9 Photos of Toilets From Around the World

May 8th 2016

Kyle Jaeger

If you're raised in a country where functional, sanitary bathrooms are the norm, it can be easy to take toilets for granted. But while Americans tend to place value in luxury bathrooms and water-efficient toilets — and even spend undue time consulting our phones on the John — a look at toilets around the world can be a humbling reminder that even basic plumbing is a privilege.

Approximately 2.6 billion people live without basic sanitation, the World Health Organization reports. And more than 200 million tons of human waste go untreated annually, which contributes to public health problems in countries that lack the resources to maintain sanitation and treat illnesses spread through feces. Keep that in mind next time you visit the bathroom.

Here are 9 toilets from around the world.

1. America


The average Americans uses the bathroom six times per day, spending 1.5 years on the toilet in a lifetime, Distractify reports.

2. Mexico


Almost 2 percent of the total deaths in Mexico are water, sanitation, and hygiene-related, according to the United Nations Water Country Brief.

3. Finland


Bathroom sanitation isn't a particularly pressing issue in Finland, but in an effort to curb vandalism in public restrooms, the Finnish Road Administration "has implemented a system along Highway 1 which requires restroom visitors to text 'Open' (in Finnish, of course) in order to let themselves in," Engadget reports.

4. China


The squat toilet model is especially common in Asian countries such as China, and there's an argument to be made that squatting (rather than sitting), is better for your posture and makes you less likely to experience constipation, as ATTN: previously reported.

5. France


A distinctly uncommon sight in America, the bidet it thought to have originated in France in the 1700s. It's supposed to offer an enhanced hygiene experience, Mental Floss reports.

6. India


India has a notable shortage of bathroom facilities, with more than 600 million residents — over 50 percent of Indian households — using public streets and fields to do their business, the World Bank reports.

7. Japan


Japan is actually famous for its high-tech, high-powered toilets, The Washington Post reports. The country's "obsession" with toilets has produced some of the world's most advanced bathroom appliances.

8. Thailand


Thailand's squat-style bathrooms proved so unpopular (especially among Western tourists) that Thailand's Health Ministry announced in 2012 that it was switching to sit-down toilets for all public facilities, CNN reports.

9. Germany


One of the more odd appendages, unique to older, German toilets, is a shelf that sits between the lid and water, Spiegel reports. But that model is being gradually phased out.


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