Why does everyone's excrements smell the same?

Females poop?

I’m guessing it’s pink and smells like roses and bubble gum.

My cat’s farts smell like cat food.

So basically you’re a fusion reactor? :wink:

Matter-antimatter more like. You want to be a LONG way away (like the other side of the planet) if he ever does let one go!

:confused: “C-diff”?

It’s short for a bacteria (C. difficile) that can take over the gut, especially in people taking antibiotics. Unlike the normal bacterial colonies, this one does not play nice.

My shit don’t smell.

Apparently the liquid feces produced by someone with C. Diff also look distinctive visually.

Actually, this is false. Asparagus has a similar effect on the pee of anyone who eats it. However, only a fraction of the population has the gene that allows their nose to smell that particular scent.

Is this really true, that only a small number of people can smell the hideous after effects of asparagus? Because my wife loves asparagus so it appears in my food a lot. It only takes a few minutes for the smell to appear and it is so strong I suspect others might be offended.

Hmm, it’s a strong smell, but I’ve never found it especially offensive. I am always surprised at how little asparagus it takes, and how quickly the smell manifests itself, though.

Actually there is BOTH a variation in the production of the smelly metabolites after eating asparagus and in the ability to perceive them. It’s nearly 50/50.

Reducing ignorance one pisspot at a time!

Neat, DSeid. The issue had come up in my family but, while we’d been able to verify that some of us did indeed not produce the Famous Asparagus Smell, attempts at verifying whether the non-producers were some sort of mutants or aliens from outer space had thus far failed. Looks like they’re merely part of a 1-in-12 minority.

I read this as “mercotans” and thought I’d figured out QtheM’s username.

ETA: that’s an interesting study, DSeid, and thanks for sharing it. The last sentence in your quote – that the ability to produce, and the ability to smell, the compounds is “not tightly related” – fascinates me. You’d think for evolutionary reasons they’d have gotten linked.

This reminds me of a book about the French war in Indochina in the late 1940s. The author describes the actions of a platoon of the Foreign Legion in hot pursuit of a band of Vietnamese guerillas in the jungle. There is one soldier in the platoon who is able to detect the smell of human feces over considerable distances and who can also tell how long ago the poop was produced.

The platoon leader radios the information to his HQ. When the Lieutenant is asked by his CO how he is able to obtain such valuable intelligence about the enemy’s movements, he answers: “I’d rather not say. You wouldn’t believe it, anyway”

:eek:Geriatric nurse here. I have changed a lot of diapers. BMs smell different person to person, meal to meal. Poop from puree eaters smells different than those on solids. I once was the only person on my floor with a shift rotation that meant I worked on a particular day that served borscht and cabbage rolls for lunch followed by some kind of spinach dish with supper. The results the next day were very–um… fragrant and colourful. :eek:

As for urine I can usually tell if someone has a Urinary tract infection. (Restless person becomes very sedentary or vice versa) So if at 0500 a person in my care hasn’t slept much, is calling out, is climbing out of bed and his or her brief is soaked with dark urine that smells very strongly (often either cat box at the Crazy Cat Lady’s house, or rancid peanut butter) I will set up a collection system and email or voicemail the doctor to order specimens for urinalysis and culture & sensitivity. :smiley: I once worked with a care aide who could unofficially diagnose a UTI by walking in a room. I honestly felt sorry for him; his sense of smell was too acute.

(As for other secretions… I dated vegans. I can tell the difference. :wink: )

Everyone I know who loves asparagus can also smell asparagus pee. It’s just not a big deal; certainly not enough to avoid eating asparagus.

Just to be clear, since you seem to be our resident feces expert :): Apart from asparagus and disease, is the difference in odor of a person’s feces almost all due to differences in their diet, or are there still significant person to person differences even for healthy people with the same diet?


…asparagus, tinged with ultramarine and rosy pink which ran from their heads, finely stippled in mauve and azure, through a series of imperceptible changes to their white feet, still stained a little by the soil of their garden-bed: a rainbow-loveliness that was not of this world. I felt that these celestial hues indicated the presence of exquisite creatures who had been pleased to assume vegetable form, who, through the disguise which covered their firm and edible flesh, allowed me to discern in this radiance of earliest dawn, these hinted rainbows, these blue evening shades, that precious quality which I should recognise again when, all night long after a dinner at which I had partaken of them, they played (lyrical and coarse in their jesting as the fairies in Shakespeare’s Dream) at transforming my humble chamberpot into a bower of aromatic perfume.”

–not James Joyce

“Why does everyone’s excrements smell the same?”

How many different people’s poop did you sample to come to this conclusion?