10 International Toilets

Shelf Toilets -- Shelf of Speculation

The great Austrian father of psychology, Sigmund Freud, said, "A man should not strive to eliminate his complexes but to get into accord with them." He would likely approve of the toilet popular throughout Germany, Austria, Denmark and the Netherlands: the shelf toilet. A tiny dry, porcelain shelf sits aloft in each toilet bowl, perched daintily above the water level, allowing everyone a chance to consider their elimination's complexities before flushing. This charming shelf exists for no other purpose than speculation of fecal production as the design doesn't save any water; the same amount of water is required for flushing as is needed for non-shelf toilets [source: Spiegel Online International].

While finding your offerings left high and dry might surprise you at first, the basic model is a Western commode and one firm flush will whisk all the evidence down the drain. And if you, like Dr. Freud, enjoy a thorough examination of the self, then certainly this toilet is for you.

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