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Leela: They're beautiful.
They turned dog poop into GOLD!
"One man's crap is another man's treasure" taken a little too literally. Many sentient species have various biological functions which produce some sort of waste or other material (i.e. spit, tears, urine, fecal matter, vomit, the list goes on). Most of the time these wastes are treated like, well, waste, and disposed of accordingly. Most of the time. But for those aliens who won the Superpower Lottery, their various waste produces, fecal or otherwise, are like gold to other species (or literally are gold).
The reason why the species itself doesn't find this material valuable is that it may be, ahem, common as crap on its homeworld. And face it, it may be valuable, but it's still poo. Oftentimes a facet of Bizarre Alien Biology, and may lead to Humans Are Bastards if we get a little too wealth hungry. Contrast Alien Lunch, which is what goes in to the alien body. Though this is Truth in Television when you consider the useful and unusual applications of real-life animal droppings... See also Body to Jewel for other tissues made into Mineral MacGuffins.
Anime & Manga
- Those Who Hunt Elves has an episode where the humans stranded in a fantasy world desperately search for the world's equivalent of toilet paper. They finally find some precious, lilac-scented paper rolls... only to soon discover that one of the local fauna craps them out.
- Then they adopt one specimen of those species, and make it the new team mascot.
- The Digimon Platinum Sukamon (which itself is poop) has an attack called "Rare Metal Poop."
- In Ojamajo Doremi Dokkan!, Hana-chan becomes friends with a white elephant named Pao-chan. Majorika only agrees to let it stay with her when she finds out that it literally poops out money (that is, the marble-like balls that power apprentices' wands and are used as currency).
- In Kyo Kara Maoh, Wolfram is seen painting with a foul-smelling paint made from the excrement of Bear-Bees. He doesn't enjoy the smell (even wearing a nose plug), but uses it because it's supposedly the finest kind of paint money can buy in his world.
- The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers includes a convoluted tale in which Fat Freddie's cat was kidnapped by aliens whose ship had run out of fuel. Terrified, the cat crapped onto the deck...
- The Atari Force's Babe sheds skin scales that turn into crystals, which Pakrat thinks may be valuable, only to find out that after a while they turn into dust.
- In the first issue of Sultry Teenage Super-Foxes, the US military develops an alchemy machine that literally turns dog waste into gold. Linkara goes into an angry rant when the scientists say their funding got cut because the government doesn't think the machine is practical.
- The Grumpy Transmuter from Bluxte in the french comic book series Valerian is a variation. It's a rare, bad-mannered little alien critter with the power to convert energy into matter. As a consequence, you can feed it a tiny object, and it will immediately crap out dozens of exact replicas of said object as long as it has the energy to do so (it runs out fairly quickly, though, and must be recharged). Obviously, it's typically used to replicate valuable items like diamonds and other gemstones. Fittingly enough, the creature's tail looks like a row of peals on a thread.
- In the second Ace Ventura movie, the motivation for the bad guys to want to get rid of the peaceful tribe is to get their hands on their guano-rich lands, thereby giving them a chance to make a killing on the fertilizer market.
- Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome: Bartertown is fueled by methane, a byproduct of fecal decomposition. This choice of fuels was clearly made just for the arguments that could result.
- Mad Max has it explained to him by Aunty Entity and her Mook:
Mad Max: What's the energy source...oil, natural gas?
Master: Me order! Me Master, me run Bartertown!
- In The Ant Bully, what appears at first glance to be a G-rated version of beer is actually something excreted from the hiney of giant bugs.
- Truth in Television, some species of ants do farm aphids for the honeydew they excrete.
- Antz also had ants drinking aphid beer.
- The Disney movie Million Dollar Duck, based on Aesop's fable about the goose that laid the golden eggs.
- And Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory has the geese that lay golden chocolate eggs.
- At the end of Pete's Dragon, having seen his boss's plans to chop Elliott into dragon-based curealls fail spectacularly, the Big Bad's crony resorts to pestering him for shed scales, fallen-out hair, etc.
- In trailers for Hop, the Easter Bunny is shown to poop jelly beans.
- In the Apprentice Adept series, Unicorn dung is just that. However, when used as fertilizer, any plant grown in it gains magical attributes (like a Jack-In-The-Pulpit that preaches).
- Part of the Anvilicious story of As The World Burns (50 Things You Can Do To Stay in Denial) involved an invasion of gold-crapping alien robots.
- In Dean Koontz's The Bad Place, Frank sometimes shifts to a world covered in gigantic worker bugs. It turns out the bugs have been genetically engineered to eat dirt from mines and excrete red diamonds.
Bobby: Bug shit.
- The novel Camelot 30 K has the keracks, one-eyed centimeters-long prawns (with an Expy King Arthur society) who have around a hundred orifices... each of which excretes an element in the periodic table.
- In Shatterglass by Tamora Pierce, a magical accident results in the creation of a small living glass dragon named Chime, who likes to eat glass-coloring agents and then pukes up (or, more politely, breathes out) pretty colored glass shapes. Her owner makes necklaces out of them. She also makes little marble-looking whorls which are her puke, molded glass flames are her attempt to breathe fire like a normal dragon, a spray of needles which is how she actually defends herself, and lumpy glass rounds that are her dung.
- In the Miles Vorkosigan book A Civil Campaign, there's an example in "butterbugs". Miles' brother, Mark and his Mad Scientist employee genetically engineer these beetles that spit up a substance that is sort of a bland butter, but tastes delicious when given some flavoring and the characters remark on the disconnect between how good it tastes and how disgusting its origin is (not helped by Mark serving it to people before telling them what they are eating, or the fact that the butterbugs are the ugliest insect in existence).
- Terry Pratchett's Discworld
- Harry King made his fortune collecting and sifting trash for useful items — including white dog poo, which is a valuable resource in the tanning industry. This is essentially Truth in Television, even the bit about the dog poo. He's also got the urine market cornered: vital for tanning, etc. Not for nothing is he known as "King of the Golden River".
- Salamanders are small lizard-like animals that absorb sunlight, deriving nutrients from its octarine wavelengths. Other wavelengths of light are excreted in the normal way, making them useful for illumination or (if startled), as flashbulbs for iconographers.
- Spice in Dune is formed via the excretions of the sand trout mixed with water.
- In Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer, copper, gold, silver, and a bunch of other metals were actually dragons' poop.
- For some reason, dragon dung is needed in Mercedes Lackey's Joust series.
- In My Teacher Is an Alien, one of the last books has these human characters interacting with The Federation, whose members are non-humanoid aliens. At one point they eat something that is really really delicious, but what it actually is is horribly disgusting. I don't think it was ever said what it was, but it was likely something like an excretion of a disgusting-looking animal.
- It's a fungus. This in itself is fine; after all, we humans eat mushrooms all the time. But then the kids learn what it grows on, which prompts an epic spit take. And yes, that part is left up to the reader's imagination.
- Mentioned in A Song of Ice and Fire. There is a common joke about Lord Tywin, that he shits gold (The Lannister family being golden haired, disgustingly wealthy and Tywin himself having gold flecked green eyes and often wearing gold plated armour) but after his son Tyrion kills him on the privy and his vital functions. complete, it turns out that "Lord Tywin Lannister did not, in the end, shit gold".
- In the Starfist novel Technokill by Dan Cragg, the alien birds swallow pebbles to help them digest foods, similar to prehistoric dinosaurs. When they excrete the stones, they have been pressurized into gemstones. Unfortunately, the rest of the waste is so toxic that it's impossible for humans to get close to them without serious physical harm.
- The 13 Clocks had a woman who cried gemstomes whenever she was sad. Unfortunately by the time the heroes came around, her tears dried up completely due to people telling her sad stories so much. However. she also cries gems when she's laughing hard only for them to turn back into water after two weeks. Long enough for the heroes' purpose.
- The Wishing-Table, the Gold-Ass, and the Cudgel in the Sack, a Fairy Tale collected by The Brothers Grimm, features a donkey that does poop and puke gold if you tell it to.
- In Animorphs, the secret alien spaceship held inside Area 51 is. an Andalite cess pit. All toilet waste on board Andalite spaceships gets put into a capsule and fired into a star. This one apparently missed, crashed on earth, and has been a highly guarded secret ever since. The humans are blissfully unaware, however.
- In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, glitterstim spice, the Fantastic Drug on which many a vast criminal fortune (including Jabba the Hutt's) has been built, is the poop of a species of underground spiders that live on only one planet in the galaxy.
- And in the New Jedi Order series, prisoners captured by the Yuuzhan Vong are sometimes fed in this way. The Vong find it amusing. The prisoners try not to think about it, since the alternative is starvation.
- An insectoid race called the Vratix secrete a chemical critical to the manufacture of Bacta, which is used in the medical field.
- Nor Crystal Tears references this trope (as a Title Drop), but doesn't actually use it.
- The plot behind A Second Chance at Eden, a prequel to The Reality Dysfunction was set into motion when the living habitat was found to have been filtering and stockpiling precious metals as a byproduct of its asteroid mining/eating. The conspirators had planned to steal as much as they could by replacing a spaceship's parts with solid gold and platinum.
- In Perdido Street Station, there's a new drug going around New Crobuzon called dreamshit. Isaac feeds it to a strange caterpillar he has because it's the only thing it's interested in eating. Then It Got Worse. It turns out that dreamshit is made from the secretions of captive adult slake-moths, which they use to feed their larvae. Slake-moths are Giant Spider huge, Intangible Man phasing, Brain Food thought-eating monsters, and raw dreamshit is digested souls. And Isaac's caterpillar grows up.
- The dreamshit Isaac feeds the caterpillar is cut with various other things, so it's not as pure as milk from an adult moth. This is stated to warp the baby somewhat.
- Also, the insect-headed khepri craft ornate sculptures and architecture from the pliable goop they exude after consuming colorberries.
- The Retief short story "Internal Affairs"" features a gigantic lifeform whose waste products include rubies and emeralds.
- Among the freaky purpose-built creatures designed by Gaea in John Varley's Gaea Trilogy, Titan, Wizard, and Demon, were some that "excreted" useful finished goods, such as road-building critters that shat asphalt, or living film-processors that ingested raw filmstock and excreted finished prints.
- In Forward The Mage by Eric Flint, it turns out that a magic scroll that turns "base materials" into gold only works when a dwarf takes a dump on it, since there is no material more "base" than dwarf shit. When The Empire finds out, they start gathering dwarves, chaining them to toilets, and start experimenting on dwarves to find out how to replicate this (unaware that a magical scroll is required). When someone brings up that it's gold, yes, but it's made from dwarf shit, the guy that recommends this plot states that gold may as well be dwarf shit, for how many dwarf slaves that they send to the mines.
This is brought up in the sequel The Philosophical Strangler, where this project is still going strong, and The Empire is devoting it's top scientific and magical experts to the task of discovering how to replicate the process.
- Aahz mentions a literal example in Myth-ion Improbable: a solid gold deer dropping he'd seen for sale at the Bazaar. He'd also seen a piece of gold elk antler, and cites a number of other stories (possibly apocryphal) of creatures that laid, shed, or excreted gold.
- The Star Trek: The Original Series novel The Tears of the Singers by Melinda M. Snodgrass. The Singers are seal-like aliens who secrete valuable crystals at the time of their death.
- The novel Brightness Falls from the Air by James Tiptree, Jr. Tiny, pixie-like beings are tortured to death for their tears, which have a valuable property, either narcotic or aphrodisiac.
- In Damon Knight's short story The Big Pat Boom (1963), alien visitors to Earth become extremely interested in the artistic value of cow pies, resulting in the eponymous phenomenon. Cow pats become enormously valuable, with collectors paying huge amounts for whirls, swirls and "double whorls". When the boom ends, dealers in cowpies are left with a pile of, well...yeah.
- The Otto Stahl books by Leo Kessler begin with the Villain Protagonist being given a literal 'shit detail' where he empties latrines from the Seigfried Line across the French border as an insult. Otto finds a way to turn a profit by selling this ready-made fertilizer to French farmers in exchange for food he can sell on the black market in Nazi Germany.
Live Action TV
- Subverted in Sea Quest DSV. Morale and supply officer Ben Krieg discovers beautiful glowing pellets on the sea bed (Krieglite). After selling some to the ship's crew and maintaining a healthy stock for sale when they return to land, the analysis from the science officer comes in. It's fish poop, the glow is temporary, and when exposed to air it rapidly starts to decompose, with stinky consequences.
- In an episode of Doctor Who, there was an fly-like species who traded for food. As the Doctor explained, "they feed off what others leave behind...From their...behind...if you see what I mean. Perfectly natural, they are flies!"
- In the classic serial "The Caves of Androzani", the highly valuable life-extending drug spectrox is made from something produced by the bats dwelling in the titular caves. The exact nature of the substance is never explained; however, antidote to spectrox toxaemia is the milk of the queen bat, which the Doctor uses to save Peri's life at the cost of his own. His Heroic Sacrifice takes on a bit of fridge hilarity when you realise that the Fifth Doctor's last act was to milk a bat.
- In Farscape, pulse weapon ammunition is somehow made from large tubers, which also have mind-enslaving effects for most people when they eat them... but not Hynerians like Rygel. Their digestive system converts the root into the explosive oil. The result: explosive urine. This from a species that also normally farts helium (the squeaky-voice gas) when they are nervous.
- One of the lyrics in "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "C.N.R." has the following line regarding Charles Nelson Reilly:
He ate his own weight in coal, excreted diamonds every day.
- Older Than Feudalism: Aesop's fable about the goose that laid the golden eggs.
- The ancient Aztecs called gold "shit of the gods". Makes at least somewhat sense. And if the same source is correct, the Quechua (Inca) called gold "sweatdrops of the sun" and silver "tears of the moon."
- In Persian mythology, amber is the feces of a three-legged donkey demigod.
- Some mythos have dragons weeping diamonds.
- In Chinese Mythology, jade is petrified dragon semen.
- In some myths, the firebird (not the phoenix, although it does have healing tears) produced hundreds of high-quality pearls from its beak as it sang, usually letting them fall on poor people so they could sell them.
- In Japanese folklore when the gods favored a village they would shit gold in its fields and piss sake in its well.
- Another tale tells of a holy man who ate only pine needles and shat rice.
- The Kalevala said that the Finnish hero Väinamöinen's tears turned into pearls. Also, when the Sampo was smashed in pieces, the pieces that sank into the sea became its riches, while the pieces that drifted ashore became riches of the land.
- Baltic mythology also suggests that amber is the tears of the sea-goddess Jurate, as well as bits and pieces from her home. Perkunas, the god of thunder, beat her and smashed her castle when he found out she was having an affair with a mortal fisherman.
- There is a fairy tale of a girl whose mouth produced gemstones whenever she spoke. A prince or noble of some sort wants to marry her for this ability... until she takes a vow of silence. A similar fairy tale specifies that the girl gains this ability because she was kind to an old lady who turned out to be a fairy in disguise, testing peoples' generosity. When her vain and avaricious sister learns how she gained this remarkable capability, she sets out to find the "old lady" herself. And she does, too, but her greed gets the better of her and she gives herself away. Having failed the fairy's test, she is instead enchanted to have toads and slugs tumble from her lips when she speaks. Bet she learned to shut up fast.
- In the mythology of Hawaii, the princess Hainuwele was always retreating to a private place and coming back with jewelry, dishes, and other precious items. Some greedy people killed her to raid her private stash. They discovered only a privy, as she had been defecating the valuables.
- Freyja, the goddess of love, beauty, and death (It Makes Sense in Context) in Norse Mythology cries tears of red gold for her husband, Óðr, who is often indisposed.
- There is a fairy tale of three brothers who do good deeds and are rewarded with magical items, which are stolen by a greedy innkeeper when the elder two show them off, and the youngest wins them back by using his gift to beat the fear of God into the innkeeper. The second son's gift was a donkey that "produced gold coins from both ends" on command (the innkeeper swaps it out with an ordinary donkey, which when commanded to produce gold... produces something else).
- There's also a Charles Perrault's fairytale, Donkeyskin, which starts by talking about a similar donkey and how it was an entire kingdom's economic base. He gets killed, although how that affected the country is never mentioned.
- In Dungeons and Dragons bat guano is a regular component in the old mainstay Fireball spell. Almost certainly a reference to Real Life historical uses of guano in making gunpowder.
- Forgotten Realms has the gems known as "King's Tears" were said to be the crystallized tears of long dead wizard kings. Each one contained an image of the thing the king loved most.
- Spelljammer has Buzzjewel - an insect looking much like a big dragonfly. They are mineralized enough to look like stained glass and have gems (usually low-value) crystallize in their innards. On the downside, they travel in large swarms, have poisonous bite and have to consume all this mineral content first - normally from asteroids, and they eat rock only if gems aren't available - which earned them nicknames "gembane" and "baublebiters".
- D&D 3.5 Monster Manual V introduces "Gem Scarabs", cat-sized beetles with iridescent gemstones set in their carapaces. The beetles use these to cast low-level spells, but they lose this power if slain. The gems are still valuable, however, so it's worth it to hunt the beetles to harvest them.
- Exalted has the Beasts of Resplendent Liquid - a type of magical, immortal dinosaurs that eat opium and pee liquid heroin.
- The Beasts actually purify and excrete various substances, depending on the breed. Their original purpose was to be the ultimate pharmacologist's friend (and a precious few that produce other substances are still around). The heroin producers are simple the least rare and best-known.
- A Lunar with Scorpion and Toad Mastery can excrete any drug or poison they've ever consumed. While it's supposed to be used for combat, the potential for moneymaking schemes is obvious, and the book the Charm's featured in mentions that the less military uses got a lot of exercise in the First Age.
- In the RPG Immortals: The Invisible War, the most holy of Pride Dracuul speak solely in long thin strips of jade that have their words engraved on them. Dracuul use these in building their temple walls.
- In Infernum, the Carthenay have an ability called... well, "Shit Gold." It specifies that the coins created can come from "any orifice," but... yeah.
- Judges Guild's Field Guide to Encounters Volume 2 had monsters called Tinklers:
- Holy Tinkler: Urinates holy water.
- Tinkle 1: Excretes 6-36 copper pieces per day.
- Tinkle 2: Lays gold pieces when on the ground.
- Undead Bane: Lays silver nuggets with holy symbols on them.
- Unholy Tinkle: Urinates unholy water.
- In 7th Sea, Dracheneisen is seemingly an indestructible metal. It is actually a ceramic made from fossilized dragon poop.
- It's hinted at, but eventually revealed at the end of Science Girls that the whole reason for the alien invasion was to harvest human hair.
- The Fairy Drop key item in Breath Of Fire IV is a fairy's poop. You need it to reforge the King's Sword.
- The final "boss" of the first Wario Ware has Wario going after a treasure, which is revealed to be this.
- An early Eamon adventure had a monster which, when killed, left behind a turd of solid gold.
- It's learned in the original Lunar: The Silver Star that dragon poop consists of humongous diamonds. After obtaining a sample, one of your starting characters is rich enough to start his own item shop.
Quark: Why is it you humans prize those things? Don't you know they're made from my sh... Oh, what's the use! Here... take a look. This is the diamond!
- The currency in DS game Livly Garden is called "doo doo." They are jewels that are visibly excreted by the pets you raise.
- Sewer crystals from Ratchet and Clank Up Your Arsenal, which come "fresh from the bowels of a King Amoeboid." Naturally, a Collection Sidequest revolves around an Recurring NPC buying the crystals from you so he can make a necklace for his wife.
- The idle and aloof Gem Slugs in Startopia leave their droppings where they like, but these happen to made of energy-rich "turdite" and so are quite valuable.
- In World of Warcraft the crystal Azsharite, found only in the cliffs of Azshara, is a highly energetic and rare material. As it turns out, it's the excretions of cliff giants who, due to having decades between bowel movements, tend to have ones that are very... concentrated.
- In the original game it was highly valued for use in demon-hunting weapons; following the Cataclysm, goblins have deemed it an ideal goblin energy source, i.e. powerful and prone to sudden and unplanned explosions.
- Bonus humor can be found in certain formations of Azsharite which take the form of humanoids in various states of terror. Looting one during quests can reveal a note concerning how foolish they were to go hunting a giant's leavings.
- Maple Story seems to mock this trope with the item "The Legendary Gold Poop Hat". What's sad is that this item is in a series of three items: Pairing it with an item based on flies makes flies circle around your character, while there is a purely aesthetic item along with it known as the "Poo Stick". No, I am not making this up. Yes, they are Exactly What They Say on the Tin.
- Dragon Quest IV features Rosa, an elf-maiden who cries rubies as tears. She's killed by a group of humans who hunt her for her ability. Her death is the Big Bad's Start of Darkness.
- The fish in Pop Cap Games's Insaniquarium defecate coins, stars, and even diamonds, all worth money.
- Likewise in Gaia Online's "Booty Grab".
- After doing some bugfixing in Dwarf Fortress, Toady accidentally released a version of .31.20 with some test data still in the coding... such that poultry laid iron chairs instead of eggs. Due to the recent changes in how minerals were distributed, a lot of players bootlegged this version for the sake of having an alternate source of precious iron for their forges.
- However, with a little modding you can make poultry (or any animal) lay whatever you want. Like bars of steel, gold, or adamantine.
- An unlockable cheat in Lego Indiana Jones allows camels to poop out studs, the game's currency.
- The cute critter in Anime News Nina poops candy.
- Starslip Crisis - Cirbozoids have so many weird things going on in their bodies that they produce pretty much anything you could ask for as waste products. Mr. Jinx references it occasionally: his exoskeleton secretes ritalin, he has a "smelting cloaca" which deals with unneeded iron, and in the most recent arc, when he stopped eating to combat a sudden, unexpected, and highly problematic growth spurt, his body responded by making its own sustenance.
- One of the running gags in Twisted Kaiju Theater is that lemon sours are actually King Ghidorah poop. This doesn't always stop people from eating them.
- Weapon Brown features schmoo, a delicious, tastes-like-whatever-you-want substance that turns out to be excreted from the tail of a sluglike creature known as The Garf.
- In Wigu Adventures, Sheriff Pony of Butter Dimension poops excellent-quality vanilla ice cream.
- The Sasquatch poops gold coins.
- The SCP Foundation has an SCP that poops diamonds.
- They say Chuck Norris can eat coal and crap diamonds. His tears can also cure cancer. Unfortunately, he never cries.
- American Dad
- After Roger fails to find his species's superpower in one episode, he poops himself out of shock when he crashes into a power station (trying to see if he could fly, possibly). What comes out is a solid gold turd... encrusted with diamonds. There's a Running Gag regarding this piece of poop, namely that whoever sees it is suddenly overwhelmed with greed, which leads them to do something regrettable, like murdering anyone else who knows about it.
- In another episode, when going through his reproductive cycle, Roger squirts out breast milk that, when combined with Francine's potato salad, is absolutely addictive. Pretty soon Stan has him gorged to the point of bursting and hooked up to a milking machine 24/7.
- An episode of Ben 10 Alien Force has a race of aliens who like to eat popcorn and poop out solid gold feces. They actually call it Solid Gold Poop.
- Futurama loves this trope.
- Zoidberg always hacks up stuff when he has grit in his throat. In "Bendin' in the Wind", Leela and Amy think its disgusting, until they notice the "stuff" is actually beautiful pearls. Keeping in tune with his resemblance to various aquatic species - that's how pearls are really made.
- Dark matter, a prime starship fuel, is Nibblonian poo.
- The addictive soft drink Slurm turns out to be the excrement of the queen of a hive of alien slugs. Interestingly, it's possible for humanoids to be turned into one of said queens (though the resulting Slurm is said to have a crappy taste) and said queen appears to be addicted to Slurm herself... Fry does not suffer the effects of I Ate What? even after finding out what Slurm is.
During the episode, we hear that toothpaste in the Futurama universe is made from some other alien species that the Slurm Queen does not even want to mention.
- There's also the episode where ambergris (whale vomit - see Truth in Television below) is an important plot point.
- And while less valuable, postage stamp glue is made from toad mucus.
- Don't forget to give it a blast from your spice weasel! As spice weasels are refillable, with several spices sold by a Neptunian Emeril Lagasse parody for the specific purpose of refilling spice weasels, this may or may not be an example.
- A Sufficiently Advanced Alien in South Park appears to the children as a taco... that poops ice cream on the kids' suggestion, after the alien tried countless other forms that they didn't like. Squick factor aside, it would probably be delicious. And Cartman is indeed shown eating the ice cream while the aliens check on the status of his probe.
- Robot Chicken has an example from the Richie Rich/Cribs sketch. Rather than golden poop, Richie Rich appears to literally shit bars of gold, leading to some... difficulty on his part.
- Teen Titans gives us NuFu, a sentient alien tofu creature bent on stealing the Earth's cows as an energy source. Part of its plan to accomplish this involves setting up a fast-food restaurant, "Mega Meaty Meat", whose entire menu (and manager!) is fake meat made of NuFu's "by-products."
- Humorously subverted in a wartime Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies, where the goose that ONCE laid golden eggs is now patriotic and laying something even more valuable to her country: ALUMINUM eggs! Which she donates to the war effort before going back to laying more.
- The alcohol in any alcoholic beverage is the waste product of yeast feeding on sugars during the fermentation process. Sake uses a different fungus (Aspergillum oryzae) and pulque uses a bacterium.
- Ambergris. Whale Vomit. What isn't vomited up, is in fact shat out the other end. Historically used in perfumes, incense, and even food. Alternatives are available, but that doesn't stop it from being worth $20 a gram.
- Most people think of chicken eggs as baby chickens who haven't hatched, but most aren't fertilized, which essentially makes them hen menstruations. It also comes out of the hen's cloaca, which is where everything a chicken excretes comes from.
- Dye has a rich history of involving nasty organic substances, some of which fit this trope. The famous purple dye of ancient Tyre (which was extremely valuable and gave rise to the association of purple with royalty) was made out of something mucus-y secreted by a sea snail. And urine was often a component in dyes or mordants to help the color set. Easy to collect, after all. "So the reason that policemen's uniforms used to be such a rich and impressive hue was that they had been widdled on by Geordies."
- Guano is a name for the excrement of seabirds, bats, and seals. Until the late 19th century it was a valuable resource in the production of fertilizers and explosives, enough to trigger the Chincha Islands War and the War of the Pacific.
- Horse manure is one constituent of molds used for casting bronze. It goes back as far as ancient Ireland, but it's still used today.
- Also, it's pretty watertight, making it a good filler for removable doors in flood-walls. And, like guano, it's a great fertilizer that is also 100% organic.
- Bees eat nectar and then vomit it back up as honey.
- Kopi luwak, the most expensive drink in the world (around $300/gram), is made primarily of coffee beans harvested from the feces of a certain species of civet. Fable 2 contains a reference to kopi luwak: the most powerful coffee drink in the game is called "Mustela," and it's created by the same process, only involving weasels.
- Leather tanning used to be made with the chemicals present in animal urine and excrement. It is now made with tannins extracted from tree bark or with mineral salts.
- Ladies, you seriously don't want to know what's in your makeup. It's ground up fish scales.
- Pearls are formed when a bivalve gets an irritation in part of its body and attempts to seal it off by forming said valuable item.
- Chemically speaking, lanolin is a wax secreted by wool bearing animals. In layman's terms, it's sheep sweat.
- The nest used for birds'-nest soup is made from the bird's saliva.
- Phosphorus (the active ingredient in match heads) was first isolated by boiling urine with charcoal and sand.
- And since it's becoming apparent that in the coming years the world supplies of the stuff are going to run short, there have been toilet seats developed for the future needs that actually isolate and collect it from the urine, ready for sale.
- A Belgian who visited the Maasai of Kenya in the 1950s commented that their beer had a touch of ammonia to its taste. This was, he explained, because they washed the container in cow urine.
- Human urine used to be used for a number of reasons, including extracting saltpetre for gunpowder. Some English entrepreneurs became quite rich by collecting the stuff from farms and selling it in London. The story goes that these merchants were embarrassed about the source of their wealth, and would claim they imported wine or something similar, at which their listeners would express their incredulity by saying "You're taking the piss!"
- The mushroom amanita muscaria, or fly agaric, contains a psychoactive drug. In Siberia and India, tribal shamans would eat it and then give his urine to everyone else (apparently it had less side effects once it had gone through his kidneys). In some parts of Siberia, the rich would buy the drug and then sell their urine to the poor.
- Anyone who's been stung by a jellyfish knows how useful human urine can be.
- Because urine fresh from a healthy urinary system is biologically sterile, it's been used for thousands of years as an improvised antiseptic. In some herding cultures, livestock-keepers traditionally use a bit of their own urine to cleanse the wound after gelding a male animal or cutting the umbilical cord of a newborn one.
- The Aztecs would use warm urine on fresh wounds.
- Although trees don't poop, the valuable heartwood at the center of a tree gets its strength, and often its beauty, from the waste products and unneeded trace substances that accumulate there.
- Symbiotic microorganisms are living off the fiber — cellulose, indigestible to humans — in your large intestine right now. Basically, they're eating your poo. And you're deriving useful vitamins from their metabolic waste products, so you're eating theirs.
- Historically, Japanese cities were clean because there was a system in place for selling human wastes to be taken into the farmlands for fertilizer.
- Manna from The Bible is interpreted by historians as having been a certain type of insect crap.
- Bezoar stones are foreign masses that have gestated in the gastrointestinal tract. They were highly prized as a protection against poisons until their effectiveness was debunked.
- These appear in Harry Potter; it turns out they only work against magic poisons.
- A cavy farm in Peru ferments the animals' droppings in an underground cess pit. This produces nutrient-rich, organic fertilizer to sell to local farmers, and enough methane gas to run a generator and provide electricity for the locals. Better living through guinea pig poo!
- Coprolites can provide valuable information to paleontologists about the dietary habits of extinct animals. With good reason, because they're fossilized poop.
- Recycling everything they can out of the garbage they collected, Waste Management, Inc. (recognized by their WM logo) managed to double their revenue stream.
- How do you make yogurt or sourdough? You take ordinary milk or dough, add specific kinds of bacteria, and wait for them to excrete their waste products into your food base.
- Food is a basic necessity of life, and therefore can be considered extremely valuable even secondhand. Dung beetles are known for eating dung. some even eat only dung.
- The confectioner's glaze coating your Junior Mints is a mixture of alcohol and shellac. What's shellac? The excretion of the female lac bug (a "she-lac," if you will).