School-age children in Osaka, Japan, are learning about poop in a fun, interactive and relatively mess-free way: by riding a slide into a giant toilet.
Usually, playground slides and human feces make for a nasty combination. But the slide that's concealed within a 16-foot toilet bowl at the unambiguously titled "Toilet!? - Human Waste & Earth's Future" exhibit is a gateway into an educational sewer.
The show, which also visited Tokyo's Miraikan science museum last year, is an exploration of human waste, how it's disposed of, and what toilets of the future must achieve to meet the challenges of global population growth.
For example, Japanese sewage treatment systems are engineered to harvest phosphorus, which can be used to fertilize crops, among other applications. Some U.S. cities also utilize phosphorus recovery systems as part of managing human waste.
Videos from the exhibit's run in Tokyo and its current stint in Osaka play up the fun factor for kids, who are invited to put on curly brown foam hats and slide into the bowl.
There, it appears they are greeted by cartoon stools and singing, interactive toilets that guide them though lessons about what feces are made of, where they go and how different toilets are used around the world. There's also a portion devoted to different kinds of stools.
While the concept might be a little jarring to some, it's pretty tame compared to another exhibit, "The Mysterious Great Adventure of the Body," which has patrons enter through a giant inflatable butt.