ONLY in Tasmania would there be an entire museum dedicated to poo.
‘Pooseum’, the world’s first scientific poo museum, has thrown open its doors in Richmond.
Museum director Karin Koch said she was excited to teach Tasmanians and tourists about the value of poo in our ecosystem.
Originally from Vienna, Ms Koch moved to Tasmania three years ago with her family, who now live in Richmond.
She has a background in arts, event planning and tourism, and never really had any intention to open a museum, let alone one about poo.
But her motivation to open Pooseum came from an article she read about a Silver Spotted Skipper caterpillar.
The caterpillar is roughly four-centimetres long, but when it poos, the poo ejects up to one-and-a-half metres in different directions.
The splatter of poo in different directions means the small caterpillar has a form of protection from predators.
Ms Koch also found motivation from a friend who was diagnosed with late stage bowel cancer.
It was discovered late due to his shyness over talking about his poo with his doctor.
“There is still a tradition when kids are small to teach them to quickly flush and not look at their poo, and those sorts of things can end up with adults having really horrible diseases,” she said.
“There is no reason for poo to be taboo or gross or whatever.
“Unless people really read up on it or get informed about it, they’re not going to know that it’s okay to talk about.
“Poo is a really neglected topic.
“When it comes to poo, people make jokes about farting and smells, but when you think about it, people don’t make jokes about blood, so why poo?”
The Pooseum’s exhibitions centre around animal poo and the ways in which animals digest, process and then excrete the contents of their stomachs through poo.
When asked why the Pooseum did not showcase human poo, Ms Koch said it was easier to talk about animal poo because most people had pets.
“If it’s not in a medical context, adults get very uncomfortable talking about poo,” she said.
“The Pooseum is a purely educational facility, with a bit of entertainment thrown in.”
There are so many stories behind the doors of the Pooseum, all with the intention of educating Tasmanians and tourists about how poo is an essential component to the lifestyle and health maintenance of many species.
The Pooseum features factual panels, interactive screens, a digestive room and a ‘Poo Knew’ series of doors.
All poo displayed was donated by Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Pooseum also has a gift area, where visitors can buy a range of books, merchandise and poo-related edible treats.
Ms Koch said the Pooseum had been a “massive hit” in the recent school holidays, with more than 500 visitors walking through the doors.
The Pooseum is funded entirely by Ms Koch, with the exhibition panels and creative content produced by a Queensland company.
The Pooseum is located on Bridge Street in Richmond and is open every Wednesday to Sunday from 9.30am to 4.30pm.
For more information, visit the Pooseum website at https://pooseum.com.au/.
Caption: Richmond resident and Pooseum director Karin Koch.