it – such as corn husks and apple cores – clogs the sewers), condoms, and even nappies have been found in sewers.

About 90 per cent of pharmaceuticals taken by people are excreted through urination.

That means our sewer systems contain heavy doses of drugs. A recent study found fish containing trace amounts of estrogen, cholesterol-lowering drugs, pain relievers, antibiotics, anti-depressants and even caffeine.




People can go to some pretty extreme lengths to decorate their toilets.

New York’s Guggenheim Museum replaced one of its standard porcelain toilets last year with an 18-carat, solid gold, toilet that is fully functional and open to the public to use.

An artwork by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, the toilet, titled America, is a social commentary on the disparities between and the “haves” and the “have-nots” of the world.

The 24-carat gold toilet paper I mentioned in my article, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Toilet Paper, would work perfectly here.

The museum restroom is guarded and the toilet is cleaned every 15 minutes using special wipes.

Next time you are forced to wait in a queue to use the toilet, as we females invariably are, consider the lovely ladies of old.

Sydney women were not provided with public toilets until the 1900s, which was a problem for those in the workforce whose employers did not provide facilities for them.

However, in 1880 the Sydney City Council bought two cast iron urinals. One of these early ‘pissoirs’ is still functioning and open to the public – males only of course.


toilet trivia picture
It may not be gold but it sure is old. This male toilet can be found at The Rocks, Sydney.


It can be found under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, at The Rocks.

Hope you enjoyed this toilet trivia.

Happy flushing and have a gleeful week, Tamuria.





  • Who would have ever known. We take our toilets for granted & they take up no space in our brains. Love the song & all the bits of trivia.

    • I couldn’t believe how much information there is about toilets – I could have written five posts on the subject ( I haven’t gone that crazy – yet). But it’s true Roz, we really do take them for granted.

  • Eww on the snakes! Now I won’t be able to go in the dark. Lol.
    On a serious note though, isn’t it amazing what we do take for granted. Now I’m adding my toilet to my gratitude list 🙂
    Fun post, Tami!

    • I felt so sorry for the Thai guy who was bitten by one. Ouch! Aren’t we lucky to be in a position to have so much to be grateful for that we often overlook the obvious things?

  • Tamaria,
    I can’t believe their is somuch information about toilets but some people really know their subject. Anyway good article the snake in the toilet would scare me. Thanks for posting.

    Lori English

  • Great trivia and insights in this ‘toilet’ post, Tami! Having visited Peru and venturing to some villages that literally are at the end of the road and not even on a map, their toilets are holes in the ground and they have no running water. I learned how to hold whatever I had to do in, until our next stop hours later. Sanitation is a big problem in so many parts of the world, that often we ‘civilized’ folks forget what a luxury our bathroom amenities are. Love the song lyrics and all the fun and weird facts you ‘flushed’ out for us to enjoy!

    • We came across some of those holes in the ground while travelling through Vietnam and Cambodia, Beverley. Makes you really grateful for the facilities we have at home. Glad you enjoyed this one.

  • Hi Tami,

    I now know more than I ever wanted to know about toilets LOL. I did learn years ago to check toilets for snakes, spiders, etc. when I am away…say in another country or when I am out in areas that have mountains, lakes, etc in the immediate areas.

  • I’d never thought about it before, but yes, I guess we do take having a toilet for granted. In fact, we likely take too many things for granted if I’m honest.

  • Wow.. who knew there was a toilet day and that’s crazy that there are more folks who have a phone over a toilet… WHAT!? I drink a lot so I am usually going pee once an hour, easy… I know TMI. Funny fact about the cleanliness of our toilet v our phone… easy though, when was the last time we cleaned our phone… like ever but we have our hands all over it, leave it sitting everywhere.. but we know when the last time we cleaned our toilets, likely weekly or heck, even monthly… but our phones… we are lucky to clean once a year? Dude.. I gotta change that. lol

  • I have been in social media for some years now and it is the first time I have ever read something about toilets. Anyway, another topic would be how they look and how you flush them. I have traveled around the world and it always amuses me that it seems like a guessing game to figure out some of them. Not to mention the squatting toilet seat in China and the push button seats in Japan.

    • Lorii, you never know what you’ll find at Gleeful Grandiva. Even I don’t. 🙂 Sydney Airport has toilets that flush automatically (I think sensors alert them when you get off the seat). The first time I used one I actually yelled out as the flush was so unexpected. Not my most brilliant moment. 🙂

  • Having just driven over 100 miles only to find the entry code did not work, all I wanted to do was find a toilet:) As I sat here waiting for rescue, decided to read more blogs, and oh so glad I did. This was the perfect balance of facts and fun to relieve my situation:) And yes, I have the internet, but no toilet!

    • How crazy is that, Robin, to have the internet but no toilet? Happy this post helped relieve your situation and all the talk of toilets didn’t make it worse for you, like running water. 🙂

  • What a fun post Tamuria! I learned some really cool things about toliets, thank you for sharing this wonderful information 🙂 I know for me, I would not know what to do without having access to one lol would be difficult for sure!

  • I did enjoy this; thanks! I have never heard it called “thunderbox” but I think it is certainly appropriate on occasion. I also like the indecency charge for showing a toilet flushing in a movie. Hahaha! If those people are alive today, I bet they think their old reaction is quaint.

  • Thank you Tami for tackling a sensitive subject. I”m not sure I will have use of this in general conversation, but it’s an ideal conversational piece to keep obnoxious people at bay with the “did you know that …” warning of the possible presence of red spiders and snakes. Always, like to leave them with something to think about.

  • OMG. I never thought there was so much to learn about toilets. Thanks so much for sharing that wonderful song too. Had not heard it here in the USA but love it. A totally entertaining blog to start my day. Thanks

  • I love this! It is fun and interesting. I have been spoiled in Japan with their bidets and squatted over a hole in India. I also have an ex-husband who used the back porch over the toilet more often than not. Thanks for sharing!

    • What is it about men and their urge to avoid toilets? I think they’re just show offs. I remember when we used to go camping all the time and a few girlfriends and I were trying to design a female friendly stand up contraption so it was easier for us. Can you believe they actually sell them now? I could have made my fortune. 🙂

  • Wow. Who knew? I found this article fascinating. Of course, I hate snakes and do sometimes check the toilet before sitting down in the middle of the night…just in case. I live in AZ and have no reason to think a snake would end up in the toilet but stranger things can happen I guess.

    I am definitely thankful for my toilets!

  • Tamuria, I never thought I would want to know about toilets, but totally enjoyed this trivia. Much had me laughing, but I am so glad I don’t find snakes in my toilet. Oh and that song. Glad I haven’t heard it before. Thanks for some fun reading.

  • Wow some interesting trivia…fun but still scary reading about the snake in the toilet etc. 😮

  • Great trivia! and yes we should be grateful for what we have. So easy to forget this when we use the toilet without thought of what if we didn’t have this?

  • I’ve heard about the snakes in the toilets in Australia! Every time I see a meme or a reference about it, I think “I’m never going to visit Australia.” And then I forget about, Australia goes back on my bucket list. And then when I start thinking about planning a trip, it never fails. There’s another snake in the toilet incident! LOL The snakes really need to coordinate better with the tourism board.

    • Hahaha – snakes that coordinate with the tourism board is a brilliant idea, Jennifer. I’ve lived in this country for more than 50 years and have never seen a snake in the toilet – or even a red back. 🙂

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