National Poop Day
K-Slice33 on February 7th, 2011
National Poop Day takes place "as a result of our country's tradition on Superbowl Sunday to collectively eat the most deliciously unhealthy foods known to man"—foods like chicken wings, pigs in blankets, pizza, chips and dip, Sloppy Joes, french fries, burgers, and nachos—"and collectively drink billions of bottles of the cheapest beer." The idea for the day was posted by K-Slice33 on Urban Dictionary on February 7, 2011, the day after Super Bowl XLV. They wrote that "there is no other day of the year to beat the sheer mass of our collective poops, than the day after Superbowl Sunday. I therefore declare it, National Poop Day."
The technical term for poop is feces, and it goes by many other names, like poo, stool, dung, excrement, number 2, crap, shit, dung, bowel movement, turd, dump, and dookie. Poop consists of solid or semi-solid remains of food that wasn't broken down in the small intestine but has been broken down by bacteria in the large intestine. Poop contains a small amount of metabolic waste, including dead cells from the lining of the gut and bilirubin altered by bacteria. It leaves the anus—or the cloaca in some animals—through the process of defecation.
Normal human poop is semi-solid with a mucus coating. Bile and bilirubin give it a brown color. It varies in appearance depending on a person's diet, digestive system health, and general health. Humans may poop a few times a day, once a day, or every two or three days. If a person's poop routine is interrupted, it may mean they are constipated. Hopefully, this is not the case for anyone on National Poop Day!
On the opposite end of the poop spectrum is diarrhea, which is generally defined as being present when a person takes three or more loose or liquid poops in a day. Viral infections commonly cause it, but so do other infections and bacterial toxins. It may be the result of a foodborne illness, injury, or disease. The liquidy poop is the result of the colon not absorbing enough fluid, and may also be an indication that the colon is inflamed or damaged.
Humans generally try to avoid poop, leaving it behind as soon as they are done pooping. This is because poop elicits feelings of disgust for humans. The thought of eating poop is particularly appalling to them. The feelings of disgust for poop likely are culturally learned. Since sickness or infection can result from eating poop, this may have played a role in forming the disgust. Poop is known for its sometimes revolting smell, which comes from skatole as well as from thiols, animes, and carboxylic acids. Its smell is contingent on the diet and health status of the being excreting it, just as its appearance is. Because of the disgust it elicits, poop is not considered an appropriate topic of conversation by most people. Still, poop jokes are common.
Despite not being placed on a public pedestal, poop has many uses. Among other uses, animal poop can be used as a fertilizer or soil conditioner, can be burned as fuel, and can be used in construction. Animals may eat fruit, or even eat poop that contains the seeds of fruit, and then disperse the seeds to new areas while pooping, assisting in spreading fruit to new areas. Human poop can even be useful. It may be used for fecal transplants to treat CDI, irritable bowel syndrome, and other diseases. Regardless of whether each poop is useful or not, poop is celebrated today with National Poop Day!
How to Observe National Poop Day
There are many ways to celebrate poop!
- Take a nice poop.
- Check your poop. Classify your poop using the Bristol Stool Scale and inspect its color.
- Read a book about poop such as Have a Great Shit: The Best Bathroom Book, Everyone Poops, or The Other Dark Matter: The Science and Business of Turning Waste into Wealth and Health.
- Play a game about poop such as play Cacamamie: The #2 Game in America, Poop: The Game, or Toilet Trouble Flushdown.
- Leave some fake poop on a neighbor's doorstep or on the rim of a toilet.
- Use the Pile of Poo emoji (💩).
- Tell some poop jokes.
- Use poop for fertilizer or fuel.
- Check for events. Some children's museums have celebrated the day, and even the American Museum of Natural History has acknowledged it.