AN ENORMOUS Viking poo may the longest human faeces ever recorded.
The long-lost turd was excavated from a now-abandoned Viking settlement – and measures in at a whopping 20cm, or 8 inches.
The 1,200-year-old poo in all of its Viking gloryCredit: Wikimedia Commons: Linda Spashett Storye book
If that wasn’t enough, it’s also a girthy number at 5cm wide, or 2 inches.
The poo – or “coprolite” as scientists will call it – was found way back in 1972.
In fact, it was discovered in Britain, below the site of what would become a Lloyds Bank in York.
It was dug up by excavators from the York Archaeological Trust (YAT), and is now on display at the Jorvik Viking Centre.
This image shows the area once known as Jorvik, which encompasses modern-day YorkCredit: Wikimedia Commons: Yorkshirian
A coprolite is actually a fossilised faeces, which explains why the Viking turd is still relatively intact.
It’s believed to be the largest fossilised human poop ever discovered.
Modern-day poop analysis has revealed that the Viking in question lived around the 9th century AD.
And he would’ve eaten a diet consistently mostly of meat and bread.
Worryingly for the ancient plopper, hundreds of parasitic eggs were discovered in the long-lost log.
That suggests that the Viking who dropped the number two all those years ago was riddled with intestinal worms.
In 1991, YAT palaescatologist Dr Andrew Jones said: “This is the most exciting piece of excrement I’ve ever seen.
“In its own way, it’s as irreplaceable as the Crown Jewels.”
This illustration shows Norsemen invading England – one of their contemporaries may have dropped the poo in questionCredit: Wikimedia Commons: Morgan Library
A brief history of the Vikings…
- The Viking Age is a period in European history and dates from around 800 to 1050AD
- Some groups of Vikings did live on for a bit longer after this period in different countries across the globe
- They originated in Scandinavia and travelled all over the world on their famous Viking ships
- They are well known for colonising and brutally raiding new areas
- Vikings created a trade network that spanned the globe
- Evidence of Viking house styles, jewellery, tools and other everyday equipment has been found in many countries
- The Viking Age in Britain ended when the Norwegian king Haraldr harðráði was killed at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066
- Vikings are usually depicted as having horns on their helmets but there is only one well preserved helmet from the Viking Age and this does not have horns
According to excavation research, the coprolite was covered with layers of earth that were moist and peaty.
This is a winning combination for the preservation of organic matter, keeping not only the poop intact – but timber, textiles and leather too.
But the poo’s bizarre journey didn’t end at discovery.
It actually broke into three pieces after being dropped whilst on exhibition in 2003.
It has since been reconstructed to demonstrate its full length and girth for visitors of the Jorvik Viking Centre.
Want to know more about the weird and wonderful world of science? From space and astronomy to the human body, we have you covered…
In other news, check out this dazzling Viking-era cross that “belonged to a Scottish king”.
The face of a Viking warrior woman with a gruesome battle wound has been reconstructed by experts.
A lost Bronze Age stone circle used for ancient rituals was recently uncovered in Gloucestershire by laser scanning.
And, a treasure hunter has found an ancient coin with what appears to be an engraving of Donkey from Shrek in Buckinghamshire.
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