The pleasure, pain, and persistent myths and misconceptions about peeing—debunked and expounded on, below.
Return To Splash Mountain
A 90-degree angle of stream to urinal leads to the greatest splashback, according to new research from Brigham Young University. Stay dry by standing closer: Beyond six or seven inches, your urine stream breaks into droplets, which are more likely to bounce back onto your pants.
Paruresis: The fear of peeing in the presence of others. (About 7 percent of people have this problem.)
Urotherapy: The use of human urine (either applied topically or swallowed) for its perceived detoxification, health benefits, or disease-fighting properties. Rumored proponents include the late J.D. Salinger, Madonna, and ex-Yankee Jorge Posada.
Urolagnia: The sexual arousal associated with the sight or thought of urine (think: an affinity for golden showers, something Ricky Martin has admitted he's a fan of).
Retromingence: The ability to urinate backward—hippos and raccoons are particularly skillful; it's much trickier for humans to perfect.
Decode the tint of your tinkle.
Clear: You're likely overhydrated, which can cause symptoms like nausea, bloating, and headaches.
Pale Yellow: A perfect piss looks a lot like lemonade.
Neon Yellow: Usually a sign of healthy but high levels of vitamin B.
Dark Yellow: You may be dehydrated, so there's too much waste product (and not enough water) in your urine.
Pinkish: You're likely eating rhubarb, beets, or blueberries, which is good—but a consistently rosy hue after beet consumption could indicate low stomach acid, affecting digestion.
Orange: May signal healthy doses of carrots and high doses of vitamin C—or a possible liver problem.
Red: could mean blood is in the urine, a result of a urinary-tract infection or kidney stones.
Dark Brown: Could be a sign of a kidney or liver disorder, melanoma . . . or too many fava beans. In any event, see a doctor.
8: Times a day the average person pees.
15 Ounces: Amount of liquid a typical bladder can contain. The longer you hold it, the more the bladder becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and infection. Regularly fighting the urge can stretch your bladder muscles, possibly causing incontinence.
Urine Usage Through The Ages
Gunpowder: Before the mass synthesis of potassium nitrate, fermented urine was used to create saltpeter, an ingredient in the explosive.
Soap: The early Europeans used pee to clean their homes and clothes.
Mouthwash and teeth whitener: The ancient Romans swished with urine because it contains ammonia, a natural brightener and cavity fighter.
Harris tweed: The textile was originally soaked in urine to soften and strengthen the fabric.
Coming Soon: Pee-Powered Robots
Scientists from the U.K.'s University of Bristol and University of the West of England have invented microbial fuel cells designed to power self-sustaining robots called EcoBots by using urine pumped through the cell, like an artificial "heart," to generate electricity that could run the bots. The researchers hope that these urine-fueled robots will someday be able to perform environmental-monitoring tasks.
Peeing on a jellyfish sting can actually worsen pain. Vinegar and salt water are both better bets.