The 6 Most Terrifying Public Restrooms in the World
Even though we're living in the 21st century, we still live with the mundane and boring reality of public bathrooms. And though, as we've shown you before, there are some clever bathrooms out there, for the most part we still haven't tapped our creative potential. But there are still a few people out there thinking outside the box. And outside the box is where horror lives.
Simulate the Experience of Taking a Dump on a Busy Street
Who shits with their coat on?
You'd have no problem taking a crap in that bathroom, right? After all, the glass is one-way. Those dozens of tourists aren't staring at you while you're straining on that toilet, they're simply looking at a mirrored box and trying to figure out why it's making fart sounds.
That's a real public bathroom in London. Actually, it started life as an art exhibit called Don't Miss a Sec, making it possibly the only artwork in the world that you're not only allowed to defecate on, but expected to. From the outside, it looks like the bathroom the Predator would use:
"If it poops we can kill it."
The artist, Monica Bonvicini, claims that the idea is that you can answer the call of nature without having to stop looking at things (the bathroom was erected near an art exhibition), but we suspect that what she was really doing was seeing if anyone was trusting enough to take a leak in there without assuming that the walls would turn transparent and a group of Japanese businessmen would crowd around to watch.
And people will be watching. A weird, mirrored space-cube in the middle of the sidewalk is the kind of thing that gets your attention. Just imagine trying to take a dump while a curious child cups his hands over the glass and starts staring directly toward your private areas.
"Oh, don't mind me, I'll just be leaning against the box you're about to poop in."
Or a window cleaner casually takes out a squeegee and starts wiping down the glass, whistling, as you try to squeeze out a deuce.
He used a fire hose full of Lysol to clean the inside.
Really, we're hesitant enough already to use public bathrooms, so we could do without the performance anxiety. Also, you won't be able to use it without wondering if the last person was an exhibitionist who was jerking off the whole time.
Note: We apologize for that "Japanese businessmen" crack earlier, we shouldn't be stereotyping Japan as having some kind of weird toilet fascination. Now on to our next entry ...
The Japanese Video Game Toilet
We'll just say that "Player 2" had better eat a lot of fiber.
Have you ever wondered what happened to Sega after it gave up on the console business? Other than making terrible Sonic games? It turns out they never really went away -- above is their contribution to the current generation of gaming systems. We're not being sarcastic, that's actually it.
The Sega Toylet appears in Tokyo's metro stations, and it comes with sensors in the base of the urinal that can measure your pee stream's force and location of impact. It then uses that information to control one of four games that grade you on your performance, which is pretty much the last thing anyone needs to worry about, given the circumstances.
In one game, for example, your dick is a fire hose that you use to blast graffiti off a wall:
This is it. This is the apex of civilization.
But then there's "Milk from Nose," which will completely ruin your bathroom experience if you get the slightest bit of stage fright. Essentially, it pits you against the last person to use the urinal to see whose stream is the strongest, so the whole time, the toilet is screaming at you to pee harder while this bullshit is on the screen in front of you:
We're just glad they went with "Milk from Nose."
Yep, that's pretty Japanese. But then there's "The North Wind and Her," in which your pee power controls the wind that you're using to blow up the skirt of an anime girl.
Considering that pee is involved, we're kind of shocked at Japan's restraint on this one.
And here's the kicker: You can download your high scores to your flash drive. Just wait until your friends see that you pissed 347 milliliters! That'll show 'em! We guess!
The Bathroom Made of Giant Eggs
"Run away! It's hatching!"
Those huge alien toilet eggs are at an award-winning restaurant and bar in London called sketch. And by virtue of the fact that they insist upon spelling "sketch" with a lowercase "s," you can already bet that it's not going to look like any ordinary restaurant. True to form, it looks more like some kind of space station, or at least what they thought space stations were going to look like in the '60s.
This must be where the Enterprise crew held their key parties.
So it's not surprising that they didn't just stick a bunch of ordinary toilets in the back as an afterthought. After you've swilled enough champagne out of a shoe (or whatever you'd order at a place like this) and you need to tinkle, you travel up a winding white staircase ...
"Is the vaginal theme clear enough in this room? We want to make sure no one misses it."
... until you end up here:
It's like Alien meets IKEA.
Just in case you're worried that you've stumbled into the aliens' breeding chamber and they are about to loose their unholy spawn upon you, there is always an attendant on duty to explain that, yes, these free-standing egg-shaped pods are what you pee into. Apparently, each pod plays eerie music and sounds when you're inside, which we guess is supposed to put you at ease. Or, alternatively, scare you more so that you do what you came to do much faster.
New York's Public Bathrooms That Automatically Open After 15 Minutes, Whether You're Done or Not
"Now I need to poop. Everyone clear out."
Look, public bathrooms are horrifying. To even get to the seat, you have to wade through a lake of mystery liquid that, by the laws of logistical probability, very likely isn't water. And when you arrive, you find that the last person to use it had worse aim than a villain's henchman in a James Bond movie. If only we had the technology to build a public bathroom that cleaned itself after the last terrible human being defiled it. Well, now we do -- a number of high-tech self-cleaning toilets have opened in New York, complete with a prestigious toilet-paper-cutting ceremony. We wish that was a joke we made there, but it really happened. And these things serve only to prove the old adage that you should be careful what you wish for.
First of all, you have to pay a quarter to use them, which is an inconvenience, but understandable. But the truly horrifying part is that you only get 15 minutes to do your business. Tough luck if you're struggling with that last burrito. An alarm goes off when there are only three minutes left, warning you that, by God, those doors are opening whether you're done or not. If you do manage to finish, you get a generous three strips of toilet paper to clean yourself up.
You don't want to know how many times they've had to replace that poster.
After you leave, the bathroom turns into a self-cleaning robot befitting Skynet. Once the doors close, an arm comes down, cleans the toilet seat and blows it dry while high-powered jets spray seven gallons of water across the floor.
The bathroom floor has both a maximum and minimum weight sensor, both so the timer doesn't start until you are inside and so the cleaning process doesn't start and scald you to death with boiling water before you exit. There's something a little disquieting about the fact that you're only one malfunction away from scalding water in the face at any given moment.
"I knew I should've held it."
This comes after Seattle removed five similar toilets that it spent $5 million on after they became filthy and full of drug abusers and prostitutes. As it turns out, people still found a way to leave a mess in self-cleaning toilets, and the city finally decided to remove them when it learned that even the homeless people who went in there to smoke crack refused to use them due to how filthy they were. This is why we can't have nice things, Seattle.
London's Pop-Up Urinals
Imagine this accompanied by "Ride of the Valkyries."
For a while, the British have been trying to brainstorm ways of combating the age-old problem of bar districts -- drunk dudes shambling outside and pissing all over the damn place. The only effective solution is more toilets, but lining the streets with urinals doesn't make the city particularly attractive during the day.
The solution they've come up with? Pop-up toilets! The city of London installed "telescopic urinals" that remain invisible under the ground during the day, but slide out after the sun goes down to allow London's night life no excuse for peeing in a gutter. Wait, London again? Do they actually intend to lead the world in the industry of bizarre toilets?
More like Doctor Loo, right, Internet?
Of course, if you're strolling around London at dusk, you might want to keep a close eye on where you're walking, just in case one of those things that you thought was a manhole cover suddenly destroys your shins as it slowly emerges from the middle of the sidewalk.
But that's not the most worrying thing about it. What they don't mention is whether they take care to check these things for sleeping drunks before they put them back in the morning. The only thing worse than waking up with a horrible hangover is waking up with one under the ground.
Or mistaking a urinal for a drinking fountain.
The Toilet With a 30-Story Drop
Felix is a high-end restaurant in Hong Kong, located in the upper floors of the Peninsula Hotel. Most of the exterior wall is a long, sweeping window that gives the restaurant an awesome view of the city.
"Boy, I wish there was a way my penis could experience this view!"
That's pretty damn cool, until you need to go to the bathroom, and you realize that the view doesn't stop at the bar.
It features the world's only "Surprise Bidet."
For those of you who can't tell, this is a men's room, and those black things in the back are the urinals, which stand directly against a 30-story drop to the pavement below. If you're afraid of heights, you'll probably want to pee with your eyes closed.
The view is hailed as the best in Hong Kong, and that may be true, but we're not sure that the best time to experience it is while we're trying to focus on evacuating our bladders. Though it does award you the experience of feeling as though you're pissing on downtown Hong Kong.
Of course, you have no way of knowing that there isn't someone in one of those nearby buildings with a pair of binoculars seeking their own awesome view. (We're talking about your dick.)
Special thanks to Jack Hall, R. Barr, Evan V. Symon and Jim Avery for each providing a small bit of assistance or encouragement that helped make this article possible. For more from Kier, check out his blog or follow him on Twitter.