It may not be the most burning of unanswered science questions, but researchers have figured out how long it would take for a swallowed Lego to re-emerge in the toilet bowl. Figure 1.71 days. That was the average time for six brave volunteers who swallowed a Lego head, then dutifully kept an eye on their bowel movements, reports Forbes. Yes, this is an actual study, one that appeared in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. But, no, even the researchers themselves aren't taking it too seriously, calling it "a bit of fun in the run up to Xmas" in a related blog post. Further proof of that sentiment is found in the study itself, which uses a Stool Hardness And Transit score, as well as a Found And Retrieved Time score. It's all about the acronyms.
Still, six people did ingest the Lego heads and then keep an eye on things, leading to the study conclusions: "A toy object quickly passes through adult subjects with no complications. This will reassure parents, and the authors advocate that no parent should be expected to search through their child's faeces to prove object retrieval." But maybe the most notable result is that, as Gizmodo reports, one of the six never found the Lego head. Did the person miss it? Is it still in there somewhere? The researchers—all pediatric health professionals who doubled as the Lego-eating volunteers—have no clue, but they don't sound worried. "Perhaps one day many years from now, a gastroenterologist performing a colonoscopy will find it staring back at him," they write. (If you've ever stepped on a Lego, you can relate to this man's feat.)