China's rise has taken many forms—manufacturing, hosting the Olympics, building world-destabilizing islands—but now it leads the globe in a new territory: buildings shaped like toilets. Not only is this new government office shaped like a giant human waste disposal unit, it's incredibly appropriate, too: the building is part of the North China University of Water Conservancy and Electric Power in Heinan. In other words, the school where they will train the next generation of people who make sure the toilet flushes and refills with new water.
People were amused. Censorship is pretty stringent online so even though most observations were dry ("Yep, it's definitely a toilet"), others had more creative responses. As Shanghaiist noted one Chinese netizen joking, "From a feng shui standpoint, the design is very auspicious. We should give it some time."
That wasn't the only observation about the building. Others noted that it might run afoul of a law passed in February banning "weird buildings" in China. That may have had something to do with the new headquarters of the Chinese newspaper People's Daily, which some found a bit too excited-looking during its construction. Although the world found it amusing, authorities didn't like the global chuckle had at its expense.