The banana is a fruit many of us enjoy on a daily basis, whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, or just a snack. It has great versatility and such a complimentary flavor, that it’s used in a plethora of different cuisines and dishes, from curry to ice cream.
But how much do you know about the fruit salad favorite?
Here we’re going to look at 30 facts about the banana.
- The banana made its name after it was sold wrapped in aluminum foil for 10 cents in the 1876 Philadelphia World Fair.
- In Kalamazoo in 2011, the construction of a vehicle came to an end – this vehicle was an F-150 truck which became the “Big Banana Car.” At almost 23 feet (7 meters) long and 9.8 feet (3 meters) tall, this car has a top speed of around 85mph (136.8km/h).
- If a person is allergic to bananas, or even avocados and chestnuts, they have an increased risk of being allergic to latex. There are some who say half of those allergic to latex are often allergic to bananas. This is due to the proteins within the banana.
- The classic banana species we consumed was called the Gros Michel. It was a sweeter and creamier alternative to the modern banana, but due to a sweeping and catastrophic disease in 1965 across Central and Southern America, the farmers swapped to the modern variety.
- If done daily, a wart can be removed in about 2 weeks by running the inner side of banana peel onto the infected area.
- In 2016, a man from the U.K., Andrew Lawrence, ran 2 hours, 47 minutes and 41 seconds in a banana costume during the London marathon in order to secure the title of the fastest time to run a marathon whilst wearing a fruit costume.
- The banana is scientifically a berry, whereas the strawberry is not. This comes down to the classification of a berry. A berry must contain seeds inside the flesh, not outside.
- A U.S. study found that bananas can actually help lower your risk of stroke and heart attack due to the level of potassium they contain. They do this by lowering the risk of stiffness in the aorta and hardening in the arteries.
- Singers Alicia Keys, Adele, and Katy Perry all have bananas as one of their backstage demands when performing.
- A monkey peels a banana upside down when compared to our method, which is pinching the top and splitting the skin before peeling it down to reveal the fruit. This is an easier and less damaging method of peeling a banana.
- Monsieur Mangetout was a Frenchman born in 1950, who was able to consume over 9 tons of metal in his life time but couldn’t stomach single banana, saying they made him feel sick.
- The 1971 Woody Allen movie, “Bananas” made a whopping $11.8 million dollars, and appeared in numerous top hit lists including American Film Institute’s 2000 and AFI’s 100 years 100 laughs.
- Around 0.074 lbs (33.57 g) of bananas per person per day are consumed in the U.S. alone. The largest consumer of bananas worldwide is Uganda where the average person consumes around 1⅓ lbs (605 g) of the fruit daily.
- In 2015, a U.K. supermarket employee discovered five bags of class A drugs when unpacking a box of South American bananas, with a possible street value of over £1,000,000 (around $1.4 million) at the time.
- The oils within the inside of a banana skin can actually help inflammation and itching caused by insect bites.
- The perfect soil for growing bananas must contain a ph. of between 5.5 and 6.5 and must not be salty or too cold. One of the biggest problems for bananas is root rot which is caused by the soil being too cold, along with other factors.
- A green banana has very high starch content – as the fruit yellows, this starch turns into sugars.
- In 2010, an American man named Ashrita Furman took the title of “Most Bananas snapped in 1 minute” by breaking 99 of the yellow fruit with both hands in 60 seconds.
- In 2012, a resident of Illinois managed to break a world record by peeling and consuming 8 whole bananas in 60 seconds.
- In 2001, a bunch of bananas took the title of the “largest bunch of bananas.” It held 473 individual bananas or “fingers” and weighed a whopping 287lbs (130 kg). It was grown in the Canary Islands.
- A banana is made of about 75% water, which isn’t very much compared to other healthy wonders like the cucumber or radish which has 96% and 95% respectively.
- In 2018, a banana plant hidden in a Yorkshire van hire company’s office actually started to sprout fruit after being dormant for an entire decade.
- The banana we all know and love is under threat from the same disease that struck the predecessor. Panama disease is rife amongst the Cavendish variety (the common variety) after being identified in Africa in the mid 2010’s.
- The banana is produced asexually because it’s a sterile species, which makes it basically a clone of elder.
- The Latin name for banana is “musa sapientum” which translates to fruit of the wise men.
- A “Banana Republic” is a region that is solely sufficient on one single resource for its income.
- Leather products like handbags or shoes can be polished with the inside of a banana skin, simply rub it on and wipe off with a rag.
- The 2014, Ig Nobel Prize in Physics was won by a team who discovered the reason why bananas are so slippery. As it turns out, it is all down to the polysaccharide molecules in the peel, a substance also found in our joints.
- We all know bananas flavoring tastes nothing like a real banana, but according to a Gros Michel cultivator (the original commercial banana), the artificial flavor does taste very similar to this variety.
- In Cairo you can buy papyrus from market stalls which is most often built from banana leaves.
So there we have it, 30 facts to make you go bananas about, well… bananas. The humble curved fruit has an amazing array of health benefits and is actually invaluable in the hunt for the perfect prosthetic.
One thing is for certain, the lunchbox staple will now have a little more respect from me every day from now on.