Invented through a long chain of experimentation and innovation, the indoor flushable toilet is an essential part of modern civilization. Although a majority of the world manages fine with a simple hole removed at a distance, humans prefer better bathroom technologies as we shift into the future of going potty. In the pursuit of utility, testaments to luxury have also been created. Here, then, are 3 of the world’s most lavish crappers:
Moon River Indeed
Inside a man-made grotto found in Moon River Art Park in Shanghai, China sits its $750,000 restroom facilities. The park features fascinating and attractive sculptures drawing thousands of visitors on a busy day, who are then treated to the delight of the park’s bathrooms – from the visually-striking stalactites that hover over the sinks to the tranquil sunlight that filters down into the room from above to touch softly on the stone and glass inside. The restroom, intentionally designed to blend in with the creative artworks found in the park, achieves this goal every day by meeting the needs of park patrons with both function and beauty.
A 24-Karat Solid Gold “Throne”
Created by the Hang Fung Gold Technology Group in Hong Kong as part of the company’s dazzling showroom tour, this opulent example – worth an estimated $5 million – sits within an even richer bathroom filled with gold, from its fixtures to the mirror’s frame. Naturally, this gilded washroom is intended only for viewing, but even though this entry has never been taken for a test ride it does feature fully-functional piping and flushing. In the year before his death, the toilet’s owner melted down and sold off many pieces in the “Hall of Gold” that holds it, but he always maintained that the toilet would remain for curious tourists to admire.
The International Waste Station
The final hopper on the list is a bit of a stretch, given it took the combined efforts of multiple countries and the expenditure of $19 million to create what is officially regarded as the most expensive man-made commode off Earth. The restrooms on the International Space Station are more functional than enjoyable – astronauts doing their business are strapped down – and break down liquid waste (though not solid, thankfully) to recycle, a necessity of space travel. Fun fact: the United States’ own NASA bought this john from Russia to use on the American side, cutting the poor Russian cosmonauts’ available toilets by one – another great sacrifice for the overall advancement of human knowledge.
Peter Wendt is a freelance writer and researcher living and working in Austin, TX. His inappropriate sense of humor is what drives him to study and write about the history of the john. However, Peter knows a broken toilet is no joking matter, which is why he always recommends calling the best plumbers in Austin when you run into toilet troubles.