The National Poo Museum was created by Daniel Roberts, Nigel George and Dave Badman from the Eccleston George collective of artists and social entrepreneurs on the Isle of Wight.
We launched with “Poo at the Zoo” at Sandown, Isle of Wight on March 25 2016. It ws a joint event with Isle of Wight Zoo. This exhibition was open to zoo visitors over the spring and summer 2016. We are now preparing a National Poo Museum Tour for 2017.
Nigel George with a cat poo in a child's shoe
Dan Roberts with a resin-encapsulated horse poo
Poo at the Zoo was the first phase of our development of the Poo Museum. It featured an exhibition of twenty kinds of poo, encapsulated and displayed in illuminated resin spheres. These included elk, lion, human baby poo, a tawny owl pellet containing bones and teeth, 140 million year old fossil poo (coprolites) and a child’s shoe with a cat poo inside it.
We collected some poos from the wild in different countries. Some were also donated by Isle of Wight Zoo and Isle of Wight Dinosaur Museum. To prepare the faeces for encapsulation we built a special poo drying machine. A stick insect poo takes an hour or so to desiccate completely, but a lion poo can take a fortnight to dry!
Dave Badman works on an encapsulated poo
We use retro toilets so visitors can lift the lids and learn extraordinary poo-related facts. For example:
Common probiotic foods are produced using healthy bacteria originally isolated from human poo.
In 2016 if you have a poo on a train in Britain, there’s a 25% chance it will drop directly onto the tracks, because many carriages have never been fitted with sewage holding tanks.
Wombats are the only animal known to produce cubic poos, probably to prevent their territory-marking poos from rolling off the rocks where they are deposited.
Poo is all around us but we ignore it. The National Poo Museum’s mission is to lift the lid on the secret world of poo - to examine our relationship with it and to change forever the way we think about this amazing substance.
We also intend to rub people’s noses in important poo-related issues, from dog mess to the effects of diet on the microbiome, to lack of access to sanitation in developing countries.
“Poo provokes strong reactions. Small children naturally delight in it, but later we learn to avoid this yucky, disease-carrying stuff and that even talking about poo is bad. But for most of us, under the layers of disgust and taboo, we’re still fascinated by it.” - Nigel George, Poo Museum.
Nigel George tells the story behind Poo Museum on the Anton Savage Show