Floating And Sinking Poop

j 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb


Della asks:

What happens if your poop floats? Does that mean something?

Dear Della,

Judging by the number of times it is asked, this question is a source of great concern to the masses. The Floaters versus Sinkers controversy (hey, wouldn't those be great names for PoopReport basketball teams?) has been raging since time began... OK, since the Internet began... OK, since this morning.


Surprisingly, not what you might think.

Conventional medical wisdom attributes Floaters to the amount of fat in your poop. While this IS true for certain diseases (cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, biliary atresia, abetalipoprotenimia and a few other weird sounding illnesses), it is NOT true for your run-of-the-mill healthy person.

Vegetarians would have you believe that the "perfect" stool (that is, one uncontaminated by the consumption of animal parts) is the Floater. Many vegetarians have spent their entire lives in the quest to produce perfection -- when in fact no particular diet can reliably produce Floaters. The vast majority of us bring forth Sinkers.

Sinkers really need a good P.R. person -- they have gotten a bad rap over the ages. Sure, Floaters are cute and all, but a good solid Sinker will never let you down.


Actually, it is gas that does it. Increased levels of air and gas in the poop make it less dense, and cause it to float. Simple as that. Dietary changes can lead to an increase in the amount of gas produced by the bacteria that live in the gut, which is probably what the vegetarians are basing their whole "perfect stool" theory on. I don't know -- the whole time I was vegan I never consistently produced Floaters.

Then, after a couple of years, I grew disenchanted and yearned for a hamburger. And that was the end of Poonurse the Vegetarian.


Well, I'm a little unclear on that. It must matter greatly to a lot of people, or else they wouldn't take so much time to write to me about it. I guess it could matter if you are worried that you are sick or something.

If you have diarrheal-esque Floaters for more than two weeks, you may have a malabsorption problem -- a dysfunction of the GI tract that affects the body's ability to digest and absorb fat. Acute gastrointestinal infections can also result in increased gas content in the intestines, due to rapid movement of stool through the GI tract.


So I am forced to assume that Floaters are NOT the most desirable of all stools. Sinkers are by far more common. Don't spend your life chowing down on tofu burgers just because you think you are being cheated out of a Floater. Neither tofu burgers nor Floaters are worth the trouble. Sinkers are our destiny.

Thanks for asking Poonurse!

Poonurse is an RN with 25 years experience in labor and delivery. Her qualifications
include seeing a lot of poop, and owning a computer. Also, she works in Michigan, which she calls the asshole
of the universe, so that's another bit of credibility.
Got a question for her?

395 Comments on "Floating And Sinking Poop"

pooQueen's picture

Very informative, poonurse. I always thought producing floaters meant you had plenty of fiber in your diet. I have a combination of both floaters and sinkers which apparently coincide with my gassiness. Cool. Now I know.

Chip Brown's picture

I've been on a spate of floaters for the past 6 weeks or so. I attributed it to my increased intake of nuts. I thought it was the fat in the nuts, but I guess it's just all gas.

Poonurse's picture
j 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

I don't think so. We have hard water back home in NC, and have a state of the art water softener here in MI. My poop sinks both places.

I had a killer hamburger last night, for anyone interested. We get them back home in NC. Bubba Burgers. I have badgered and badgered the Meiers here until they finally broke down and ordered them just to shut me the hell up.

Bubba Burgers. Your poop sure won't float after you eat one of those babies...

Di Uhreea's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorl 100+ points

Excellent report, PN! I was wondering this...
Does the hardness or softness of the water have any effect? If you water contains more minerals, does you poop tend to float more easily? Hmmmm...

Uncle Chunk's picture

I on the other hand, produce mainly darkish looking cocoa puffs or rabbit turds. There is sometimes a large quantity of them and these little chocolate bullets huddle at the mouth of the pipe and there are so many I cannot count them. They NEVER float. I do not consider myself a vegan, but I have never liked meat such as steak or pork chops. In fact, the only kind of mean I have and ever will take a hankering to is hotdogs, McDonalds burgers, and lunch meat. Could my mostly vegan and processed meats diet be causing my cocoa puff turds? They are also often very hard in consistency. Maybe once a week I will have a good healthy 5-7inch turd...but mostly its nuggets.

Di Uhreea's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorl 100+ points

Thx, PN. I used to have hard well water and I don't remember anything about the difference of how the turds sank or floated. I only remember the sulphur smell. BTW, I'm not as illiterate as I sounded in my above comment - "If you water contains more minerals, does you poop tend to float more easily?"
I just need to check shit before I flush it down the drain!

The Big Wiper's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

I agree with your analysis here, poonurse. I almost always do sinkers, and I know that it's because of my diet, which ordinarily consists of fish, veggies, salads and other fiber-rich dishes like beans. I guess the last time I saw a floater was when I walked into a stall and someone had forgotten to flush!

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

Grebuloner's picture

Floater free myself, and proud of it! Great report Poonurse.
And yes, Sinkers and Floaters is a great name for a couple of basketball teams. Unfortunately, the name has already been taken by Spike TV's "Most Extreme Elimination Challenge" for one of their events-the rock over water run thing I think. Well, now I can think of them as floating and sinking poo! haha!

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points

Wow, are vegetarians obsessed about their dookie? I mean, I'm pretty up front about my vegetarianism, but that's because I have an inability to eat my friends. I never really thought about floaties, as I call them.
I learned something about poop today. As always, thank you Poonurse.

Oh yeah, and I float quite a bit. It's not a 100% thing, but it's quite the normal deal. This means I'm gassy. Great.

.....hugging bunnies since 1969

ThreePly's picture

I find that I produce more floaters at work, and sinkers at home. I wonder why that is. I must fart more at work. It sort of sets the mood for how I feel here at least.

Jack Scat's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

I think I'm half and half. I always thought it depended on my mood. When I'm happy, they float; when I'm down, so are my turds. Talk about synergy.

Bobber Bomber's picture

Poo Nurse:

Actually the perfect turd floats in the bowl with the pointy end up and the turtle head end down. This is caused by the fact that the first matterial to emerge is denser and has a lower gaseous content as all the farts have been squeezed out of the lead material.

The pointed portion of the turd (caused by the spincter squeeze) contains more gas due to all the farts that were backed up and waiting on account of the turtle head blocking the port.

You can guarantee the production of a good Bobber by late-night snackin' on such stuff as pickled beets, cabage rolls, watermelon, and popcorn. That way when you evacuate in the morning, you are more likely to plop a Bobber. And it's really neat when the pointy end is all beet red and bobbin' above the pool line in the potty. Cool!

Peace in the Plop Pot. TH.

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points

Lurking in the hizzy..............

.....hugging bunnies since 1969

Slim Jim Junkie's picture

In space, every turd is a floater.

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points

Maybe there's a new contest.

Take the movies' slogans and revise them.


"In space, no one can hear you poop."

.....hugging bunnies since 1969

Malicious Pooper's picture

Wondering... Does force have anything to do with it? For instance, if I'm sitting on the toilet, and I'm in a rush, and I shoot one down, it hits the bottom of the toilet, and breaks up. Would the individual pieces of feces float? Why am I interested in this? Do you know any good psychologists?

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points

4 out the 5 voices in my head can recommend one.

And, to answer your question, I think that since gas is dispersed in the entire amount of your poop, then it would be like breaking a log of wood up and watching all pieces float.
Good question. I hope Poonurse agrees. She says she's not a doctor, but I think she sells herself short.

.....hugging bunnies since 1969

Bek's picture

I consistently had sinkers and thought I was pretty healthy until about three weeks ago, I started taking lecithin and drinking green tea and kombucha, and now consistently have floaters. I thought this was a bad sign until tonight when I have found people saying floaters are the sign of health. ? I can't tell, I feel the same, but I'm definitely eating better now. I just can't make heads or tails out of the info on which is "best"...

Yo Mama's picture

I have to aggree with Chip Brown up above. I have been getting acupunture for allergies and digestion, but I also started eating a lot of nuts. Well, they started floating and where very large. I am finding a pattern of people who are saying nuts will do it. :) You can find any thing on the internet these days.

Poonurse's picture
j 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

Bek and Yo,
Don't kill yourself for floaters. They just aren't worth it. You will eventually tire of green tea, lecithin and kombucha, anyway.

Yo--I eat lots of nuts and rarely have a floater.

dingleberry's picture

the "bouy"
an upright floater

floater's picture

i have been a floater for all my life until taking antibodics i leave a crummy sinker pile 2-5 times a day so i quit taking them.

wipeonceflushtwice's picture

I have been on a popcorn kick, eating about a gallon sized bowl full each night. And bingo- floaters. The downside: You have to flush twice - the floaters put up a fight!

Dr. Paul Recher's picture

I had been thinking my change from a sinker to a floater was due to dietary changes but on review that doesn't fit the timeline.

What does though is I became a floater at the same time I became a methanogenerator as distinct from my previous state as a hydrogen sulphide producer. this change came about due to the total destrution of intestinal flora due to 'triple' antibiotics (mouth, ass needle and IV. When my flora recovered it was methane generating dominant species.

Could this in part explain floaters/ sinkers? Most people in our cuture are sulphide producers. I wonder if in cultures where more people are methane if more of their poops float?

floatandos's picture

Poonurse, I have mostly large, pellet-like floaters during the day, along with maybe one sinker at a different time (usually after breakfast). In the morning, I have painful gas that will not exit (which makes for a painful morning sit :((! I don't really notice gas throughout the rest of the day. I am a vegetarian but my diet is never consistent.
I bought Acidophilus last night to aid in the enzyme digestion. Do you think that will help and perhaps stop the painful morning gas?

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

I haven't had a floating shit in years and I'm gassier than any of you guys.

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

POOPLOOPS's picture

I usaully produce floaters for some reason. I like floaters. There like little boats :)

bree's picture

Lately I have had much gas ... a lot more than usual and Im not a vegiterian and dont eat vegetables very often but still awyls have floaters

dogscoot's picture

Don't take those floaters for granted. You never lnow when that flooting deuce might be your last.

shaddow's picture

Youve all got it wrong. The problem is not whether they sink or float but how to get rid of those floaters with the density of a ping pong ball.

They invariably occur at the girlfriend's mother's house and are extremely malodorous to boot. They refuse to flush and I usually have to resort to devious methods to dispose of these unwelcome excretions. The reems of bog roll like layers over the top, hoping to weigh it down is doomed to fail as the swirling waters deftly remove it from the krap. Trying the broomstick or toilet brush to break it up only produces smaller floating piles. Untimately you give up and leave them there as if exhibiting a major work of art to the next customer.

Trouble is the next customer is always the mother and I never get invited there again.

FloatLoverAM's picture

I am a consistant (90%) floater. My girlfriend is a 100% sinker. Do that mean men will rule the world? Just Kidding.

anonymous's picture

Want to hear something weird? When I'm in L.A., my poo always floats, but when I'm in NYC, my poo always sinks. My diet is not remarkably different when I travel. It's got to have something to do with the water.

Cameron's picture

Good god, Poonurse you have once again saved all us crappers out there a great deal of dissapointment in trying to acheive a crap that isn't worth it.. for this I think you. and by the way, You and everyone else related to this site are my heroes. when I'm bigger I want to be a pooplogist.

jimmy bob's picture

that is possibly the best useless information i ever heard nice one geeza

chocolate jesus's picture

Floating poop may be a symptom of pamcreatitis, which can cause malabsorption. if you have said symptom for a while, might want to get checked out for diabetes, or dont drink so much:)

shitty guy's picture

Great report poonurse!
I wanted to know what the nutritive value of shit is, because my 8 year old son keeps eating his own shit all the time evnthough he knows that its sick and disgusting.
Please help.

Vinny Poo's picture

I first had diarrhea my senior year in college and have had it 4 other times since then. I can not stand it and love my solid poo. The strange thing is, most of my solid poo through all of my life would float. Then, when I had diarrhea a couple of times it started sinking. Just a month ago I had diarrhea and now poo is up and floating again. Out of the 30 or so turds from a huge dump maybe 2 will sink. I just went this morn and they all floated as well. Very peculiar.

poopyMcpooppoop's picture

Someone once told me that if your poop floats, it means you ate something healthy, and if your poop sinks, it's not bad but it means that it has more fat in it, like you said.

Craigory Martinopolous's picture

Why does the corn in your poop not break up like the other foods?

zoologist's picture

Whole corn kernels never digest. I first saw this using an outhouse in South America, and it was then that I realized why Science Diet pet food is really bad for animals. The primary ingredient is corn. And that's aside from the kick-backs that the vets get.

Greasy residue's picture

...he he.it reminds me of the one time i ate a piece of pizza...and then i went to this 60 year old guys hows and made him ---- me in the --- in front of his----!!!

Sexy Printpressman with nice ass and big schlong's picture

This girl that i work with, Trudy(whos kinda cute and has a real nice Rack, you know? Puppy-dog noses? I mean their these babies are chiseled man! You could bounce a quarter off 'em!!! Anyway....ummmmm? Where was I?
Oh!! Well she says her Poo floats because she eats lotsa fibre. man, I just dont get it. I mean I know my are heavier--that is to say, more dense. Therefore- i'm less full-of-shit and thus correct in my Assessment that feces that floats is full of air pockets or some damn damn thing. Anyway-I DO know this...Poop that floats leaves smudge marks and never has a perfect (pointy) beginning and end! Sometimes it just breaks off or has to be smeeeeeeared off..leaving a nice poo-ey residue. Im gonna keep eating what im eating cuz i like my butt super-clean with minimal residue! Yay me!

poopmagoo's picture

Soap is made of fat and lye, and soap floats....large quantities of vegetable fats combine with bile (form of lye) from the liver to produce poopie soap.

I wouldn't suggest washing with it, though.

Chris's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

My partner has complained to me that her poop has been slightly runny and black for the last couple of days, any idea?

Chris (London UK)

Biddy's picture

I need help on getting rid of floaters. It's not mine, it's from the cat.....I had to clean out the kitty litter. All but one turd flushed. This last one has been there for over a day. I've flushed many many times, tried using toilet paper, crapping on top of it, even tried adding salt and vinegar to see what would happen. I just can't get rid of it! I don't wanna have to go turd-fishing, but I dunno what else I can do.

Always Checkin's picture

Cholesterol medication always produces 100% sinkers, and when you have floaters, it is guarenteed that you have been eating bad.

Just Reading's picture

For Chris: Runny and blackish poo might mean blood.

Pudding's picture

I was taking Xenical for a time, very greasy poos, but no floaters, so fat is not it. I think that gas content might be it. Gas is put out by intestinal bacteria and flora which can be/but not everytime, influenced by the food we eat

Anonymous Coward's picture

You realise of course, you are all weird!! haha

Ashole's picture

Okay i have found out recently im pregnant and ive been on prenatals for a month now and noticed my poo floating ,never seen it do that before ,I've always heard your body is lacking IRON? I dunno maybe im healthy now who knows i'll ask the doctor thursday lol

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