12 Things You Didn’t Know About Bananas

Here are some curious facts to feed your mind and tempt your stomach. Sit back, relax, and enjoy these fun banana factoids.

They Are the Best Selling Item at Wal-Mart
It’s true! According to SciShow, bananas sell better than any other offering at Wal-Mart!
Bananas Used to Have Seeds

Bananas, as we know them, are a human invention from like, 5000 B.C. Originally, bananas were full of seeds, but because people are picky eaters, banana hybrids were created, making the fruit seed-free. There are still tiny little seeds in banana, but they don’t serve any function in the banana reproduction.

Look how bananas are in the wild. . Ew.

The Banana Tree is Not a Tree
It’s true! It’s just a sneaky herb posing as a tree. A huge herb. Trying to be a palm tree.
The Banana Tree Bears Fruit Once and Then Dies

The banana tree, or herb, bears only one bunch of bananas before dying. Luckily, it shoots a new “eye” (a baby plant) before dying, the entire process only taking about ten years.

Here’s the banana flower. It’s edible too.

Bananas Are at Risk of Extinction
Because of the two items above (man-made seedless fruit and the herb thing), plus the fact that there’s only one variety widely grown, the super popular Cavendish bananas are constantly at risk. One aggressive bug or disease is all that it would take to wipe bananas out completely. In fact, the Cavendish banana we eat nowadays —which is at high risk of extinction— is a replacement for the virtually identical banana, Gros Michel, that went the way of the dodo in the 1960s.
Bananas Are Great for Hangovers
Bananas are awesome cures for hangovers! That’s because, like Coca-Cola, they’re rich in potassium. Eat one before bed or just after waking up (and then go straight back to bed).
Banana-Flavored Candy Tastes Like an Extinct Form of Banana
One major problem with growing genetically identical bananas? It only takes one virus or bug to completely wipe them out. That happened the Gros Michel version everyone ate before the 1960s. But when the variety went practically extinct, we moved on to the Cavendish bananas we know and love today. Ever wondered why old school “banana flavored” candies don’t really taste like banana? It’s because they were modeled after the Gros Michel, not the Cavendish!
It’s Bad Luck to Bring Bananas on a Boat
It’s a sailors’ superstition. Some ships even ban Banana Boat sunscreen or Banana Republic clothes onboard. Nobody really knows the reason for sure. Some say it’s because ships carrying bananas have to travel quickly so the fruit doesn’t deteriorate, and as a result they cannot fish. Some say that the ripe fruit releases methane that can kill the sailors. Hypothesis apart, this makes me wonder, how the invention of the banana boat was even possible?
You Need Nuclear to Extract Juice from Bananas
It’s awfully hard to extract juice from bananas, even though they’re 80% water. Have you ever tried squeezing one? Their molecular structure is just not very squeezable. The currently available banana juice is blended banana, not squeezed banana. Which is, obviously, cheating. But for some reason, Indian atomic scientists are trying to find a way to extract juice from banana. Yeah, atomic scientists. From the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. Go figure.
A Banana Can be a Weapon

In Monrovia, Maryland, a man held up a store with a banana. The thief snatched one fruit from the counter and began hitting the clerk, who pulled out a knife. The man with the banana split with no profit from the crime, except for the banana, which was damaged by then. And in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a man hid a banana under his shirt and pretended it was a gun when trying to rob a store. He was caught by the store owner and ate the evidence while waiting for the cops. Strangely, he was charged with felony attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon. Not a very effective weapon, but a nutritious one.

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Bananas are a staple starch for many populations around the world, particularly those living in tropical environments. Both the skin and the fruit itself can be eaten raw or cooked. Banana hearts are also popular, especially in Asian countries, and the taste is similar to artichokes.
India Is the Biggest Banana Producer in the World, Followed by Brazil

Even though Cavendish is the most popular species of banana, there are still several different varieties of bananas. In Brazil, in any farmers’ market, one can find at least half a dozen types of bananas: baby bananas, plantains, purple bananas, apple bananas, silver bananas, and so on.

More on Brazil and Brazilian culture at The Good Blood http://thegoodblood.blogspot.com/
The Good Blood publishes a feature on fruits called Fruit Friday