Did You Know? The ‘Universal Urination Duration’ Is 21 Seconds

Artwork by Incrediville

💦 The Pee-pee law: You have 21 seconds, whether you like it or not.

🐘 A study reveals that most mammals larger than rats pee for about the same amount of time — twenty-one seconds. It ain’t matter if you’re an elephant, hippo, or cat. And, of course, it includes you, humans. Don’t believe me? Time yourself!

🚿 This is because most mammals have urethras that help urine flow faster. Larger animals have longer pee-pee ducts. Longer urethras speed up the urine going down. There you have it, the reason why twenty-one seconds is what we have in common.

It also makes sense when you think about wildlife survival. If it took you more than twenty-one seconds to pee, you’d be in danger. Predators are all around you all the time. The faster you pee, the safer you are. That’s why most larger mammals probably survived easier.

🐔 Isn’t it ironic that urine durations could increase survival rates in wildlife? Because I can’t even remember to get up and pee sometimes in the office. I’d probably be running around like a chicken in the safaris.

Extra note on the pee-pee law — A lot of people question the case for dogs. We gotta be honest and tell you, we’re not dog people, obviously. However, dogs pee multiple shots outside to mark territory as we know it. If we’d want to find out if they follow the pee-pee law, we’d have to time them in one shot. For the physics geeks out there, the real term behind all this urine law is #hydrostatic pressure.

So again, larger animals rely on standing up tall to gain all the gravity to pull urine out. If you don’t believe me, you can start imagining yourself peeing while lying in bed or peeing upside-down. Without the help of gravity, all you got is your bladder power.

This story is sourced from the 2015 Ig Nobel Prizes. @ignobels


Illustrating science since 2017 from Taipei. We serve fast food for the thought in this town. (っ◔◡◔)っ This is where we keep our fact sources and art.