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Gross and Icky Stuff You Still Will Read About Like Snot and Poop Color, and Do You Eat Boogers?

July 31, 2014

Why snot is green or yellow, or other color.  Click to read more.

Mucus is clear when you’re healthy and have no serious invaders. However, when bacteria or viruses attack, it will turn yellow or green due to the influx of iron-containing enzymes including myeloperoxidases, other oxidases and peroxidases. These enzymes are used by white blood cells, namely polymorphonuclear granulocytes, to help ingest and deactivate bacteria through an oxidative process. The combination of dead white blood cells, used up enzymes and eaten bacteria, all of which still contain a fair amount of iron, results in the green or yellow color.

Notably, the longer snot stays in your sinuses, the greener it will get.

Is eating boogers healthy for you? Click to read.

That said, while it may seem gross to those of us who’ve never tried (or don’t remember- nearly all children do this at one point or another), according to the sparse few studies that have been conducted on booger eaters, the vast number of people who eat their nasal mucus find it palatable, which probably isn’t a surprise to anyone as if they didn’t, they’d likely just stop. As SidneyTarachow in a 1966 report oncoprophagia (the compulsive eating bodily secretions) noted, “persons do eat nasal debris, and find it tasty, too!”

So to sum up, at least to date, there is no scientific proof that ingesting snot by passing it through your mouth is beneficial.  That said, it is plausible that the snot we do all ingest all the time is benefiting us in the way snot-eating proponents suggest.  It’s just that we don’t need to put it into our mouths to see the benefit, if such a benefit does exist as hypothesized.

In the end, though, as long as you’re careful, picking and eating is not generally going to hurt you, and many find it tasty… so, if that’s your thing, bon appétit!

Why is poop brown?  Click to read more.

Poop is brown due to bile from your gall bladder being metabolized by the bacteria in your intestines.  This results in a byproduct called stercobilin, which, in turn, makes poop look brown-ish.

Without this stercobilin, your poop would typically look grey-ish/white.  Because of this, a sure sign you are having problems with bile production, such as a blocked bile duct by a gall stone or something more serious like pancreatic cancer, is if you notice your poop is this white/grey-ish color.

In the end *pun intended*, brown poop is a pretty good sign you are a relatively healthy individual.  Some other common poop colors that generally aren’t a good sign of health are as follows:

  • If you notice your poop is red, this could be a sign of internal bleeding or could just mean you’ve recently eaten beets.  If the cause is bleeding and the bleeding is from your stomach or throat, however, your poop won’t be red, but rather black and will smell worse than that time you decided you should eat a box of Twinkies and a box of Cheesy Handi-Snacks all in one sitting.
  • Yellow poop means there is a lot of fat in your feces.  This is not a good sign.  Consider turning this into a positive by making poop candles with your fatty deposits. Yellow poop also has a very strong odor, which will give your poo-candles that little something extra.
  • Green poop is an indicator of some sort of bacterial infection or that you are a vegetarian and eat way too much leafy foods for your own good.  Seriously, try some bacon.  It’s delicious.

Bonus Facts:

  • When you see corn in your poop, this isn’t the whole kernel, though it may look like it.  What you are actually seeing is the outer yellow part, which is mostly cellulose and indigestible (fiber).  The inside of the kernel will have been digested as it is primarily starch.
  • Poop generally stinks because of the sulfur-rich organic compounds produced by bacteria, such as indole, skatole, and mercaptans.  Another contributing factor is an inorganic gas that is produced, hydrogen sulfide.
  • Poop of meat eaters smells worse than the poop of vegetarians.  You win this round, hippie.
  • Bird poop is white due to their kidney’s extracting nitrogenous wastes from their bloodstream and subsequently excreting it in the form of uric acid, which has a very low solubility in water and emerges as a white paste-like substance.
  • Animals such as dogs, rabbits, rodents, gorillas, etc often eat their poop to maintain proper health.  For animals such as rabbits who eat a lot of plants, their poop contains quite a bit of undigested plant matter; so eating their poop is a nice easy way to get more out of the food they eat.  For some animals, their poop can be very vitamin rich with the bacteria in their intestines producing vitamins they wouldn’t get otherwise.  For animals such as dogs, poop can be a good source of these vitamins and protein.  This is why dogs are so fond of cat poop; it is very high in protein.  Pro-tip, cut down on how much you need to clean your cat litter by allowing dogs and vegetarians access to it.  The dogs/vegetarians get a lot of protein (in the latter case something they are deprived of due to their hippie ways)  and you never have to clean poop from the liter; it’s win/win.
  • The word “poop” comes from the onomatopoeia poupen or popen, which originally meant “fart”.  “Poop” came into its current meaning around 1900.
  • You can tell an amazing amount of information about a person based on their poop.  Extraterrestrial enthusiasts theorize this is why when Aliens abduct humans they go straight to anal probing.
  • In South Asia and South-east Asia, it is common to find showers in the toilet room for cleansing one’s self after pooping.
  • With Islam, post-pooping requires a ritual cleansing.  One should enter the toilet room with the left foot first; ritually cleanse your butt-hole with water using your left hand; then step out of the toilet room with your right foot first.  As an aside, in many Muslim countries, toilet rooms are considered “Houses of Satan”.
  • In India, rather than use toilet paper, it is typical to simply use your left hand.
  • If you think that is bad, in Ancient Rome, a wet sponge on a stick was used.  That sounds all well and fine until you find out that that after being used, the sponge was placed back in a tub of salt water to await the next person to come along and wipe with it.  Suddenly the “left hand” method isn’t sounding so bad.
  • About 3/4 of an average piece of poop is made of water.  Of the remaining 1/4, about 1/3 of it is dead bacteria from your intestines; another 1/3 is fibrous matter; the remaining amount is made up of fats, phosphates, living bacteria, dead cells, mucus, protein, etc.

There of course are many links in these pages that lead to other gross stuff.  Enjoy.

 

 

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