This might seem to be the strangest way historians are able to figure out where Lewis and Clark went on their 8,000-mile journey, but it's true! Of course, they also used the famous pair's expedition journal and maps, but it turned out that back in 1804, Lewis and Clark and their expedition team used pit latrines to dump their you-know-what.
Now how are historians able to first find, let alone know it was the expedition's poop? It turns out Lewis and Clark were knowledgeable about 19th century's latest medicine. During this time, Lewis and Clark believed that the body consisted of humors, and if those become unbalanced it would lead to illness and discomfort. Which, they definitely couldn't have that while traveling the United States for 28 months.
So they took laxative tables called Dr. Rush's Bilious Pills, which were described as "a mercury-chloride sludge administered orally," and were intended to expel whatever bile the body contained (AKA, a lot of gross diarrhea and slobbering).
With mercury-induced poops comes waste that's basically metal and it remained intact far longer than your average poop. So even if things weren't pleasant for Lewis and Clark, it gave historians a chance to figure out their exact trail.
Thanks for leaving behind some pretty disgusting memories for us Lewis and Clark.
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