Adam 12

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What can I say? I have poop on the brain. And I fell down a Wiki rabbit hole. So let’s talk about the Erfurt latrine disaster, shall we?


Again, I blame Depths of Wikipedia for this kick I’m on as of late. I didn’t find this through them, but the Wikipedia-related arcana that the Twitter feed shares got me thinking about weird stuff on the internet. Props to Annie Rauwerda who runs Depths of Wiki and has shared with the world the fact that there’s an active volcano called Stromboli and a town called Dildo. I haven’t seen her share any poop content. Yet.


Remembering the Erfurt latrine disaster

According to this Wikipedia entry:

The Erfurt latrine disaster occurred in July 1184, when Henry VIKing of Germany (later Holy Roman Emperor), held a Hoftag (informal assembly) in the Petersberg Citadel in Erfurt. On the morning of 26 July, the combined weight of the assembled nobles caused the wooden second story floor of the building to collapse and most of them fell through into the latrine cesspit below the ground floor, where about 60 of them drowned in liquid excrement.


Pardon my French–and forgive me for grabbing the low-hanging fruit–but holy shit. So you’ve got this situation developing in Europe hundreds of years ago. Feuds are simmering, wars are breaking out, and Henry VI, King of Germany, decides to do something about it. He calls in leaders from all over the Holy Roman Empire, and before they can even start a dialogue?


The floor collapses under their combined weight and they all fall into the latrine in the cellar and die. Some drown from the liquid poop, some suffocate from the fumes. It’s a nightmare scenario. But also funny?


I’m trying to imagine a modern-day version of this and all I can come up with if, say, the G7 Summit had a plumbing malfunction that somehow spread excrement everywhere. But that seems so far-fetched for modern-day politics. And poop. Keep scrolling for more toilet death, if you dare.

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