The next time that you find yourself bowing down to the porcelain gods, remember that a mobile device may be to blame. University of Arizona microbiologists turned some heads in 2012 when they released a study concluding that smartphones carry more bacteria on average than toilet seats. Some experts say we shouldn't be surprised: Human thighs generally carry less bacteria than our mouths and hands, and even the most dedicated germaphobes tend to clean their johns more often than their gadgets [sources: Hawkes, Coil].
Still, it's hard to get over the ick factor. Coliforms are bacteria often found in animal and human feces, as well as on soil and plants [sources: Washington State Department of Health, Coil]. They're also commonly uncovered on the surfaces of personal cell phones. While smaller amounts of these bacteria aren't likely to make you sick, their presence on your mobile device is a good indicator that other pathogens are lurking.