The banana is a popular fruit many of us enjoy daily, whether for breakfast, lunch, or just a snack.
It has great versatility and a complimentary flavor used in many different cuisines and dishes, from curry to ice cream.
But how much do you know about this fruity favorite?
Here we’re going to look at 30 interesting facts about bananas that you probably didn’t know.
The banana fruit got its name after being sold wrapped in aluminum foil for 10 cents at 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 that 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. Some 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. Still, due to a sweeping and catastrophic disease in 1965 across Central and Southern America, the farmers swapped to the modern variety.
There are over 1000 different varieties of bananas growing around the world, subdivided into 50 groups. Some are sweet, like the Cavendish bananas, which is the most common and most widely exported.
On April 24, 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 to secure 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.
A monkey peels a banana upside down 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 consumed over 9 tons of metal in his lifetime but couldn’t stomach a single banana, saying they made him feel sick.
The 1971 Woody Allen movie, “Bananas,” made a whopping $11.8 million 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 United States alone. The largest consumer of bananas worldwide is Uganda, where the average person consumes around 1⅓ lb (605 g) of the fruit daily.
Bananas are a healthy source of fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and various antioxidants and phytonutrients.
The oils inside 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 caused by the soil being too cold and other factors.
Green bananas have a 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 cluster 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.
Bananas are 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 was hidden in a Yorkshire van hire company’s office, which 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-2010s.
The banana is produced asexually because it’s a sterile species, making it basically a clone of the elder.
The Latin name for banana is “musa sapientum,” which translates to the 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 banana peels, rub them on and wipe them off with a cloth.
The 2014 Ig Nobel Prize in Physics was won by a team who discovered 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 banana flavoring tastes nothing like a real banana. Still, 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 are most often built from banana leaves.
So there we have it, 30 fun banana facts to make you go bananas about, well… bananas.
The yellow banana has an amazing array of health benefits and is invaluable in hunting 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.