Finally, We Have Hard Data On Americans Putting Things Where The Sun Don’t Shine


Anybody who has spent more than 15 minutes in the emergency room knows that people come in with the most embarrassing of injuries — something jammed up the alimentary canal. It’s the root of many funny stories and horrific personal injuries, but one American hero, Nathan Yau, has done what no other data analyst has dared. He downloaded the data, crunched the numbers, and figured out exactly what we, as a country, are inserting in the exit door.

No, seriously, this happens a lot. Yau downloaded information from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which collects information about people being injured by inanimate objects to, among other things, determine if a recall is needed and spot unreported safety concerns. This also makes it a treasure trove of hilarious and awful backdoor injuries, which Yau dutifully collected as part of a much more serious post.

That left him with nearly 18,000 records, or roughly 3,600 incidents, a year. Among the data points, Yau discovered that 40 percent of the time, it’s a device designed for the express purpose of going on a fantastic voyage somehow getting stuck. That really seems like a design flaw to us, but we’re not engineers. That said, the other 60 percent of the time, it’s objects not designed for this purpose that go up there. In fact, Yau states he didn’t bother to sort that 60 percent by category because, individually, each category totals to less than 1 percent. So there is an overflowing cornucopia of objects, from desk supplies to gardening tools, from cookware to furniture pieces, that somebody, somewhere, has looked at and decided it’d be a good fit. And if you were wondering, 75 percent of the people suffering this very personal injury were men.

Yau has a randomizer on his site that lets you find individual records and let’s just say people can get creative. It’s a good reminder that if you decide to improvise in the bedroom, to follow the example of Allison Williams and be kind to your partner and yourself. Also, maybe to stick with the ones that have a smooth finish.

(Via Flowingdata)

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