science The Grossest Facts About Bodily Functions & Waste in Space  

Debra Heather
376 votes 193 voters 64.6k views 11 items Embed

List Rules Vote up the facts about the ins and outs of waste disposal and bodily functions in space that gross you out the most.

Maybe you think Porta Potties are gross, or refuse to use public restrooms at all, because ick. But have you ever thought about how astronauts deal with waste and other bodily functions in space? Disposing of human waste in space is an entirely different state of affairs than here on Earth - and some of the facts on this list will make even the nastiest public bathroom look like a palace. The human body works a lot differently when not subject to Earth's gravity, meaning that even sneezing and sweating becomes much more complicated.

Waste disposal in space is essential, but without sewers, how is it done? What's the deal with peeing in space? What if you bleed? NASA and other international space agencies have solved all these problems in miraculous ways, but that doesn't mean they have made them any less gross. Which of these facts about bodily fluids and waste in space gross you out the most? Vote up the most disgusting things astronauts have to deal with.
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Pooping in Space Is All About Accuracy


Pooping in Space Is All About ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Grossest Facts About Bodily Functions & Waste in Space
Photo: Feline Groovy/flickr/CC-BY-ND 2.0
Pooping in space is not exactly pleasant, as far as bodily waste is concerned. The toilet on the ISS has a very small opening waste goes through, so you basically have to aim by guessing and hope for the best.
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Astronauts Often Wear Diapers


Astronauts Often Wear Diapers is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Grossest Facts About Bodily Functions & Waste in Space
Photo: via Twitter
Yes, astronauts do wear diapers, especially during take off because their legs are elevated, and if they have to urinate there is really no way around it. As you can imagine, it's an uncomfortable and gross feeling to sit in your own urine. Diapers also have to be worn during spacewalks.
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Dead Skin Falls Off in Chunks


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Video: YouTube
On Earth, we shed dead skin cells easily, thanks to gravity. Unfortunately, this is a luxury that astronauts don't have in space. Without gravity, the dead skin gets trapped until eventually chunks of skin particles float off of your body.
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Astronauts Drink Their Own Urine


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Video: YouTube
How does the ISS maintain a constant supply of the drinking water humans need to survive? By having astronauts drink their own urine, of course. It sounds disgusting, but the urine they drink is completely purified before consumtion and perfectly safe.