For more than a quarter century, rumors have circulated about the world’s longest human poop: a 26-footer that was allegedly taken down the length of a bowling alley.
According to internet lore, the record-breaking dump was taken by a Michigan woman back in 1995. The story started trending on social media in 2021 during Women’s History Month as people lauded her fecal feat.
If excreting a turd longer than an NBA three-pointer seems impossible, that’s because it is. So how’d this lady fool millions with her hoax? And more importantly, who holds the real record for the world’s longest poop?
How an Artist Duped Everyone About the World’s Longest Poop
In 1995, Brooklyn artist Michelle Hines created an installation called “Within the Contest of No Contest,” a series of fake world records including images of a six-foot-tall corn cob and an oversized foot. But the most infamous part of the series was “World Record #4: Peristaltic Action.”
In addition to mocking up video stills for this piece (they’re NSFW, but you can find them here) Hines wrote a backstory which sounds actually sounds quite legit:
“In February, 1995, working in conjunction with nutritionists at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, I adopted a super fiber-rich diet which allowed me to successfully produce a single extruded excrement measuring the exact length of my colon: 26 feet. I documented the extrusion at the Cranbrook Kingswood High School Bowling Alley, Bloomfield Hills, MI, which offered a length of floor suitable for the process and measuring the results.
The cathartic diet was supplemented by a high intake of Metamucil fiber substance. The weeklong endurance prior to the event was ensured by the employment of a plug specifically designed to curtail any premature excretions.”
Basically, Hines was trying to mock the ridiculous stunts you can find in the Guiness Book of World Records or Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Even though the curator at the Hallways Contemporary Arts Center in New York called Hines a “completely unrepentant pants-on-fire liarhead,” people online still took the bait.
“I'd like to thank the University of Michigan for using their resources, time, and energy for producing world record breaking shits with Metamucil and Butt Plugs as opposed to otherwise silly stuff like curing cancer and disease,” someone said sarcastically in r/WTF. “Well done.”
Others were less concerned about the stunt’s merit and more concerned about how they would’ve executed their own world record attempt.
“I would've worn rollerblades, or possibly hung my butt off the end of a skateboard,” said another redditor. “The bouncing motion of the crab walk could have easily caused the turd to fracture.”
If you’re still clinging to the belief that the human body is capable of such a feat, we have sad news: The large intestine is only about five feet long, making a 26-foot-long poop physically impossible.
So we’ve debunked this bogus bowel movement. But who really squeezed out the longest poop in human history?
This Is Actually the World’s Longest Human Turd
The world’s biggest dump was not, in fact, taken inside a bowling alley, but rather in a 9th century Viking settlement.
In 1972, archaeologists in the UK were excavating an area that soon became the York branch of a Lloyds Bank. Amidst the dirt and rocks, the team found what appeared to be a turd—but it seemed too big to be real. However, after scientists dissected the specimen it was, indeed, an outrageously huge poop.
The deuce clocked in at 7.9 inches long and nearly two inches wide. Upon further inspection, researchers determined the man’s diet consisted mainly of meat and bread.
"Whoever passed it probably hadn't performed for a few days,” said Gill Snape, a student conservator with the York Archaeological Trust. “This guy had very itchy bowels."
In addition to being plugged up, this infamous Viking also had hundreds of parasitic eggs in his poop, leading the researchers to believe his gut was riddled with intestinal worms. The historic piece of poop came to be known as “The Lloyds Bank Coprolite” (coprolite means fossilized fecal matter).
"This is the most exciting piece of excrement I've ever seen,” said Dr. Andrew Jones, a York Archaeological Trust employee and paleoscatologist. “In its own way, it's as irreplaceable as the Crown Jewels."
Today the turd is housed in York’s JORVIK Viking Centre in York. During a 2003 school field trip, a teacher accidentally knocked the display, causing the fossilized turd to shatter into three pieces. You can see the repaired specimen below:
Can You Break the Record for the World’s Longest Poop?
In terms of turd length, 7.9 inches might seem like a reasonable goal to shoot for. But here’s the catch: Even if you manage to churn out an eight inch log without pinching your rectum, you’d have to safely remove it from your toilet without it falling apart. Then you’d have to take it to a lab for scientists to validate it.
If you can pull that off, more power to you. We might even hook you up with some swag to honor your record-breaking poop. But for now, the 1,200-year-old record stands.