The craziest creatures to come up a toilet

The bathroom is one of the few places left where we expect to be in total privacy. The increased presence of monitoring of our behavior through camera-equipped devices means the NSA or Mark Zuckerberg could be looking at us at any moment. But generally speaking, when we're in our home bathrooms, we assume our most private business is truly private.

But sometimes even this most holy of holies can be invaded. Not necessarily by spy cameras or data mining — though these are possibilities as well — but by something much more primitive. More natural. More … animalistic. Although you might hate to think about it, there's no shortage of animals that can make their way into your home not through the front door, not through a window, but from the bottom up, sneaking into the room of the house where you're most vulnerable and exposed.

The extra bad news is that it's not the nice animals shimmying up your sewer pipes like a reverse Santa Claus. It's not puppies or kittens that want to slip into your toilet bowl. It's the creepy, the crawly, and — sometimes — the bitey. Maybe don't read this one during your morning constitutional.

A 5-foot Texas rat snake

It turns out that a toilet snake is a real thing, and not just something you find when your roommate eats a fiber-heavy diet and forgets to flush. It's a tool, also known as a toilet auger, that you use to remove clogs from narrow pipes with a crank-powered cable. It's a pretty common plumbing tool and honestly, if Mario were a real plumber, it's the kind of weapon he'd have in his arsenal instead of fireballs or a raccoon suit.

An outdoorsman named Ben Tedrick found out about a different kind of toilet snake, however, when he found a 5-foot rat snake (non-poisonous, but Tendrick says it will "bite the sh*t out of you") peeking out of a toilet in a vacant ranch home in Brazos County, as related by the New York Post and as seen in the video above. Using an improvised device made from a mop handle and some string, Tedrick managed to snare the snake by the head and, almost more impressively, didn't decapitate the powerful thing by patiently waiting for it to relax its muscles so he could pull it out safely. He then released the snake, unharmed, into a woodpile far enough away that it wouldn't find its way back to the house.

A herpetology expert at Texas A&M said this kind of occurrence is pretty rare and only happened because the snake was looking for warmth, but there are two other toilet snakes on this list alone, and honestly the other two are much scarier.

Rats

God's most heinous and forsaken creation, the rat, is one of the few mammals that might pop up in your toilet, in case you were hoping to never use the bathroom in peace again. Why couldn't it be, say, a sloth or a koala inching its way up your sewer drain to give you a hug after a long, sterilizing bath in a tub of Purel? Why did it have to be an animal that's already shaped and colored like something you might normally find floating in a toilet, camouflage that affords it an extra second in which to leap out and nibble your soul, i.e., a rat's natural pasturage?

The Huffington Post tells the story of a couple in South London who had a rat poke its head out of their toilet every night for over nine months. This hideous loo-beast was such a frequent visitor in their home that they named him Roland, which sounds way too innocuous, but you do get to name your own toilet demons. Presumably rats would make their way into a toilet by climbing up from their normal home in Satan's own Hell, but the Straight Dope lays out a host of ways a rat might end up in your john, of which climbing up the actual sewer pipes is merely one terrifying option. And here's a bonus nightmare: Did you know rats can jump as high as 3 feet in the air?

Frogs

The bad news is frogs popping up in toilet bowls is incredibly common. If you Google "frog in toilet," millions of results pop up. The good news is unless you have ranidaphobia, a little frog swimming in your indoor pond is a lot less scary than, say, a rat or a snake as long as a stack of toddlers poking its head out from under the seat. Still, probably not something you want to encounter unexpectedly after staggering groggily to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

As the Tampa Bay Times points out, there are a number of ways a frog (or other animal) might end up in your toilet, ranging from swimming from a nearby sewer opening, to squeezing into a cracked sewer line, to — most likely — falling into a bathroom vent pipe on the roof after climbing a tree and warming itself on a roof shingle. The Times recommends covering your roof vents with mesh to keep out frogs (and leaves, and twigs, and apparently squirrels) or turning off outside lights at nighttime, as these attract bugs, which attract frogs.

Alternatively, keep the frogs that you catch in your toilet, wait until you have a trio, train them in the art of fighting, racing through the ever-punishing Turbo Tunnel, and transmogrifying into a ram's head or wrecking ball so they might rescue the Princess Angelica from the Dark Queen's dread ship, the Gargantua.

A possum (the Australian kind)

The first thing you need to know is there's an animal called a possum that's native to Australia and New Guinea and is considered an iconic Australian animal in roughly the way kangaroos and koalas are. It is, of course, a marsupial, just like every animal in Australiais, including birds, lizards, and humans. (That last part is a joke.) It is not to be confused with the common American garbage cat more properly known as an opossum, but more popularly known as a possum because Americans hate syllables, which also explains the rise of "bae" and "totes" and "brobd."

The second thing you need to know is that an Australian man saw one of these fuzzy boys scrambling out of his toilet back in 2008, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald. He was in the bathroom doing laundry when he heard his toilet making an unexpected gurgling sound. He turned to see bubbles coming from the toilet drain followed by a little gray head emerging in a moment that he stomach-churningly described as "like the toilet had given birth." Truly, a toilet miracle.

The possum presumably made its way into the house via that common culprit in the "animal in the toilet" scenario, the bathroom vent pipe, and once freed from its porcelain hellmouth, the half-drowned creature darted out an open door to return to the sizable possum population that inhabits suburban Brisbane. Would an American toilet (o)possum show more gratitude? Wait and see!

A 10-foot boa constrictor

What's worse than finding a 5-foot snake in your toilet? Finding a 10-foot snake in your toilet. It's roughly twice as bad. (Go ahead, do the math. It's indisputable.)

While there's no shortage of stories of enormous snakes slithering up through the down hole (honestly, this whole list could have been 100 percent snakes), one particularly chilling example comes via BBC News in 2005, reporting the tale of a 10-foot boa constrictor that lived in sewer pipes under a block of apartments in Manchester and would poke its head up through random toilet drains in the various apartments over the course of three months like history's slowest, most terrifying game of whack-a-mole. The residents, naturally, named the snake "Keith," presumably because that sounds like the name of someone who would peep at you in the bathroom. Keith was believed to have made his way into the sewers under the flats after being abandoned by a tenant who was evicted for being overdue on rent and not, strangely, for keeping a snake the length of a Toyota Corolla in there.

After authorities failed to catch the snake with high-tech equipment, a tenant managed to lure Keith into a bucket, which was presumably filled with Scotch eggs, the favorite food of Keiths everywhere. The downside of all this, of course, is that now this apartment building has nothing to take care of all its toilet rats.

A giant carnivorous lizard

The tegu is a type of South American lizard known for its considerable size (up to 4.5 feet in length) and aggressive predatory style. Once tamed, however, they apparently make pretty good pets, with high intelligence that means they can learn to recognize their own name. And a cool additional fact about tegus is that thanks to one of them, there's a teenager somewhere in Norway who probably still isn't potty-trained.

As reported by Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 2005, a 3-year-old Norwegian child was being potty-trained by his mother when suddenly a 30-inch, 3.3-pound South American yellow-banded lizard came crawling up the potty hole. If that specific thing wasn't already that child's recurring nightmare, it probably has been since 2005. The head of the aquarium in Bergen said that "one might say his training has suffered a serious setback." Yeah, you don't say? Someone please follow up on this story from over a decade ago and report back on whether or not this Norwegian teen can sit on a toilet without flashbacks of a dog-sized, flesh-eating lizard hunting him or if he died from holding in all his numbers 2 until he exploded.

The aquarium guy said it's illegal to import this breed of tegu into Norway, so we can all agree that it's past time we built a wall between South American toilets and Norwegian toilets to stop this immigration from literal sh*tholes.

This very rude snake

What's worse than finding a 10-foot snake in your toilet? Finding a 10-foot snake in your toilet not through the faculty of sight as granted by your human eyeballs, but rather by nature of the fact that this 10-foot snake took a big, honking bite out of your ding-a-ling.

That's what happened to a man in Thailand in 2016, CNN reported. The man was using his squat toilet when suddenly he found himself on the losing side of a snake fight. As his wife ran to get help, the man managed to pry the snake's fangs loose from his membrum virile, losing a lot of blood in the process. His wife then managed to tie up the snake, such that rescuers found the snake's head hanging from the bathroom door. The majority of the snake's ample body, however, was stuck in the toilet. Rescue workers had to remove and then dismantle the toilet with hammers to free the enormous python. That's some real insult to injury. Is it not bad enough that this man got snake-bit on his business and got his business-blood all over the floor? You have to also smash his toilet with hammers in front of God and everybody? Cold-blooded, all of you.

Ultimately, man and snake both survived. One rescue worker on the scene noted that he had seen several snakes come out of toilets and bite them some cheek, but this was the first pecker peck he'd witnessed. Anyway, don't go to Thailand.

An iguana

If you've never been to Florida, it might be really tempting to imagine it as a big circular island with Disney World in the middle and beaches all around it. Everyone who lives there is the Golden Girls and they hand you an orange when your plane lands. If you have, however, actually been to any part of Florida not owned by the Walt Disney Omnicorp, you know that it's 90 percent swamp, every vertical surface is covered in Spanish moss and kudzu, and every horizontal surface is covered in cockroaches, lizards, snakes, and alligators.

Not even the bathroom is safe, not even the inner sanctum of the toilet bowl. As ABC Action News related in 2017, a woman in Palmetto, Florida, had a surprisingly large iguana crawl out of her toilet, reportedly from the pipe system. Already terrified of lizards, she closed the toilet lid, put two cement blocks on top, closed the bathroom door, and sealed the crack under the door with a towel, just in case the lizard was strong enough to lift two cinder blocks.

Just in case you assume this story is a one-time fluke and you'll never encounter a Florida toilet iguana, let the Tampa Bay Times assure you that it is not a fluke and that you might encounter one. Anyway, don't go to Florida.

A squirrel

If you are rightly horrified at the very real possibility of a sewer rat climbing from the depths into your toilet bowl, maybe consider the modestly cuter possibility that a squirrel might also pop out of your commode. It apparently happens more than you might think.

In 2008, Tallahassee Magazine posted a story by a woman shocked out of her gourd by the surprise appearance of a squirrel in her toilet that, it was concluded, must have come in through an uncovered bathroom vent on the roof (the usual suspect at this point). In 2010, Tucson News Now reported the story of an Oklahoma woman who called 911 when she found a squirrel swimming in her toilet. This one, at least, had the originality to have made its way into her pipes via a sewer drain rather than a vent pipe. Then in 2013, the Winnipeg Free Press told of another toilet squirrel, adding some drama when the rescued toilet squirrel had a weird altercation with another, non-toilet squirrel as it made its way back to freedom and then ending with the woman whose toilet got squirreled making a joke about the Squirrelshank Redemption, which is a pretty solid joke to end on. The origin of her toilet squirrel is believed to be a water main cleaning on her street.

So if you're worried about a toilet rat if you hear something thrashing around under your butt, maybe consider first that it might just be a squirrel before you freak out irrationally.

A baby opossum (the American kind)

All right, to be fair, this one probably didn't actually come up through the pipes and into the toilet. It most likely came in through a broken window before later falling into the toilet. So in case the ultimate provenance of your toilet animals makes a difference to you, take solace in the fact that this one fell down instead of crawling up.

According to NBC News in 2016, a woman in San Diego found a baby opossum taking a dip in her toilet. Depending on how you feel about opossums, this could be the cutest possible toilet animal outcome or it could just be like she found an even bigger, toothier rat. But even if it had been the most adorable possum possible, you probably still don't want it hiding under where your butt parts go during your most private moments. Anyway, animal control came and rescued the little guy, who was reported to be doing fine and who was set to be released after he was old enough to survive on his own.

The bad news is the lady later had another opossum break into her house, though this one presumably didn't take a toilet bath. The good news is that this second opossum is what tipped the woman off to the existence of her broken window, hopefully allowing her to restore the sanctity of her toilet bowl.

An adult human

Animals don't know what toilets are. To them, a pipe is just another tunnel to crawl through, and a toilet is just another water source. They don't know that this is a special chair where you go to read Twitter and regret your previous day's chicken wing decisions. Humans, however, know from a very young age what the potty chair is for and they know what goes in there and what does not. And so if a human — an adult human — finds themselves climbing head-first out of a toilet and the first step was not escaping a super-corrupt prison in Maine, then that human has messed up to the maximum.

So guess what happened to this one guy in Cape Town in 2013. According to South Africa's News 24, an unidentified man was found stuck butt-first in a portable toilet on a construction site. He was somehow jammed so far in there that only his head, legs, and iPod-holding hands were visible. Passers-by heard his panicked shouting and alerted authorities, who took nearly an hour to figure out a way to pull him out. When they managed to free him — surprise — he had no pants on and so had to cover his more sensitive areas with his T-shirt.

No one knows how he ended up in that situation, though witnesses suspected that his bloodshot eyes indicated drug use. The real questions, though, are where did his pants go, and what was he listening to on his iPod?