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Apr 10, 2007


Ben H

Well the radio backs it up too, because they did it on a radio station (forgot which one).

They got a little bit of brown paint, and painted just above the water line, and it worked!


This is most definitely true. I live in amsterdam and fly through Schiphol all the time, and I guarantee that the flies are there. :)

David Airey :: Creative Design ::

Only a fool, a drunk, or a man wearing someone else's trousers aims at the grating.

vos b

I really don't know. I always aim at the flies sitting on the wall next to the urinal. Does that count?


That is awesomely clever! I think ill paint something at my works toilet, cus my bosses seem to like the noise they make.

Eddie Gonzalez

It's true...and awesome. Here's the truthorfiction.com confirmation: http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/u/urinal.htm

false messiah

It's actually not a fly, it's a bee. The idea supposedly comes from the victorian era, when more people spoke Latin: "bee" in Latin is "apis".

Ahsan R. Shami

I couldn't help but Google it as well!

Turns out that a man named Kim Vicente goes so far as to call it "human-friendly design" in a book he wrote called, "The Human Factor".


yes, i was just thru schipol; the flies are definitely there... :-)

Simon van de Rijdt

Don't know about the story backing it up, but I live in The Netherlands and you can see these things at a lot of urinals in the country.
Sometimes you can find these rubber mats, when you 'hit' them in the middle a message is reveiled whish says 'thank you', a logo or something like that.
Marketing while taking a pis.
Google: urinalfun and you find a company that sell these things.


I know the flies are there - I took the photos.

I want to know if the reason for it is true, but it looks like it is.


Thoughts on other things to paint here?

Ben H

Thing is, the fly makes it look unhygienic and unclean. It needs to have something different - maybe something looking a bit happier.


Down here, in the heat of Australia we inevitably have the real thing to pee on.


Sorry I don't have any data on its truth, but I think questioning its truthiness is a good idea. Too often too many urban legend-ish things slip by because of - like you said - a general plausiblity, and are taken to be facts regardless. This was a good reminder.

I wouldn't be surprised if it is true, though, if only because it'd be fairly easy (disgusting, but easy) to measure. The data are empirical and not subjective. But then again, maybe that's what just makes it seem so plausible.


Just noticed the very same thing this weekend...

And I also took a picture of an(other) urinal. My disgust with designers grows by the second.

Virginia Gardner

Ha! How about a smiley face? I can't think of anyone who hasn't thought of desecrating a yellow smiley.

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