back to article Holy sh*t! Amsterdam man in pop-up public toilet shock horror

A man in Amsterdam suffered minor injuries last night after a toilet emerging from the ground flipped a moped into the air, which then struck the victim. UriLift loos were installed in the wacky baccy Dutch city in an effort to stop blokes taking a slash in the streets. As this vid shows, the toilets appear to rise up from …

  1. pepper

    The victim actually suffered major injuries and has been transported to a hospital.

    At the bottom, 'zwaargewond' means heavily wounded. In this case it refers to his belly.

    1. Avalanche

      The twitter link ( referenced in the article says he was a "beheerder" (custodian, maintenance technician?). So it likely happened when he was working on removing the scooter (moped) or servicing the loo itself.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. frank ly

    Safety features?

    I assume there is some kind of sensor to prevent it from retracting if a reasonably large/warm body is in there. Perhaps a small, well wrapped up person might be taken to a different world one winter's day?

    1. Mephistro Silver badge

      Re: Safety features?

      "Perhaps a small, well wrapped up person might be taken to a different world one winter's day?"

      ... or to a different gender... [shudders]...

    2. Cliff

      Re: Safety features?

      That was the most boring video I've watched in ages - all in anticipation of a moped stunt. Save yourself 3 minutes!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Safety features?

        Cliff, have you no appreciation of the design, engineering and fabrication of these 21st century underground marvels?

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: Safety features?

          Actually lizard escape pods in case the apocalypse comes.


        2. John Tserkezis

          Re: Safety features?

          "Cliff, have you no appreciation of the design, engineering and fabrication of these 21st century underground marvels?"

          It's not that, it's that we more greatly appreciate the design, engineering and fabrication of a moped slamming into a pop-up toilet at speed.

    3. petur

      Re: Safety features?

      According to the article there was some kind of explosion heard, so this is NOT a case of somebody stupidly parking a moped and a phone zombie getting hit and deserving it....

  4. russell 6

    Daft design

    If this is about stopping people peeing in the street I don't see how it will be that successful. If you feel the need to go in the street it means your bladder is pretty much straining under the pressure. Waiting for this piss pot to fully rise out of the ground is little short of torture if you are busting for a wazz. I can imagine people peeing into it as soon as begins to open which I doubt was the designers original intention.

    1. hplasm Silver badge

      Re: Daft design

      As I understand it, the loos rise from their underground lairs as the sun sets, ready for the onslaught of the nocturnal pissants, and return to their stinky pits in the morning.

      They were considered for the UK, but the concept was presumably too complicated for the average UK bladder-wielder.

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: Daft design

        One of the most stupid ideas ever. If you MUST have an automated door on the thing, put an automated door on it, don't make it "pop up" dangerously from the ground (or back into at the end).

        I see no reason it must do this. There are so many better and cheaper and easier, not to mention safer solutions.

      2. therebel

        Re: Daft design

        They have at least one of these in Reading town centre (UK). I've seen the man wins. Remote control raising them up so not automated. I've often wondered what would happen if just stood on it when it started to raise.

        1. h4rm0ny

          And for women?

          Forgive me for being a rapid, man-hating feminist, but wouldn't it be nice to have something that women could use as well?

          1. d2

            Re: And for women?


            -just the ticket for maidens in distress

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And for women?

            A former colleague of mine used to tell how in one of the French street pissoirs he saw a woman walk in, kick one foot up above the pot and do her stuff. Investigation at the time confirmed her genuine female-ness, although did also nearly cause a fight.

            Seems likely that you'd need to go commando, but the options there fore you. Of course, if you want a more customised experience, then just follow the male lead, and start urinating in doorways left right and centre.

          3. ObtuseMusings

            Re: And for women?

            I have seen women squat over a urinal before (They would be the first to scream if a man came into the theirs) and had no issue so why not do it this time also? It is a urinal by name after all so it is genderless.

          4. IsJustabloke

            Re: And for women?

            I imagine that in a society as egalitarian as the Dutch one is supposed to be there would be no problem should they want to. Its not unknown for women to er.... back up to a urinal.

          5. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And for women?


          6. herman Silver badge

            Re: And for women?

            Why? Women can just squat on top of it, any time of day. They need not wait till dawn for the thing to rise.

    2. Cameron Colley

      Re: Daft design

      As mentioned above, these don't pop up ready for each use but pop up at night and back down in the morning leaving more space in the street for daylight activities at a time when most people would be too bashful to use the urinals. they do something similar in UK town centres (or did, I've not been out in a while to check whether it still does on) but instead used portable orinal blocks dropped in town squares come sunset.

      I think the Dutch idea is a reasonable one though even if they're not as usable during the day as the pissours they have.

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: Daft design

        Still not helpful (downvote all you like), I never said they popped up every use.

        They could be permanent and open doors. They could be chair height and used as seating in the day (still does not solve the problem, but a little safer).

        If space is that tight that there is no where to put a private urinal, there are other problems. A shotgun solution is not better just because it has some results.

    3. Lamont Cranston

      Re: Daft design

      As stated above, they'll rise up at a predetermined hour, and sink below once the need has passed, rather than appearing and disappearing on demand. There's a simialr scheme operating in some British towns, except that, rather than rising from the floor, they're dropped off from the back of a truck, and collected up at the end of the night.

  5. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

    The designer must be taking the piss...

    No further comment

  6. ecofeco Silver badge

    Comedy gold right there!

    One idiot parks moped over an area that was probably well marked with "No standing or parking". Another man walks by and is completely oblivious to something the size of a small room slowly rising out of the ground, let alone a levitating moped along with it.

    Hilarity ensues.

    I would bet good money the injured man was a phone zombie and never saw a thing until it literally smacked him.

    1. pepper

      Re: Comedy gold right there!

      Aaah yeah, but it looks like the lid literally blew off and launched the moped. I've also heard reports that the man actually wished to employ the rising lavatory at the time. Not sure how he would have missed the moped anyway...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Comedy gold right there!

        I guess after exploding moped or pee-postplosion, he no longer needed to employ the rising lavatory. But did require the services of a dry cleaner.

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: Comedy gold right there!

        Presumably it rose with a moped on top of it, not well balanced, a man came up and started using the convenience - remember this is at night and I don't see floodlights on the top of this thing, and the moped toppled off and fell on him. Maybe he leant a hand on the thing which helped nudge the moped off (did you see it wobbling half-way through the video?) or some friends leant on the other side, waiting for him. Anyway, unless you routinely look up for falling vehicles every time you urinate, I don't think it's really fair to laugh at this. The man was apparently badly injured.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Golden showers (don't Google that)

    Instead of these 'subterranean piss stones' couldn't they just stick more grids outside the pubs, bars and hop-head cafes? Would imagine that if you were off your nut on magic mushrooms, the sight of a pissbox rising from the ground, would be quite a trip!

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Golden showers (don't Google that)

      If you're hanging out in the pub/coffeeshoppe etc, you have access to a very clean WC in most cases. It's the guys drinking in the street, maybe gals too, piss where it's warm, in doorways and such. So keeping the WC's in the paying to stay places private is why people piss in the street. I know some places charge €.50 to have one time access to facilities. Some people pay that much for the beer they drink. Costs money to drinking, cost money to piss it....

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Golden showers (don't Google that)

        Some people pay that much for the beer they drink.

        WHERE in UROP can I get beer at that level of cheap? And I am not talking luxury beer, just something not Carlsberg and drinkable.

        1. chivo243 Silver badge

          Re: Golden showers (don't Google that)

          @Destroy All Monsters

          the local supermarket has cans/tins of beer for 59 euro cents each. A friend quit his job, and needed to stay on a budget. He tested every beer the market had up to 79 euro cents a can. 3 or 4 were drinkable, after a couple, he said they were fine.

      2. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: Golden showers (don't Google that)

        Except it's straight up illegal to drink in the street. Not that people don't do it anyway (there's a reason you get a brown bag buying beer cans in a shop) but then you're pretty much on your own, as you should be...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Golden showers (don't Google that)

      "couldn't they just stick more grids outside the pubs, bars and hop-head cafes?"

      What's wrong with the canals? The marginal volumes of drunkard piddle will be a tiny fraction of the pollution caused by fish and birds voiding their guts into said waterways, and rows of drunken revellers adopting the Mannekin Pis stance could become a new tourist attraction for Hamsterdam.

      1. Mayor Boris

        Re: Golden showers (don't Google that)

        Living by the Grand Union canal, we often hear of men's bodies being fished out. They are invariably found with their willies out for exactly this reason.

  8. chivo243 Silver badge

    He was on a Moped/Brommer

    95% chance he was going way too fast, and on his mobile, and rolling a ciggy or such as well. I've lived in NL for more years than I will admit. And I see near misses with common objects everyday with these moped riders.

    1. Avalanche

      Re: He was on a Moped/Brommer

      No, according to he was a custodian or maintenance tech (the word used is "beheerder", which translates to administrator but in the context it is probably maintenance tech, or maybe a street-supervisor/custodian).

  9. Elmer Phud

    A bit slow

    I'd have shat meself by the time the Thunderbird silo is open for business

  10. Arachnoid


    From reading other articles it seems to me the loud bang was produced by the motor cycle which was parked over it ,falling of the rising toilet so I'm assuming at this point it fell onto a pedestrian.BBC reports he was only slightly injured.

    1. Kevin 6

      Re: MEH!

      if you look at the pic though in the linked article it looks more like someone was driving it, and more likely hit one of the toilets that were raising, and probably went flying into the guy waiting to take a piss as that kind of damage wouldn't be caused by it falling 8 feet.

      1. Coen Dijkgraaf

        Re: MEH!

        Nope nobody was driving the scooter, reading the original Dutch article, the scooter was parked on top of the underground toilet.

        "Bovenop het ondergrondse toilet stond een scooter"


        "On top of the underground toilet was a scooter"

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get Smart! (spoiler alert!!)

    I believe that JJ Abrams reboot of the classic 60's comedy series will feature this type of loo as agent 86's new entry point to Control HQ.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Get Smart! (spoiler alert!!)

      "Your meat intake has been excessive during the last 2 days, 007"

      The special lift of SHADO in the director's office also comes to mind.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Get Smart! (spoiler alert!!)

        I liked the sound that the SHADO lift made. If only more lifts sounded like that.

  12. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Rise up in the evening? Disappear in the morning?

    What? People only have to piss at night? <scratches head over the logic>

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Right On The Money

    Well he was spending a penny :)

  14. djhworld
    Thumb Up

    There are a bunch of these

    In Central London too, if you hang around the Piccadilly/Covent Garden/Leicester Square area on the evenings over the weekend you'll see one of these

  15. skeptical i

    They play the opening bit of "Thus Spake Zarathustra" when they rise, right?

    Whoaahhhh, duuuuuuude.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They play the opening bit of "Thus Spake Zarathustra" when they rise, right?

      If London was full of larger-than-a-pillar-box things that emerged from a mini-Minuteman silo while the Strauss boom-boom bit was played, a simple grid over a street-level catchment tank would be sufficient, and nature would take care of the rest.

      Completely OT, I was once told that respectable women did not wear lower underwear until late in the 19th century, and one advantage of voluminous skirts was that a leak could be taken over the gully in the street without inconveniencing anybody. In some ways, women's public toilets were a step backwards for female emancipation.

      1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

        Re: They play the opening bit of "Thus Spake Zarathustra" when they rise, right?

        But a step forwards for public health and street fragrance. Though it wouldn't make much difference, as Hacney Carriage drivers were allowed to urinate at the offside rear wheel of their vehicles, and, anyway, everything was horse-drawn.

        I also recall (from an antiques program, I think) that ladies had specially-designed pots they would use during long sermons at church.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All we need now is a vague Apple connection, then we'd have the perfect weekend story

    Trying really hard

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All we need now is a vague Apple connection, then we'd have the perfect weekend story

      Quite simple. But for that original apple, obtained by Eve on a long ago Black Friday, we would still live in a state of nature. Nobody would wear clothes, nobody would get drunk, and nobody would be aware that peeing in public could be construed as indecent. Like chimpanzees, in fact.

      However, clothes, decency and drugs are a small price to pay for the rise and rise of One Infinite Loop.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think, in the time it would take between me deciding I need to take a slash in public and that thing being ready, I'd have pissed myself.

  18. illiad

    not much of a clue in UK...

    Translating the dutch news, it seems the loo came up much faster than normal, or something inside exploded...

    -- note circular hole where loo was, and 'lid' next to it... ??

    seems to be the mechanism failed...

    1. Martin-73 Silver badge

      Re: not much of a clue in UK...

      Not sure why you got downvoted, it seems he WAS a maintenance tech for the toilets and it DID fire up much more quickly than usual

  19. Adolph Clickbait

    Look on the bright side

    The video should be worth a few hundred quid if sent to you've been framed

  20. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    Do they have a poop-up version with three seashells? I have a feeling it's going to be needed after Shax gets on with the Carolina Reaper omelette. Better make 'em rocket grade seashells, just in case.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    After a gut full of Amstel I'd be starting the stream well before the loo was in the fully retracted position.

  22. SolidSquid

    From looking at the pictures, aren't those loos on the pavement? I hope the guy comes out ok, but I'm curious whether he was actually supposed to be driving over that area in the first place, and that might explain a lack of checks for moving vehicles

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. H in The Hague


    Current thinking is that the urinal popped up due to a gas explosion, possibly sewer gas. The motorscooter was parked on it and due to the explosion it struck the operator of the system (8 broken ribs, concussion, etc.). The units are only deployed at the weekend, under operator control, but now will remain out of service pending the investigation into the causes of the accident.

  25. When Pissoires Attack!!!!

    When Pissoires Attack!

    I read this first in the BBC online and again in The Register and am seriously befuddled. We don't have pop up potties anywhere in the US, and frankly I've never heard of them until this article appeared.

    Was the injured man just standing in front of it while it was still below ground, contemplating taking a pee? If so, why was the popping-up unexpected? The unintentionally hilarious video indicates the loo erection happens rather slowly, rising majestically from its underground cave. (God help the poor schmuck who is in a hurry!!)

    I wasn't aware that mopeds could go so fast the driver couldn't notice the loo's rise. (unless perhaps he was stinking drunk). How ARE these pop-up pissoires activated? Did the criminally-inclined loo that assaulted the moped move unusually fast? Is THAT why the driver didn't notice?

    And are these in the middle of the street? This video indicates a pedestrian walkway, yet the fact that this inconsiderate and/or criminal loo attacked an innocent moped would indicate that the actual vicious pop-up potty had been placed in an inappropriate location. A strange place, IMNHO, to put a Pissbecken.

    And in Amsterdam, do people really feel comfortable standing in the middle of the street, whipping out their schlongs and peeing in public? (And do these urinals also service women? Most women are a bit shy about taking a piss out in public. I know I wouldn't use them). I know Europeans are a LOT more relaxed about bodily functions, but I didn't think they were quite THAT relaxed!

    So was the moped just innocently tootling along and suddenly the toilet just leaped up and knocked the poor bastard off his bike while sending the bike itself flying, to injure an unfortunate innocent bystander, perhaps already standing there with his fly open? The man was "hit by a moped." What, indeed, happened to the moped driver? Did he survive unscathed? I think the city of Amsterdam bears some liability for its vicious, renegade pissoires.

    WHEN PISSOIRES ATTACK!!!! A great theme for a reality TV special!

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019