Next time someone says you're full of crap, take it as a compliment. Why? Because new research shows that Americans poop out four-billion dollars worth of gold and other precious metals, and scientists are now looking into mining our fecal waste.

Kathleen Smith of the US Geological Survey is leading a research program to see how feasible extracting precious metals from human waste actually is. Her goal is to reduce the amount of mining programs in the US and to provide a safer source of fertilizer.

Right now, about 60% of our bio-waste is used as fertilizer while the rest is either buried or incinerated. Smith said, "If you can get rid of some of the nuisance metals that currently limit how much of these biosolids we can use on fields and forests, and at the same time recover valuable metals and other elements, that’s a win-win."

A study by Arizona State University studied samples from 94 different treatment centers across the country. They profiled 50 different metals in all and found that most samples were enriched with precious metals including platinum, gold and silver. Based on the data from the study, they extrapolated that the combined poo of a million Americans could yield 13-million dollars in precious metals. That makes a nationwide total of four-billion dollars.


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