Hampshire & Isle of Wight

National Poo Museum opens doors on Isle of Wight

National Poo Museum Image copyright PA
Image caption Twenty different types of excrement have been placed in resin spheres

A museum dedicated to excrement, with examples from the animal and human world, has opened to the public.

The exhibition at the Isle of Wight Zoo features faeces from animals such as elks and lions as well as a human baby.

The National Poo Museum has been created by members of the artist collective Eccleston George.

"Poo is all around us and inside us, but we ignore it," said co-curator Daniel Roberts.

Twenty illuminated resin spheres show off the different types of faeces with facts hidden behind toilet lids on the museum walls.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Organisers prepared the faeces using a specially-built drying machine

Samples of faeces have been gathered from around the world as well as donations received from the Isle of Wight Zoo and Dinosaur Isle museum.

The display also includes fossilised poo (coprolites) dating back 140 million years as well as a tawny owl pellet containing bones and teeth.

It also covers issues such as dog mess and the lack of access to sanitation in developing countries.

Nigel George, one of the exhibition's curators, said the subject "provokes strong reactions".

"Small children naturally delight in it but later we learn to avoid this yucky, disease-carrying stuff, and that even talking about poo is bad," he said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The exhibition is set to go on a tour of the UK

"But for most of us, under the layers of disgust and taboo, we're still fascinated by it."

Organisers prepared the faeces using a specially-built drying machine - stick insect droppings were desiccated completely in about an hour, while lions' samples took a fortnight to dry out.

The attraction is on show at the Sandown zoo through the spring and summer before going on tour.

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