Do you feel like pooping every time you walk into a bookstore? Here’s why

You may have never heard of the Mariko Aoki phenomenon, but you certainly may have experienced it before.

Certain human habits can be linked to specific places, smells, sights, sounds, and memories. For example, hearing the trickling of water can give us the urge to go number one. But have you ever noticed that every time you visit a bookstoreyou have a sudden and massive desire to empty your bowel?

You’ll be surprised to hear that you are not the only one.

The Mariko Aoki phenomenon

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The Mariko Aoki phenomenon Giorgio Trovato

What’s Mariko Aoki got to do with this very strange phenomenon?

Well, according to Men’s Health, she is a Japanese woman who noticed that her body had a strange reaction when she went to the bookshop. Every time she walked through the door of a bookstore her intestines seemed to contract and she had an unusual want to relieve herself in the bathroom.

Was she sick? What did the books have to do with it? She was riddled with many questions and so she asked them in a magazine in 1985. She then realised that many people around the world went through the same thing when they walked into a bookshop. In fact, the phenomenon became so widespread that it was sadly named after the person who first asked the question —Mariko Aoki.

We now know what the phenomenon is, but why do we get this unusual craving when we are about to buy books?

Since Aoki asked the question, the phenomenon has been the subject of many studies. Unfortunately, science has still not been able to explain it. However, there are several theories.

Theories behind the phenomenon

The one that makes the most sense is that many of us read whilst in the bathroom. For those that do enjoy a toilet read, it is possible that the smell of ink and paperis linked to the act of defecation. Hence, walking through the door of a bookshop and spending time in one could signal the brain and tell us it’s time to do the number two.

Another theory, supported by gastroenterologist Dr. Sameer Islam, explains that bending over to pick up a book from bottom shelves could trigger this natural urge. He told Men’s Health:

It's not far-fetched at all. Your posture makes a huge difference when it comes to pooping.
@adamconover

Why do I have to poop every time I enter a bookstore? #book#booktok#science

♬ original sound - Adam Conover

This article has been translated from Gentside FR.

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