The grossest thing I ever saw (and an invitation to contribute)

I noticed some Port-O-Potties on the beaches near Hilo today, and it reminded me of an experience I had—perhaps the grossest thing I ever saw, but also one of the funniest.  I relate it to invite readers to contribute their own gross stories, with the proviso that none of these stories should involve the death of or injury to humans or other sentient creatures.

So here’s my tale. When I was in graduate school, I went to India with my girlfriend, traveling from Bombay down to the tip of India and then north along the west coast through Kerala and Goa and back to Bombay. As a one-time hippie, I of course had to go to Goa, famous for its nude beaches and expatriate hippie enclaves.

I found it disappointing, not Indian at all but an area catering to Westerners, and a strange mixture of locals ogling naked tourists. It was more like Berkeley in the Sixties than India, and, seeking other experience, I left after a day.

But not before I saw one of the weirdest and grossest things I’ve ever encountered. Along the beaches of Goa was a series of ramshackle outhouses—basically large wooden boxes set up over a hole in the ground.

The local pigs, who favored a diet rich in human excrement, had learned to tunnel underneath the outhouses and into the toilet holes to obtain their noms. One day, I was lying on the beach not far from an outhouse, and a Western woman went in to relive herself.

The pigs had cottoned on to the fact that someone going into the outhouse meant a likely meal of poop, and after the woman entered the jakes, a pig came running at top speed to its rear, slipping under a hole in the back.

A minute later, I heard a blood-curdling scream, the outhouse door burst open, and a decidedly freaked-out woman exited the latrine on the run. It transpired, as I found out, that the hungry pig could not wait for the excrement to exit the fundament, and began eating it before it had fully emerged. In other words, the woman, in the middle of #2, suddenly and unknowingly had a wet and gobbling pig snout gobbling thrust right against her rump. You can imagine how frightening that was!

I am not making this up: I saw it with my own eyes.

And that’s my story. Surely many of you have tales even grosser than that, which you can put in the comments. TRIGGER WARNING: Those of sensitive disposition might want to skip the comments.


  1. Richard Jones
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    No story could be grosser than that and so funny at the same time!

  2. Richard Jones
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    No story could be grosser than that and so funny at the same time! I’m now trying to forget before lunch.

    • Dan McPeek
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 12:46 am | Permalink

      I may never eat lunch again. And I
      think I feel No.2 PTSD coming on!

  3. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    For those wishing to contaminate their search records, particularly on a Works computer, try “Two Girls, One Cup.”

    • Posted July 1, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      No, don’t.

      • David Coxill
        Posted July 1, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        Sorry for the caps on ,i thought it was needed .

    • KD33
      Posted July 1, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      I will not forgive you for this.
      Anyeone else: DO NOT VIEW!!

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

        So devastating that people didn’t get the MILE WIDE HINT that the site might be just a little bit NSF-anything.

        • Posted July 2, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

          I have never seen the video. I found out what it was about many years ago through the magic of Google and avoiding video results.

        • Posted July 2, 2019 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

          I think the term is NSFL: Not Safe For Life.


          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted July 11, 2019 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

            NSTR- OTA
            Not Safe To Read – Or Think About.

            Tell me Mr Vamp – have you stopped thinking about pink elephantine wicket keepers yet?

            • Posted July 12, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

              Not when you remind me every few days! 😉


      • Posted July 2, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

        So you ignored the subtle hints in the OP, my admonition not to and David Coxill’s all caps warning.

        I think you only have yourself to blame.

  4. Posted July 1, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry, but that story is so much more gross than anything I’ve ever seen, I withdraw from the contest.

  5. Cate Plys
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Jerry, you win. Astounding.

    • Dominic
      Posted July 1, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      mmm… bacon….

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I can now understand why some might be put off eating pork. Knowing a bit about the 4 legged creatures I would guess those were very hungry pigs.

    Most gross experience to me would be a couple of times in my life, entering a public bathroom and finding it so bad I just turned around and left.

    • RGT
      Posted July 1, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Similar to the bathroom scene in “Trainspotting”?

      • Posted July 1, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        Or the one in Slumdog Millionaire. (Same director).

        Actually, having your bum licked by a pig is probably hygienic. It’s like having a porky bidet.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted July 1, 2019 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

          I vaguely remember something about someone famous using a goose’s neck to wipe their arse.

          Animals have it rough.

          • Mike Cracraft
            Posted July 1, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

            This was supposedly Elvis, but I think it was an urban myth.

          • Posted July 1, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

            In the UK we have been using puppies for bum wiping for decades. We call it Andrex.

          • Jay Smithe
            Posted July 1, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

            Actually I think the first reference to the goose-neck-as-toilet-paper idea was from Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais…

            “But, to conclude, I say and maintain, that of all torcheculs, arsewisps, bumfodders, tail-napkins, bunghole cleansers, and wipe-breeches, there is none in the world comparable to the neck of a goose, that is well downed, if you hold her head betwixt your legs. And believe me therein upon mine honour, for you will thereby feel in your nockhole a most wonderful pleasure, both in regard of the softness of the said down and of the temporate heat of the goose, which is easily communicated to the bum-gut and the rest the inwards, in so far as to come even to the regions of the heart and brains.”

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Well, in keeping with the theme set by Jerry (and since it doesn’t involve the death of an actual sentient human being) I’d point to the scene in Seven Beauties, the war movie by the great European director Lina Wertmüller (the first woman ever nominated for a best-director Oscar, for this film), in which a German POW played by Fernando Rey commits suicide by diving headlong into a latrine, even as it’s being used by other prisoners.

    I saw the film in a packed arthouse over 40 years ago and will never forget it or the sound of disgust that erupted from the audience (including me) as the scene unfolded on screen.

    The movie is available on youtube (dubbed into English — ugh) and, for anyone of sound stomach who might be interested, the scene in question can be found at about the 1:42:15 mark.

    • Matt
      Posted July 1, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Fiction doesn’t count.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 1, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        Ok, then. Like a gentleman golfer who plays the wrong ball, I’ll disqualify myself from the tournament.

  8. EdwardM
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    I was backpacking in the North Cascades National Park near a steep, muddy river bank. We encountered the horrific stench of something dead coming from the water below. Being both curious and an idiot, I went to the edge of the bank to see what I could see and immediately slipped on the mud. I skittered down the bank and hit, feet first, a bloated corpse of an Elk cow, lying legs akimbo half in the water. My boots neatly punctured the rotting abdomen and my feet (both of them) got embedded in the most disgusting pile of soupy rotted flesh you can imagine. The stench was something that cannot be explained in words. Then I saw the maggots. Billyuns of maggots crawling out of the Elk’s face and other holes that did not exist when the animal was alive. Remember the mud and the steep bank? Extricating myself from the situation is an experience I would dearly like to forget.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 1, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Why are so many of these disgusting stories funny too?

      Apologies; I’m sure trying to climb out of a dead elk and slipping in mud in the process wasn’t comical when it was happening to you, but in my mind’s eye it’s hilarious.

  9. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    And with that, Summer 2019 is officially raging!

  10. Posted July 1, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    This comment comes from Amy, who asked me to add it:

    When I worked at the Fine Arts Library at the University of Texas, which had many, many rare and expensive art books, I discovered that there was a stash of art books kept in a workroom & designated as “SDBs” meaning sexually-damaged books. The discovery of the damage was usually due to the significant clue that they were found in the bathroom. If the rest of the book was so valuable, the staff decided to save it in case someone truly needed it rather than throw it out, but they couldn’t put it on the open shelves, so it would go to the special shelf in the workroom.

    I discovered another situation myself: The library held music books & sheet music in addition to art books, including several scores by a faculty member at the School of Music. After discovering a couple of incidences, I checked all the scores by this composer and found that every single one had been defaced by feces. (defeced?) Disgruntled student?

  11. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    The most disgusting thing I’ve personally ever seen happened right after probably the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

    Uncoincidentally, both things involved my little tomboy sister.

    We were having a party at our farmhouse. As was her wont my little sister started removing random pieces of clothing pretty much immediately and spent the first half an hour pelting around the house like a maniac.

    Eventually she quietened down and disappeared from the view of the adults, as well as myself(I was about twelve). I remember wandering back to the kitchen to get a snack. The adults had long since vacated it to go and talk in the sitting room about important adult stuff like pensions and war. So it was empty, and all the food and drink was up for grabs.

    I went in and was confronted with probably the funniest sight of my life: my tiny little two year old sister, completely naked, squatting on top of the huge oak table, drinking from a gigantic, three-litre bottle of cider which she held vertically above her head, like one of those bottles hamsters have in their cages.
    I saw it side-on, like a classical frieze and it has been seared into my mind’s eye ever since. She’d obviously been waiting for the adults to leave so she could sneak in and go batshit crazy, and I’d caught her red-handed.
    I don’t remember how she reacted. She might have hissed at me and disappeared into the drywall for all I can recall.

    …The most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen was later that day, just as the evening was approaching. Again, I was wandering around, bored, and again my little sister had disappeared. (I don’t think she was drunk by the way. I interrupted her attempted cider binge pretty quickly)

    I walked down to the bottom of the garden and saw her there, sat by herself, absorbed in something. She was humming quietly. When I got closer I saw she was holding a couple of gigantic snails in either hand.
    She looked up at me. Her face was caked in shiny, green snail-slime. She smiled and continued humming cheerily, and I saw she had arranged a kind of snail taster-tray around her on the paving stones. Then she opened her mouth a little and pulled out the huge snail she’d presumably been sucking on the whole time. Her entire upper body was covered in snail-snot.

    Again, I only remember the incident itself and the vivid imagery. I don’t remember what happened afterwards, except that I led her back to the house, and kept more of an eye on her at parties from that point onwards.

  12. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Maybe you could train the pigs to do something useful with their skill, like catch turtles whenever they poke their heads out of the water.

    Sorry(not sorry)

  13. Posted July 1, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    So gross…but, SO FUNNY!

  14. Charles Sawicki
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Good one Jerry! I couldn’t stop laughing. That’s having intimate contact with nature, as yearned for by many hippies! I knew pigs were great at food waste recycling, but this is re-recycling. Were these domesticated pigs that people ate? I hope not. That would be both gross and dangerous. Now I’m wondering if our sewage treatment plant raises pigs as a profitable sideline. Don’t want to know.

  15. Posted July 1, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I cannot compete due to established rules, for I cannot dismiss the memories that now flood my waking consciousness that this post has roused.

    Maybe later.

  16. littleboybrew
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    You really, really felt a need to share that, Dr. Coyne?

  17. Caldwell
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Whilst intoxicated on LSD I unknowingly took a swig from a Coke can into which a guy had been spitting chewing tobacco.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 1, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      You’ve just reminded me of something that, if I could bring myself to tell it, would be a contender. But I just can’t.

    • Posted July 1, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      I’ve done that without LSD. Gross but livable.

  18. CFM
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    When I was 17, I travelled through rural Tunisia with a female friend and her (older) boyfriend. We were often invited by locals, and most meals were really delicious. But one day, we girls both got bad cases of diarrhea.

    We already knew from experience that we had to bring our own toilet paper, but the only thing we could buy fast were tissues smelling of apple and cherry.

    Just in time, we found a small teahouse and asked whether we could use the toilet. We were both delighted to find a European style toilet bowl. It was my turn first and afterwards the bowl was half full. Only then I realized there was no plumbing. The bowl just sat on the barren ground, alongside a water hose. My poor friend was already so desperate that she used it anyway.

    We gave a really big tip and left very fast, but the picture of that toilet bowl filled up to the rim with crap, garnished with light green and light red tissues smelling of apple and cherry, has never left my mind. I still feel bad for the teahouse owner.

  19. Posted July 1, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    I was on my way to a work meeting and I had a bad stomach. I donned a Ralph Lauren trouser suit and raincoat. My intestines started tingling; so, I got off the bus and went into a McDonald’s (I am a vegetarian) to use the loo. I had an epic bout of diarrhoea. I got off the bus at my meeting and my intestines started up again. I made a dash for the loo; but, alas, I had commenced. By the time I reached the stall, my body was in full production. As it was winter, I was wearing a one-piece undergarment, and the diarrhoea had no place to go…but UP. It had filled the undergarment and spilled over the top and bottom. Why I pulled it down, I will never know, as the diarrhoea spilled out everywhere: on the floor, on the walls, on my shoes, suit and raincoat. Everywhere but the toilet. It was futile to attempt to clean myself and equally futile to try to clean the room. I tried; but, ran out of toilet rolls. I had some perfume in my bag and convinced myself it would mask the offence. I’ll never know if it did. I called Gethyn because I was actually convinced I was dying. I shed ten pounds in that incident. And incidentally (pun intended), the dry cleaner refused to touch the suit.

  20. Graham Martin-Royle
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Back in 1986 I was driving a coach full of Aussie and Kiwis from Leningrad (as it still was then) to Moscow. We had to stop so that people could go to the loo.

    There was a small wooden hut which was obviously a toilet and we all trooped off in that direction. As we got closer the smell got worse and worse.

    Upon opening the door we saw that what had once been a long drop toilet now had a pile of crap sitting about 12-15 inches above the height of the seat. Needless to say we didn’t use it.

  21. Hunt
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    That story out-grosses all of mine. I did once use an out house out on a flimsy wooden pier where the poop just dropped into the ocean. Gross enough for me.

    Hey, I live in Hilo, and I think I know where you’re talking about. Out in Keaukaha, where all the locals are camped on the grassy beach park? I also don’t know why they have so many potties there. Maybe the health dept made them do it.

    Have fun.

  22. Posted July 1, 2019 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    When I was in college my friend, who was a psych major, had a job cleaning out the animal cages in the psych lab. The lab was in an old house which we lovingly called the “rat shack.” Anyway, the researchers reported being pestered by flies and my friend was charged with fixing the problem. I went along to help. Our investigations led us, with flashlights, into the dark and moldy basement of the rat shack. As we shone our flashlights around, we discovered enormous clusters of cluster flies (genus Pollenia). There must have been millions of them all clustered along the heating vents and the roof of the basement. I already felt sick.

    My friend got us two army surplus gas masks, pump sprayers and a supply of not-yet-banned DDT. With some protective clothing and a lantern we ventured into the basement, closed the door and started spraying. The flies went crazy crashing into our masks and bodies. The air was thick with flies and DDT mist.

    After a while the flies began to drop like, well, flies. By the time we were done spraying, they formed a carpet on the basement floor a good three inches thick. As we walked, they squished and crunched. We then got two coal shovels and shoveled them into a wheelbarrow. We must have made five wheelbarrow trips.

    To this day when I think of it I feel sickened. Or maybe it’s the long-term effects of the DDT.

  23. Dave137
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    In January 2017 I saw an ignorant, moronic charlatan — whose experienced included selling steaks at the Sharper Image — become president of the United States.

    It remains the grossest thing I’ve ever seen.

    • bobkillian
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Not a sentient being, therefore within the roolz.

      • Posted July 2, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        I hope my flies above were not sentient beings. Otherwise, I broke the sacred roolz. How can I know?

  24. Posted July 1, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Whoa that is funny… freshly baked hot poo, that pig had taste!
    This is not mine so no points… iirc two male joggers in a park, one needs to go # 2 and goes behind some bushes. No convenience was available. When he is done they start to jog on… but not before a dog comes along sniffing around the same area out of sight of the owner. The dog owner eventually catches up, sights the poo and picks it up thinking its his dog’s deposit. The joggers heard him admonishing the dog as the left the area. This was told on the Graham Norton Show (UK) on his big red couch by a kiwi.

  25. Posted July 1, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    I have a couple stories, but I will pick one. When my oldest son was maybe 4 years old he came in from the backyard and announced ‘I pooped’; clearly meaning that he had done his business in the yard.
    Horrified, I went back with him with some towels and a bag and he pointed out where … the … poop … no longer was (?!) Our d*g was cheerfully frisking about in the yard, still licking his chops. So our canine had evidently taken care of the issue (as only d*gs can), and she did a good job of it too.
    Shortly after we were called in for dinner from the wife. At the table the d*g did her usual whining for scraps, and the wife remarked “Why are you whining? You can’t still be hungry!”

    • Posted July 1, 2019 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      That reminds me of a story told to me by a tropical biologist friend. He was doing field work and crapped in the woods. Then a local dog came by and my friend watched as it ate his poop. A few minutes later it vomited up the poop, which attracted another dog, who ate the vomited poop, and a few minutes later THAT dog vomited it up.

      • Posted July 1, 2019 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

        Yech. Somehow I would be mildly offended that a dog could not keep my poop down.

        • rickflick
          Posted July 1, 2019 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

          Other examples: Some dogs make a habit of eating the excrement of other dogs (and who knows who else’s?). Other than grossness during the wedding reception on the lawn, it is said to be fairly harmless. You’ve heard of elephant young eating mom’s droppings so as to inoculate with her gut fauna as an aid to developing mature digestion. Rabbits eat their own doo-doo since the first time through the complete digestion process is just getting started.

  26. rickflick
    Posted July 1, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    I must have been about 4 years old, on a family picnic in the countryside at the outskirts of Toronto. It was farmland. A blanket was thrown down and we had a pleasant feast under a warm blue sky. I then went wandering and found something I’d never see before. I ran back and asked my Dad what it could be. He couldn’t tell from my description so he told me to bring it back to have a look. As I picked up the dry, hard disc, my fingers touched something wet and smelly on the bottom side. “Cow flop”, said my dad. I held my contaminated hand far away from my nose. But, I didn’t cry. I remember as if it was yesterday.

    • Jonathan Wallace
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      As the son of a dairy farmer I am pretty much inured to cow dung and am not at all grossed out by it in the way that I am with human excrement or dog or cat droppings.
      I remember one milking time when I was washing a cow’s udder prior to milking her and as I bent behind her back legs to reach through she chose that moment to relieve herself. The first I was aware of this was when I suddenly felt a hot, moist mass fall onto the back of my neck and head! Not a good look!

      • rickflick
        Posted July 2, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        Not a good look, but a great story. 😎

  27. Posted July 1, 2019 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that excrement and especially eating excrement is what people find most revolting. There must be a reason.

    • Posted July 1, 2019 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      It reminds me of trips to the zoo back in the day when you could get up close and personal with the animals. At the LA zoo, the gorillas would fling their feces at the crowd. I saw one guy get hit straight in the puss. Everyone laughed. Another case, the tigers were in indoor cages. They would turn and spray their audience. I remember seeing one young women in her summer frock with her date get drenched.

  28. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 5:27 am | Permalink


    I have just finished eating a nice cheese-and-ham croissant. Fortunately I finished it before I read this post.

    It is now officially impossible for anyone to lower the tone of this website any further.


    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      That sounds like a challenge.
      So, you come back on shift after your 12 hours off, and discover that the night shift geologist has been suffering from continuous diarrhoea. For most of the night. It’s a routine hazard of the job. But, being imaginative (and also hoping to get 12 hours break himself), he worked out how to continue doing his job instead of just calling “sick”. A bucket in the sink ; sit in the bucket ; a microscope beside the sink ; the data sheets on a clipboard ; the controller for the data acquisition system to one side ; the local worker goes out and gets the samples when you tell him, and you describe them, take photographs, write reports. While the bucket slowly fills. Every few hours, you change buckets and the sample-catcher lugs the full one off to the cess pits. Plenty of dioralyte in water, kaolin + morphia every few hours.
      The stench inside the lab wasn’t exactly delightful.

  29. Jonathan Wallace
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Long drop toilets are a good source of grossness and the grossest experience I can recall was such a toilet in the Inner Delta of the Niger at a place called Youvarou in Mali. Using the long drop at night brought the entertainment of seeing all the cockroaches clinging round the edge of the hole waiting for the goodies to come but what really grossed me out was the occasion when, having dropped my ‘bombs’, there was a splash-back that hit me smack on the backside! We didn’t have running water there but I can assure you that that experience was smartly followed by some fierce scrubbing with soap and several buckets of water from the well!

    • pablo
      Posted July 2, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      That’s called the poor man’s bidet.

  30. Bruce Lyon
    Posted July 2, 2019 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Black Vulture eating human diarrhea and a giant dirt wad of toilet paper that accompanied it at Tikal Guatemala.

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