Best. Email. Subject. Line. Ever.

Subject: International Shipping of Feces

The project I work for requires urgently to transport samples of feces of wild animals from Peru to United States for genetic studies….
The collection and transportation of the samples comply with all the government regulations, however, shipping agencies (like DHL, FEDEX, others) do not accept to transport the part of the samples that are stored in alcohol.
If some of you know of shipping agencies authorized to transport these type of samples either by plane or ship, I would appreciate to respond to this email.

If you happen to know a company that will ship poo in ethanol, please log into Ecolog-L and let this person know. Actually, since immature insects are commonly stored in ethanol, I’m sure someone out there knows the answer!

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. Yeah, I noticed that subject line this morning :)

  2. I have a possible alternative…

    When one of our field trips was returning from Antarctica, they weren’t allowed to take samples stored in ethanol on the flight. To get round it, they went into the duty-free, bought strong vodka, and transferred the specimens into that.

    I’m sure FEDEX will be happy to ship a case of vodka?

  3. It’s absolutely true too! I don’t know if they, erm, recycled the vodka afterwards though.

    Loving the blog, and I’ve just spent a lovely half hour flicking through your Flickr album. You’re now on the blog roll – expect the hits to start racking up by the thousand, not.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. According to my wife, who regularly ships biological samples internationally, World Courier ( will do it.

  5. You know, if you DO find a company that will ship feces in ethanol, buy shares. Because three months later they’ll hit the club scene with “Scat Superpremium Flavored Vodka” and make an absolute fortune!

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