Meet the Schiphol fly, which is a fly engraved on urinals at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. The psychology is that men will want to “wash” the fly off the urinal so they focus more when urinating, apparently lowering cleaning bills in public bathrooms.

Aiming To Reduce Cleaning Costs

Works That Work, No.1, Winter 2013

by Blake Evans-Pritchard (1972 words)

The picture of a fly in the urinals at Schiphol Airport has been touted as a simple, inexpensive way to reduce cleaning costs. Where does it come from, and how effective is it really?

There’s something of a surprise waiting at the bottom of the urinals in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport: an etched image of a fly.

At first glance, one might be forgiven for thinking it real. Then one notices that all the urinals have one, and the fly is always in the same position, just above the urinal drain and off to the left.

It turns out that men, in their urinal behaviour, cannot resist peeing on things, especially if they look as though they might wash away.

A… Continue Reading (7 minute read)

13 thoughts on “Meet the Schiphol fly, which is a fly engraved on urinals at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. The psychology is that men will want to “wash” the fly off the urinal so they focus more when urinating, apparently lowering cleaning bills in public bathrooms.”

  1. Raymond_the_slug

    Stroke of genius. A less disgusting alternative to aiming for skidmarks left in toilets

  2. The_tea_g

    We’ve actually got them in many more places in the Netherlands. At primary schools we had even more interesting ones! If you would hit the black sticker an image would appear. I’ve got very good aim now!

  3. The_God_of_Abraham

    Can confirm. I used to just walk into a public restroom, drop my fly, let Mr. Johnson dangle out and just spray everywhere while I walked around checking my email.

    But now I must get. that. bug.

  4. Penetratorofflanks

    I know what my next tattoo is going to be.

  5. bjb406

    Its not that men don’t aim, its that they aim for the water, which is bad because it splashes everywhere when we do.

  6. AudibleNod

    I went to a Naval Reserve center in Shreveport and they had a Osama Bin Laden urinal cake holder. Needless to say, my aim was true.

  7. Thumb_in_a_floppy

    In Matlock Derbyshire they have a face on the back of the urinal which changes expression based on hydrated you are. Happy face you are hydrated. Sad face you are dehydrated.

  8. zomboromcom

    “He’s a messy boy, but so gentle. He wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

  9. supremedalek925

    Huh, so Amsterdam has flies, and Japan has a urinal mini game where you focus your piss to raise a girl’s skirt. So similar, yet so distant.

  10. Pootle001

    The Latin for bee is “apis”, so the bee was chosen to show men where to point the old chap. It’s become traditional.

  11. robbie5643

    Saw a girl with this tattood on her chest once…

  12. AdAnxious4883

    That damn fly; never did get him. If not in the steady stream of my youth, less likely in the gentle flow of today. That my friends is the chicken to my Peter Griffen.

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