Science & Tech

Scientist calls discovery of 'world's biggest poo' most 'exciting excrement ever'

Viking Poo is One of the York's Biggest Archaeological Discoveries?

The largest poo ever recorded was found in York, England and belonged to a Viking with quite the appetite and scientists are hoping that it can reveal further details about the diet of the man in question.

The poo was discovered in 1972 and is an eye-watering 20 centimeters long and 5 centimeters in width. It is believed that its origins go all the way back to the ninth century and was first dug up by the York Archaeological Trust.

The excrement, professionally known as paleo-faeces or coprolite is now on display at the Jorvik Viking Centre in York. The poo is likely to have been laying at the site where is was discovered, which is now a branch of Lloyds Bank, for more than 1000 years.

Researchers declared that the poo was 'moist and peaty' and shows that the Viking it came from had a regular diet of meat and bread but also suffered from intestinal worms that the Viking, given the large number of eggs that were found in the poo.

Sign up to our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Previously Gill Snape a student conservator on a placement with the York Archaeological Trust said: "Whoever passed it probably hadn't performed for a few days, shall we say. This guy had very itchy bowels."

Way back in 1991 paleoscatologist, Dr Andrew Jones said: 'This is the most exciting piece of excrement I've ever seen. In its own way, it's as irreplaceable as the Crown Jewels."

The poo has a history of going viral and often crops up on social media when people learn about its remarkable record.

The poo has also experienced fame on television having featured on Channel 4's Britain's Most Historic Towns which was first broadcast back in 2018.

Its incredible has continued since it was unearthed having been nearly destroyed in 2003 by a teacher during a school trip who knocked into the box it was in and caused it to fall to the floor. Yet due to its substantial size experts were able to reconstruct it and return it to its previous shape.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)