Pee was used as mouthwash by the Ancient Romans in 1 A.D., who actually purchased bottled Portuguese urine to expel bacteria from their mouths. This is just one of the many “18 Surprising Facts About Your Own Pee” video produced by BuzzFeed, which goes on to say they weren’t that off thousands of years ago, because ammonia found in stale urine will actually whiten your teeth.
The video lines up seven empty glasses and fills almost all of them to give viewers an idea of how much the average person pees, which is 6.3 cups a day. What’s in all of that pee? Last year, a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, revealed it contains 3,079 different compounds that are streamed together from the kidneys, which clean out and filter the human body from waste.
The world record for longest consecutive peeing sessions is 508 seconds, which is almost eight-and-a-half minutes, while it takes the typical person only 20 seconds to finish their flow. The longest distance a person has ever peed was by Joey Wallace of Arizona who reached his stream 14 feet and one inch.
Urine is a nitrogen source and it was once used as an ingredient in gunpowder. Pee is yellow because of bile, but other colors are possible depending on what you ate. Rhubarb will give you pink pee, while foods containing high levels of vitamin B, such as liver or mackerel will give you yellow pee. Supplements will give you brown pee and consuming beets will put a reddish tinge into your pee.
Some believe ingesting urine will cure ailments as severe as cancer and as minute as colds. Urine therapy is the act of drinking or topically applying urine. Most pee drinkers include runners, some practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine, J.D. Salinger, Sarah Miles, Pat Boone, Ke$ha, and Elvis’s mom, according to BuzzFeed.
The U.S. army field manual lists urine as a “do not consume” even under survival conditions. That didn’t stop former baseball player Moisés Alou, who claimed peeing on his hands before he stepped up to bat toughened them so was able to bat gloveless, while the opposite is true and pee actually softens the hands.
Urine is actually sterile, which is why some people used it to clean wounds, but urine is only sterile in the bladder and can become easily contaminated. In fact, it’s only a myth that you should pee on jellyfish stings. Instead, it can actually set off the remaining stinging cells.
Recently, the “P-Mate” was invented, which allows women to hover their urethra over the funnel-like device, which directs the pee away from their body much like a penis does. Not being able to pee in public is a problem that many women face, and while it’s illegal in many places, most men do it all the time. Holding it in can be life-threatening. A 28-year-old California woman died from holding it in for a radio contest. She was found dead inside her home from “water intoxication” after trying to drink as much water as she could and then refraining from relieving herself in the bathroom. The winner of the “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” content promised the winner a new Nintendo Wii in 2007.