Green Poop: The Implications Of Food Dye On Poop Color

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Editor's note: here's the short answer -- blue food coloring turns your poop green. Keep reading to find out more, and then peruse the many, many comments for corroboration.

Since my freshman year in college (a small liberal arts college in
northern Vermont), I've been fascinated with the correlation between the ingestion of
food-coloring and the color of the poop produced. Lest you think I'm fabricating, here's the background:

The year was 1996. I was a biochem major at St. Michael's College in Winooski, Vermont.
I had consumed copious quantities of Purplesaurus Rex
Kool-aid in a one night time frame. A few hours later, I pooped. It was
green. Bright green. I was fascinated, and called as many of my
floor-mates as would come into the stall to marvel at the miracle of the
"not brown, not bloody shit".












I was a bit of a celeb for a while, until others replicated my
"experiment". Similar results ensued, with me being notified of each event
via e-mail. So, a craze started.

As the progenitor of the new species of poo, I was caught in the middle. Research spread far and wide; of
a campus of 2700 students, I was receiving up to 45 e-mails a day from
poopexplorers.

Anyway, enough drivel. Here's the science:

The dye used in purplesaurus Rex is FDA Blue #5, and dye-lake
red. Turns out that when metabolized in sufficient quantity, the blue dye combines
with bile, and forms a brilliant green. The red, absorbing at a 595nm
spectrum, is harmlessly eliminated.

What matters is quantity. I consumed 6
liters of the Kool-aid in the night in question (sans alcohol, that comes
later). I set up a study in the dorm, with people consuming anywhere from
(1) 250mL glass of the stuff (approximately (1) 8oz glass) to the maximum tested
so far, 6L. The experiment was structured on a single-blind study (won't get FDA
approval, but sufficient), with only myself knowing what each was consuming.

How did the experiment come into being, you might ask? Well, I campaigned for 24 "volunteers"
(the first consuming 1 glass, the last consuming 24 glasses). How did they
not know what they were drinking? Well, since it was only single-blind,
they essentially did -- though all were required to drink 6L of fluid total,
and ordered not to defecate at all in the 6 hours of the experiment.

Example: Subject 1 received 250mL of the subjected test substance, and
5.75L of water. Subject 2 received 500mL of the stuff and 5.5L of water.

Everyone was agreeable at first, but soon dissention reigned prime. But order
was maintained. After 6 hours, orders were given to poop, supervised (more or less).
Since I had unrestricted access to the chem and bio labs, samples of each
"extrusion" were taken, in the amount of 2g.

The results were heartening. I plan on getting a PhD (which, in this instance would probably mean, "PUSH
HARDER, DUMMY!") on this someday, so I won't post my final data, just enough
to give an idea:


  • Subject 1: 250mL Purplesaurus Rex with 5750mL water:

    Stool, firm and brown. Spectrophotometer reading: normal.

  • Subject 12: 3000mL Purplesaurus Rex with 3000mL water:

    Stool, firm(ish) and green(ish). Spec reading 550nm (definitely Green...just not GREEN)
  • Subject 24: 6000mL Purplesaurus Rex with 0mL water:

    Stool, Firm(ish) and
    Green, resplendent of original test subject (me). Spec reading, 535nm. Definition of GREEN confirmed.

  • Further experiments considered fruit punch (mostly synthetic, only 2.5%
    fruit juice), Hi-C of various persuasions, and various and sundry other
    store-bought concoctions.

    If you're interested in my results, let me know...I'll gladly share them for
    the good of society.

    -- Dave J




    On May 27 2003, PoopReport.com received this email. Dave J, the author of the above piece, was so happy that he wanted this added to his story as proof that writing for PoopReport can improve people's lives.

    dear poopreport,

    i know you may find this hard to believe, but you just eased my mind tremendously about our daughter's "poop situation." beginning yesterday about 5p.m. our daughter began having bright green dirty diapers. she has had four in a 24 hour period and i (being an over paranoid mom) have contacted everyone i know, including our pediatrician, and no one had any answers other than it will probably go away. that response just does not cut it with me. i had to have answers. i have been on-line non-stop trying to dig up a possible answer. i told our doctor that the only new food or drink she had consumed was "purple kool-aid" and lots of it. he told me that purple kool aid would not produce green stool. after reading your article i realize it can. thank you soooo much. after hours of searching and worrying, i am off to bed.

    -- grateful mom


    1603 Comments on "Green Poop: The Implications Of Food Dye On Poop Color"

    Anonymous Coward's picture
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    yeah, it was crazy today. two pieces of red velvet cake will do crazy things to your digestive system. I looked down and was like "it can't be my time of the month." I'm glad this website is here to verify my sanity.

    Italian Ooooh's picture
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    Ok....I just gave birth to the incredible hulk. What a shock! Anyways...after looking up why and reading this website about the blue dye I realize it was from eating the blue corn chips at Buffalo Wild Wings Restaurant in Canton, Michigan. FYI...the corn chips are made from people....PEEEEEEEEOPLE!!!!!!

    The Vampire LOGOS's picture
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    Lucky Charms is the culprit this time.
    Super-intense bright green "nuclear" dooky!!

    Scary stuff to behold!

    A local idiot's picture
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    You want crayola green with that extra gleam? Eat about half a tube of black decorative cake icing. Yes they make it in black. You want to talk about green? Don't even talk to me until you've eaten half a tube of black cake icing, son.

    hahaha's picture
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    lmao...this is great! i'm guessing all koolaid contains that dye..because i just drank a lot of it..and for the past 2 days.. :)

    haha.
    i applaud your efforts with this scientific experiment.

    Ashley White's picture
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    I had a green poo too, however, i did not drink kool-aid, i drunk Black vodka and vodka blackcurrent jelly.hmmmm...wonder why my poo was green?Whats the science behind that?
    Better yet...i had 4 in one day!!!! I think thats quite impressive!

    Phillip Theuma's picture
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    It was a hot day in laganas, Zante. The night after drinking black Absynthe (80% volume)and i woke up rushing to the toilet to have a poo and a heavy poo at that! When i went to look at the quality of the poo i was shocked to see it was green! However, my eyes could not be taken away from the green glow! The same morning, 2 of my other mates had a green poo aswell, but not ryan butt. lol! Anyway, we have decided to start up our own group called the green poo crew! There are 4 members, but we are currently recruiting. So e-mail me if you want to be recruited!

    cookiepoo's picture
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    My twenty two month old grandbaby had two days of neon clored poo and it scared me silly crazy thank god for this web site. i thought my grandbaby was going or on her way to a liver transplnt. whewwwwwwwww

    Slim's picture
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    Several weeks ago my wife was shooting green poops. Not sure what it was but it wasn't from coolaid.
    She has often said, Come look at my poop! Never wanting dishonor her I did and sure enough green poop. I must have mentioned this to my son who sent us this link. Thanks for letting us know she is not alone!!!

    Anonymous Coward's picture
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    so yeah, my poo hasnt been green, i never intended to come on this site, it was an accident! but it make me laugh my ass off!!! tehe lmao, so thnks for making it poop dude! highlight of my day, and distracted me from my coursework! *god I'm sad* tehe well thnks :-)

    Green Butt Nugget's picture
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    Just took a bright green deuce at work, and had to look up what the f- is wrong with me. Found this site (which is hilarious and great) and am somewhat relieved since it is common, but I have not drank any kool-aid, ate icing, or anything in a long time. This fluorescent nugget was somwhat of a surprise. I am trying to go over my diet for the past week, and cant seem to figure why this alien turd came out of my ass.

    Anonymous Coward's picture
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    For awhile I was taking chlorophyl and concentrated alfalfa as dietary supplements. If you can imagine what frozen spinach thawed out and dumped in the john looks like, then you get the idea. Chlorophyl and alfalfa. Guess I shouldn't have been surprised.

    green is Good ????'s picture
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    Hershey Licorice sticks w/blue 1
    verified by Them; can yield bright
    green bowel movements.They say this is normal,& this is great for peace of mind. The real question may be- should the digestion handle this??
    I really enjoyed your site-very funny
    stuff. Nice to know one could choose
    their color.

    Resting Teen's picture
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    After consuming a gallon of purple Kool-Aid and having green poo, I finally decided to see what the deal was. I knew it had to be related to my food, but who would have thought it would have been Kool-Aid. Now I can poo without worries. Thanks Mr. PhD.

    Pennsylvania Pooper's picture
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    I didn't get a chance to read all the entries but i was wondering if 1 Blue raspberry slushie a day for 4 days in a row would do it? I mean they were only about 8oz. each and from what i see here it seems like it would take a lot more that that to do it. I have had lots of blue slushies be4 and it didn't do anything. I have had Bright green poopies for 5 days now and havent had a slushie i two. Do you think i should see a doctor?

    Twister Poo's picture
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    I have had the experience of bright green poo several times. I find any blue food color does it. I first experienced the issue with Fruit Loops. I recently discovered that Tropicana Twister Grape soda did the trick.

    Anonymous Coward's picture
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    THIS WEBSITE IS WIERD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Mrs. Turd's picture
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    I have also found that Safeway's store brand generic Fruit Loops will make your poop fluorescent blue. Scared me to death the first time it happened.

    crinkled starfish's picture
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    I work at Sam's Club and occasionally a cake is ordered and not picked up. Several years ago this happened and the cake was placed in the breakroom to be enjoyed by the employs.
    The custom decorated cake had black icing on it. I ate a large piece and the next day pinched a loaf that was a beautiful dark emerald green. I shall never forget the beauty of that grogan.

    Fecalord's picture
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    Has anybody tested the poop for fluorescence? Such strong green chromophores might actually yield fluorescence! I'm now planning an experiment. I'll get back to you with either surface fluorescence or dissolved solids fluorescence data as soon as I have time alone with the Fluorimeter. I'll even get lifetimes.

    Green Pooh-er's picture
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    I've got my green pooh story to tell also...ran out of my favorite cherry flavor koolaid and started drinking grape flavored (for a whole entire week) and I definitly am a heavy koolaid drinker! Anywayssssss...my pooh was greener than green with a greenish halo wafting all around it as it floated around in the porcelain pond! It really really scared me! Did a quick search online and opened the first web link it gave me, started reading and LOW AND BEHOLD, THERE WAS MY ANSWER!!!!!!! Grape Koolaid!!!!!!! Thank God I didn't have some alien disease or something really horrible...so I stopped drinking Grape Koolaid and have never drank it since...it just really freaked me out big time!
    Sunni

    Anonymous Coward's picture
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    MOE'S TORTILLA CHIPS. Stay away from the black ones. It's super concentrated Blue dye. The red ones might help too. Oh and at Halloween I had a black frosty from Burger King. bad idea.

    Anonymous Coward's picture
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    Interrestingly, the rescue dye markers that the Navy uses, are a purple powder until you open them in the water, then it turns bright green.

    Chris Daniel's picture
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    I ate a tuna sandwhich and orange juice this morning and took a poop and it was so nasty. I wiped my ass and the poop was green and I was like what the fuck is wrong with me. I looked in the bowl and there was one long piece that was brown up until the very tip which was green. And then there was like 4 pieces of all green shit. The brown one must have been the first one out i suppose..

    Anonymous Coward's picture
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    Try the same with Crystalite (the red juice kind). One day I drank several containers full of it. Next day my poop was red. I freaked out and realized after thinking about it all day, it was the drink. Yesterday I drank an entire 2 liter of grape Sunkist. Today, green poop. I wonder if I drink Crystalite and grape Sunkist in one day, then I can have green and red poop for the holidays.

    Alexis Gilman's picture
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    Green poop:
    The thing that gives me green poop is trail mix it must of been something in there. I think that it was the peanuts.

    BigBoy's picture
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    What are the three brightest or most distinguishable colors for poop tested?

    Anonymous Coward's picture
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    Grape Gatorade had the same effect for me. The whole green issue.

    The Shit Volcano's picture
    Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points
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    I drank four gallons of grape Kool-aid in three days and ended up with neon green poop for a week. My last drop was yesterday.

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

    birthday poo's picture
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    hi, yesterday was my husband's birthday and we had white cake with bright blue and green frosting on the top in roses. we ate couple slices and today i had bright, bright green poo. this is the first website i came across - so i assume it was the dye huh? cool. disgusting. but thanks!!!

    Anonymous Coward's picture
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    so last night i had a dinner of boiled red beets and was amazed at the nice red color the beets made the water in the stovepot turn to. i didn't expect to pee and poop red for the next 24 hours!

    Anonymous Coward's picture
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    Just thought I'd add that I also just had greenpoop, was a little worried but after reading here assume it's from the large amounts of m&ms I've eaten in the past 2 days (well not that large, but 1x bag a day)

    Thanks :)

    Mom of toddler's picture
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    I purchased mini cupcakes with bright blue icing for my 2 and 1/2 year old's playgroup. I have been very concerned as to why she has been pooping bright green and am definitely relieved by this article. I have to pass the news along to the other Moms becuase I am sure thay are fretting too! Thanks!

    Anonymous CA Coward's picture
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    This is a very interesting study on the 'green poo' phenomena, but would have passed me by altogether. But chance has it, I drank 2 litres of Gatorade Fierce Grape and my sh__ was as green, well, between a cucumber and fresh mowed grass (not smelling as nice, of course). So, my freaking was quelled by your caucophony of poo factoids. Thanks, poopreport

    Amy's Mom's picture
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    Just another mom freaking out about my kid's diaper. We don't do Kool aid at our house, I believe the culprit was Trix yogurt, eaten at lunch. It was a different flavor than we usually purchase (rasberry rainbow is the usual.. results in typical poop).. I don't remember the new flavor.. but it was super red and pink in color. I searched the house for chewed up green anything last night... crayons, toys, art supplies.. I'm so relieved. You have done a great service to society.

    The Dumpster's picture
    i 2000+ points
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    I was going to suggest referring this matter to The Shit Volcano, She is clearly an expert in the field of Kool-Aid consumption, being able to bring it out through every orifice from her anus to her nose (hey, TSV, we'll want an obstetrical report on this!), but I see she has already weighed in above, so I have nothing more to add than the old adage, "we are what we eat."

    P.S.--I'm damn glad TSV wasn't at Jonestown!

    Anonymous Coward's picture
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    If one eats a bag of BLACK Twizzlers licorice,you will get blue poop.This has been borne out empiriclly.

    Molly ^____^'s picture
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    I have pooped green today..I was very nasty and gross. I was scared and very nervous--but what can i say im a 10 year old. I look for sites that can help. As I spooted this one i immediately knew this is the one!!! And it was!!!! now i dont have to worry if i poop a color rather than brown!!

    diet poo's picture
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    I drank a lot of a grape flavored instant diet drink in one night (it tastes like kool-aid!), and my poo for 3 days has been soooo green!! Thanks for the info!! I'm very relieved!! (in more ways than one!!)

    The Dumpster's picture
    i 2000+ points
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    Molly ^_____^, you get off this site immediately! You are the same age as my Little Dumpster, and you should be outside playing in the sun, not hanging around a grown-up place like this. Do your parents know what you're doing?

    Come back in 3 or 4 years and we'll talk. Right now, sweetie, I'm serious--go enjoy what little bit of childhood you have left. You will never know how precious it is until it is gone.

    Anonymous Coward's picture
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    I live in Pittsburgh, PA and the Steelers are going to the Superbowl!!! Well, last week I ate a black bagel (Black and Gold bagels were made by our Bruegger's)

    Well, the later that same day I felt a sudden urge while at a Sam's Club and had to GO!! It was a bright and chunky green, the likes of which I've never seen come out of me before. I too was a little afraid, until I recounted my day and thought that the "black" bagel must have been a very dark green.

    Poopy McPoop's picture
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    So yesterday, I decided to eat 2 bags of carrots, It took like 3 hours or so to do it. It was my birthday and I fucking love carrots, but the next day, I was like shiting orange, it wasnt really poo, it was more of a log type thing, but it was totally orange and freaky man. Burnt comming out to.

    Jenny in KC's picture
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    Thank you - my 15 month old pooped two neon green poops today - so green it looked like bright green cookie dough. I thought I better look this up and make sure she was ok. I found your site and feel much better. She ate some blue mickey mouse crackers yesterday that I am now completely convinced was the culprit. THANKS

    Tristan Davies's picture
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    g'day i was but a young lad, and as young lads do i wanted blue corn flakes,so on went the food dye. man was my poo blue. but the other thing i found was corn also made poo yellow, i dunno if it was the quantities i ate, but it was definately yellow

    Nathan's picture
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    Your site is MOST informative -- I ate two bowls of bright blue and purple "Ice Scream" ice cream -- after the movie "Monsters, Inc." and was horrified to find that my poo was bright flourescent green tonight. Explains a lot! :) Thanks!

    Poopie McGee's picture
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    I ate five bowls of Lucky Charms yesterday and today when I pooped it was green! I was a bit freaked out untill I read your story. Thanks for putting my mind at ease!

    KeepOnCrappin's picture
    k 500+ points
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    Thats just crazy stuff.

    "KOC -- the Cool Crapper" - Rat Droppings

    Nurse/patient's picture
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    I have implemented suger-free Kool-aid into my diet thee past few weeks and have had bright green poops ever since. Now I am getting headaches and general siky feelings so I guess its back to water. I never thought it would come down to this. Goodbye Kool-aid.

    Mister Black Shit's picture
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    i woke up ate a poptart and took a black shit
    it looked like i set a fire to it omg

    Pisto's picture
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    Thanks for the site. Was worried about the results of eating Fruit Loops. Can put my mind at ease. I wish I could remember the name of these blue gummy sharks I ate. If you put them on a sheet (yes I eat in bed) it stains it blue. You'll never gues what color they make you poop. BLUE. Worked on my dog too.

    Hershey's Kissables's picture
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    Hershey's (no pun intended on the chocolate theme) just came out with a new candy called Kissables. I was addicted to them and ate like 5 large bags of them in two days... green poop... so like some of the others, I did an online search and found this site. Just wanted to add them to the list of green poop causes.

    Anonymous Coward's picture
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    it was the beets?! thanks goodness for my fellow anonymous coward's keen observation. my crap was bright purple...i'm all "what the hell?" i even smelled it to make sure it was poo. wasn't sure if i had swallowed a tube of lip stick in a drunken stupor or what. but no...it was a build-your-own salad from whole foods the other day, and i just loaded on those red beets. mmm...but weird in the end. hahaha. gross.

    dang that candy's picture
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    I was eating millions of sour punch twists, especially the blue ones, and WHAPOW, Army green UFO's...i swore it was a snake when i first looked in to the pot...

    Dingleberry Roo's picture
    m 1+ points - Newb
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    OMG I can't stop laughing...HAve my own colored poo stories to share. First, son's 3rd birthday was 2 weekends ago, the cake had deep blue frosting on it. For 2 days, he AND my husband had blue tinted poos!...Hubby freaked out at the first poopy diaper, but then we recalled the icing. Then, I'm on the phone with my dad, and my husband hollers at me to come look at his poo, because it's BLUE!...I didn't have this problem as I didn't have much of that frosting.

    Other incidents in the diaper include pinkish-red poo, culprit being red finger paint (non-toxic, of course), and dog poo with bits of bright kelly green forming the segments. The culprit here was my son's green crayon...another time it was purplish; you guessed it, the purple crayon.

    Gorgar speak's picture
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    I have found that consuming large amounts of Trix cereal will produce a pale green lighter than Lou Ferrigno shade of dookie... I was alarmed at first until I was able to find the catalyst... all that dye in the Trix. Try it- you'll be amazed!

    GottaGoGirl's picture
    i 2000+ points
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    When I was 4 or 5, I used to secretly feed my Crayons my grandma's poodle, Charlie. His poop would have all these lovely streaks in a rainbow of colors, and it was great fun to hear my grandmother *FREAK* when she took the dog out to "do his business". Heh, heh. :)

    AssBlaster2000's picture
    PoopReport of the Year Awardj 1000+ points
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    GGG, that's too funny. My dog used to eat crayons on purpose, and he loved them. We really did try to keep him away from them, but there was no stopping him from snapping up that waxy goodness. My job was always to pick up the turds, which I hated of course, but it was made better by the fun of counting the colors in the poop. I laughed my ass off the time I found aluminum foil in the shit.

    More recently, I found an orange stretchy thing looped around a cat turd, and was most puzzled until I figured out that one of my feisty felines had swallowed and passed an entire rubber band. It was too much because it was just perfectly stretched around the turd. I'm glad that didnt get stuck in the cat's intestines, actually.

    POOP AND RUN's picture
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    I recently took a dump at my friend's house. It was green so I decided to leave it there.

    Anonymous Coward's picture
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    thank you. your stories had me laughing. i ate a pack of licorice in two days and have been shitting green all day. thought i was dying. finished my will and then started laughing. love this site. very interesting and funny dee dee

    Green pooper's picture
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    Love the site! One thing to please keep in mind though... Bright Green poo in babies can be a sign of Rotavirus, a serious stomach virus that can cause serious dehydration and in worst cases even death. I had no idea until a family members baby got the virus. Being a big fan of grape drinks I'm no stranger to bright green poo. And I found your site funny and informative good job- but I just thought I'd throw that out there for people with babies.

    Mike Hooper (not Pooper, But could be)'s picture
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    That is very fasinating poopology. Can you tell me how to get rainbow colored turds?

    Anonymous Coward's picture
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    so what about blue shit? cause that was a crazy night for me

    Dyschezia Tenesmus's picture
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    Eating copious amounts of Kemp's Blackberry Creek Swirl will produce very beautiful green feces!

    http://www.kemps.com/products/popup/NC/NC_blackberry_creek.shtml

    AND IT'S SO DELICIOUS!

    Anonymous Coward's picture
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    This is a sick website yet interesting. I'll tell all my buddies.

    GREEN POOPER's picture
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    I ATE A PIECE OF CAKE WITH BLACK FROSTING AND POOPED BRIGHT GREEN THE NEXT DAY

    sean's picture
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    i ate a bag of flamin hot cheetoes yesterday (the big kind).. and this morning i took the brightest red poop i have ever seen.. scared the sh*t out of me. no more eating cheetoes for dinner!

    haaaaaa's picture
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    hey i was really coming on here so i could look up how to die icing in black or something along those lines and my mother and i stumbled across this site and ummm we couldn't really finish reading the comment part it was so funny, but umm i think your a funny dude so keep up the funny work. ok well i'm going to tell all my friends about it so they can crack up and i bet you about all of them will try drinking a bunch of kool-aid take a picture and show it to me... omg... what in the world did you start! outt...

    ~gabs~

    Shitless Freak's picture
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    Omg, i looked at my shit and i litterally got scared shitless
    like the time, i chased my dog and his shit flew out and hit me in teh chin
    so lemme tell you about tht.
    so i decided to be a moron and start randomly chasing my dog down my long halway?
    adn then you see his front and back legs spring in the air a couple of times, so i was enjoying myself until the sky started to fall, i aused for a second but my legs were still running, so i was cracking up until a piece of shit flew flew from my dog's shithole and just so happened to whack em in the chin and bounced off onto the floor i nearly passed out for a second literally wondering wut the hell just hit me, so i just fall down after getting hit by shit and freak. so basically my dog litterally got scared shitless
    i swear tht was some purple shit!! :?)
    serious
    so this morining i decided to shit and guess wut?
    my shit was orange.
    so i guess ill just send a pic of tht to ~gab~

    GO SHIT!!
    the shit song:
    shit
    shit
    its whats kreping us alive
    shit shit
    if we don't shit we die
    shit shit
    lemme hear you say shit shit
    i wanna shit on my balls

    "little boys don't shit on balls, oh wait they do" inside joke

    ~Shmooky Poo~

    Mexifan's picture
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    I found this site by doing a search for "Moe's Southwest Grill dyed chips". I was startled by fluorescent green poop this morning. I had a hunch it was yesterday's lunch at the new Moe's. Why in the world do they dye the chips?

    another relieved mommy's picture
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    I just wanted to say thank-you for all your hard work. As all the mom's on here know, its scary to change a lime green diaper. I was about to go into hysterics until I realized that the copious amounts of koolaid my baby drinks must be the culprit. Does the dye affect consistency too? It seems harder to clean her after a changing.