Ever found yourself standing by the loo insistently flushing the floater that just won't go down?
While the occasional floating poo is nothing to worry about, lots of stubborn poops that refuse to be flushed could be a sign of something more serious.
Poo's ability to float is related to what its made up of.
Faeces which is filled with gas and fibre tends to be lighter and float more easily, according to MIT Medical.
But floating stools may contain high levels of fat, a sign that your body isn't absorbing nutrients well.
1. Stomach infection
Some tummy bugs can release gas in the intestine which gets trapped in the stool meaning it floats, according to John Hopkins Medicine.
Other more serious illnesses, like the parasitic infection giardiasis, can stop your body from absorbing fat properly, causing poops to be greasy and float.
2. Gastrointestinal disorders
Some common bowel disorders can cause poops to rise in the toilet bowl more than they should.
The authors of a 2015 study found that 26 per cent of people with bowel disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome and dyspepsia, had floating stools.
For some people, a floating number two may be the first warning sign of a bowel problem.
When floating stools occur alongside other symptoms, such as pain, diarrhea, bloating, or constipation, it may signal an underlying stomach issue.
“Conditions causing malabsorption might cause stools to float,” Dr. Daniel Freedberg, a gastroenterologist and professor at Columbia University, told Insider.
For example, people who have an intolerance to lactose can experience fatty stools if they consume milk, cheese, or other dairy products.
This is because the body is unable to break down the lactose properly.
4. Pancreatic cancer
The pancreas is a small, pouch-like gland in the middle of your tummy.
It works by converting the food we eat into fuel for the body's cells.
According to American Cancer Society, floating stools may be an early symptom of pancreatic cancer.
If a tumour blocks the pancreas, it can fail to digest food properly, leading to malabsorption.
And if this happens, stool may float due to the higher fat content, appear bulky, greasy, and unusually pale, the society explained.
When to see a doctor
If you find you number two's never go down, it's worth a check in with your GP, the NHS says on it's website.
It's also worth a consultation with your GP if you notice “blood, constipation or diarrhoea that won't quit,” Moe Schlachter, a registered dietician and president of Houston Family Nutrition, also told Insider.