Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

10 International Toilets

Squat Toilets -- Ultimate Pit Stops

Prevalent throughout the world, the squat toilet is a likely stop if you sight-see anywhere without a McDonald's on the horizon. The pit you're squatting over might be different, but the concept is pretty basic. From a sanitary perspective, only your feet, on either side of the hole, are going to do the dirty work. Your tush touches nothing, though in Peru it would be wise to keep an eye out for sloths. For the last 25 years, they've been camping out in local squat spots, feasting on nature's leftovers [source: Walker].

Toilet paper is an issue with squatters based on what the squat drop falls into:

  • train tracks
  • a pigpen
  • the ocean
  • sewage pipes
  • pressurized flush system
  • a hopefully very deep hole

Sometimes there will be toilet tissue, though outside Europe and the United States, it can be sandpapery in quality and often comes with a price tag [source: Style]. If none seems available, you should start looking around for a hose, spigot or little red bucket [source: Whitehorn]. Be brave and don't complain, because medically, the squat toilet is just as good for your intestines, if not ideal for completing the Sunday crossword puzzle [source: Rane and Corstiaans].