Poop Emoji

Russian activists have made use of GPS devices to trace the origin of the floating shit in the river of Saint Petersburg. For weeks, the citizens had been complaining that the water coming from the river in Novoye Devyatkino, a little town about 15 km away from Saint Petersburg, smelled of poop, but the government was oblivious to the problem.

This prompted a group of Russian activists to conduct a study on the local sewer system to find out where the smell was coming from. They named the study Feces Travel, wherein they asked permission from 10 apartment owners in Novoye Devyatkino to put ten small waterproofed tracking devices in their toilet so the ecologists could map out the signals from the GPS units.

Russian Activists Feces Travel Study

Based on the movement of the tracking devices, the Russian activists were surprised to find out that from the toilet, the GPS trackers spilled out straight into the open-air canals just outside the building without any basic sewage filtration.

From Novoye Devyatkino, the GPS trackers flew into the Neva. Five of the trackers reached Neva Bay with batteries dead, that’s where the Russian ecologists retrieved them.

Russian Activists

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The Russian activists said that the GPS trackers they used were cheap, Chinese-made tracking devices. They got the waterproof containers for an additional cost. The containers have salt mixture, so the device will sink initially; and once the mixture is dissolved, the small air bubbles inside will make it float. Once it floats, only then can the GPS devices transmit signals. The ecologists set the devices to send signals every hour.

St. Petersburg


Though the Russian activists claimed that the test was successful, some people on the Internet were not convinced with the results.

As we all know, GPS units must have a clear view of the sky to be able to transmit signals, and the GPS devices, along with anything else, were in the sewer lines—and this is why they believed the data was unreliable. But according to the ones who conducted the test, the GPS units didn’t go underground. Instead they spilled directly into the water stream outside.

We say, what an ingenious way of using GPS trackers.

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Trevor Wilson