Children of the VHS era suffer a common fear of toilets, and we have the ghouies to blame.
These third-rate gremlins traumatized an entire generation, all thanks to a toilet-emergent goblinoid on a video box.
Oh, you might have wandered into the store with your parents to rent "Dumbo" or "Mary Poppins," but one glimpse of "Ghoulies" on the shelf was enough to undo years of potty training.
Defecation is a risky scenario for a number of reasons, especially for humans.
Obviously, the very act of "popping a squat" places homo sapiens in a rather vulnerable state, especially when you factor in variable levels of mental focus required to "seal the deal."
And then there's the smell. Run a human fecal sample (modern or ancient) through complex gas chromatographic/mass spectrometric analysis and you'll discover that "human feces are rich in volatile compounds, likely to be (identified) by potential predators."
That little nugget comes to us from the 2013 paper "The control of defecation in humans: an evolutionary advantage?" by Italian bowel experts G. Bassotti and V. Villanacci. The duo go on to argue that the high-predation risk for ancient hominids by large carnivores suggests something rather amazing about our pooping powers:
Naturally, humans retained an innate fear of mid-defecation attacks by predators -- and the ghoulie serves as a potent reminder of this primal terror. For just as homo sapiens evolved to avoid poop-sniffing carnivores, these nasty goblinoids clearly evolved to prey exclusively on the rumps of toilet-seated humans.
Now let's observe these magnificent creatures in the wild.
Monster of the Week is a - you guessed it - regular look at the denizens is of our monster-haunted world. Sometimes we'll focus on the cultural aspects, but mostly we'll look at the possible science behind a creature of myth, movie or legend.