Back in the day, a toilet was simply a hole in the ground. One day someone decided there should be seat so they carved a hole in a bit of wood and threw that over the hole. In Tudor England a public toilet was a series of holes in wood on a bridge. You’d simply sit down over a hole, do your business and get on with your day. The business would go into the water below. No muss, no fuss… until they realized where they were getting their drinking water from was also where people were relieving themselves and then they had to figure out a better way.
Years later and someone came up with the idea that a toilet should flush the waste away, and several designs later came the toilet that we are familiar with today. Of course throughout history they have changed in size and shape but the basic flushing mechanism remains unchanged. There are tall toilets and short ones, ones that have a round seat and those that have an oval one, ones that flush from the incorporated tank on the back and those older versions that have a tank way up the wall allowing gravity to play a bigger role.
In some parts of the world we see toilets that allow us to crouch over them, squat if you will with some people saying that this is the best and most effective way to do our business. Squat toilets are becoming more popular in North America now as people realize that you don’t have to strain so much and the squat is actually better than sitting in order to get the job done.