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'America'

Toilets are primarily utilitarian bathroom fixtures, but sometimes they get elevated to the status of pop-culture tributes or high-tech objects of desire.

Yes, this is a solid-gold toilet. It's the work of artist Maurizio Cattelan called "America," and it landed in a bathroom at New York's Guggenheim Museum in 2016. Museum visitors were able to use the functioning toilet (in private, one person at a time). 

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ISS toilet terror

This is a toilet on board the International Space Station. NASA astronaut Jack Fischer says the toilet inspired a "healthy dose of sheer terror" prior to his first journey to the space station in 2017. "It's all about suction, it's really difficult, and I'm a bit terrified," Fischer said.  

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SpinX

Hate cleaning the toilet? So do the creators of SpinX, a toilet-cleaning robot launched on Kickstarter in November. The robot replaces an existing toilet seat and must be hooked up to the water supply. It runs on a rechargeable battery and requires soap refills, but it handles the unpleasant task of keeping your toilet bowl clean. An automated brush runs around the inside of the bowl while jets shoot soap and water over the seat to clean it.

As always, please note that CNET's reporting on crowdfunding campaigns is not an endorsement of the project or its creators. Before contributing to any campaign, read the crowdfunding site's policies -- in this case, Kickstarter -- to find out your rights (and refund policies, or the lack thereof) before and after a campaign ends.  

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PooPlunger

For a brief moment in 2016, someone tried to crowdfund a plunger on Kickstarter shaped like a poo emoji. The creator ended up canceling the happy little PooPlunger project to partner up with infamous toilet-stool maker Squatty Potty. The smiling plunger is now available online.

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1891 toilet paper patent

This 1891 patent for perforated toilet paper rolled across social media in 2015, and people shared it as evidence that toilet paper rolls are supposed to have the paper hanging over, not under.

The patent went to Seth Wheeler, the father of modern toilet paper, and many people took it as the final word in the great over-or-under debate.

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A clean plane lavatory

Boeing unveiled a self-cleaning lavatory for airplanes in early 2016. It contains touch-free features, including the toilet lid and faucet, but its most interesting perk is a germ-killing ultraviolet light. The glow kicks on only when the restroom is unoccupied. 

Boeing built a prototype of the lavatory but doesn't have firm plans to put it into planes yet.

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Iron Throne over a porcelain throne

With "Game of Thrones" fever ruling the world, it's no wonder this Iron Throne toilet exists. This bathroom fixture comes courtesy of YouTube series "Super-Fan Builds," which installed it at a bar owned by a "Game of Thrones" fan. 

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Mercury flush

This is a close-up look at an experiment from YouTube channel Cody's Lab showing what happens when you try to flush mercury down a toilet. Cody built a separate closed toilet system so the mercury wouldn't escape into the water supply and attempted to flush 240 pounds (109 kilograms) of the heavy metal. The results are fascinating.

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Sarlacc pit in your loo

No Star Wars fan's home is complete without a sarlacc-pit toilet. Just imagine the thrill of escaping the beast every time you need to use the restroom. This toilet-transforming decal kit comes from Robbie Rane but is currently sold out online.

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Toto Toilet Bike Neo

Back in 2011, toilet manufacturer Toto unveiled the novelty Toilet Bike Neo, a motorcycle with a porcelain throne for the rider's seat. The bike ran on biogas generated with the help of human waste. Don't worry. The rider wasn't responsible for creating the biogas.

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3D-printed TP cat guard

You have a cat and you have an exposed roll of toilet paper in the bathroom. You may soon have an ungodly mess on your hands. GE Aviation engineer Johnny Lawrence created this clever 3D-printed TP guard to protect his bathroom paper from his playful cat. 

Those with cats as pets can download the files from Thingiverse and print their own.

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iPotty

Way back in 2013, the iPotty from CTA Digital hit the market. As you may have guessed, it's a toilet-training tool built to hold an iPad. A plastic sheet protects the tablet computer, which is supposed to either distract your kid or help with potty training. 

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RC car toilet

This toilet won't actually help you take care of business, but it could provide a considerable amount of amusement. It's a remote-controlled toilet toy that will stand about among your RC cars and trucks. 

The Japanese manufacturer already addressed the biggest question here: Why would you make an RC toilet? "Because, this is Japan. That's why!" 

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IllumiBowl

If you ever wanted your toilet bowl to light up like a party, you need to check out the IllumiBowl nightlight. This is as festive as your loo will ever look. IllumiBowl started on Kickstarter in 2014 and later got a boost from appearing on the show "Shark Tank." 

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PooPerch

Have you ever dropped your phone in a toilet? You're not alone. Despite the risk, the PooPerch, a shelf designed to safely hold your phone under your toilet paper roll, failed to meet its funding goal on Kickstarter in early 2017. Perhaps it's because people didn't want to set their phones down long enough to use it.

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Bonus: Snake in the loo

In early 2017, Big Country Snake Removal in Texas arrived at a home to handle a rattlesnake in the toilet and found 23 more rattlers underneath the house. The snake removers relocated most of the snakes, but it's a good reminder to check your toilet before sitting down (at least if you live in Texas).

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