You probably already knew that when you flush the toilet with the lid open, a great big cloud of bacteria shoots up into the air like a mushroom cloud of poo germs. But did you know that if you leave the lid open even when the toilet is just hanging out and not being shat in, you're exposing all nearby surfaces to a veritable cloud of toilet bacteria that might be causing other people to catch a disease? A disease that makes them throw up?
Researchers at the University of Leeds found toilet bacteria can hover disgustingly around an open toilet bowl and possibly infect unsuspecting people and, I'm assuming, their toothbrushes, for several minutes after the throne has been abdicated. They also found that flushing an open toilet can cause about fifty droplets of disease-ridden water to spew all over everything in the room. Including your face!
All together now: bleargh.
The brave and (I hope) well-sanitized scientists conducted the research because they were interested in how germs spread in hospitals, especially when it comes to superbugs that could kill everyone. They filled a hospital-style lidless toilet with drug-resistant C. difficile bacteria and recorded the presence of bacteria on surrounding surfaces. They found the supergerm, which causes violent diarrhea and vomiting, hovered 10 inches above the open toilet bowl and lighting on surrounding surfaces. When a lid was put over the toilet, there was no evil vomcloud.
The researchers hope hospitals will use their newly-gained knowledge to better control infection spread in hospitals.
Everyone else in the whole world hopes that if you leave the toilet seat up for any reason, you fucking stop it at once.
Image via Henryk Sadura/Shutterstock