Since the dawn of human civilization, we’ve struggled to contain our collective waste. For millennia, the majority of people squatted over holes or pots; sometimes, the solid “night soil” was used in agriculture. More often, it was funneled into nearby rivers and oceans, where it could easily cause disease. The miraculous flush toilet emerged in Tudor England, just a few hundred years ago. It has maintained its shape, structure, and reliance on a sewer network since the 1780s. When paired with well-maintained septic tanks or, more commonly, sewage pipes, the age-old problems of pooping disappeared for residents of wealthy countries, who now buy lavatory accoutrements, like heated seats and in-bowl bidets with different speeds and water temperatures.