The newest viral video sensation called the Banana Peel Challenge tests whether or not we can believe such authorities as Bugs Bunny or the makers of MarioKart when it comes to the slipperiness of banana peels. Since this is a better waste of teenagers' time than say, smoking chemicals from underneath the sink or huffing dangerous amounts of cinnamon, the popularity of this quest for truth has made us wonder why are bananas peels slippery and where did the ‘ol make-em-slip-on-a-banana trick come from?
We are not the first to wonder this. Two years ago a Japanese team won an Ig Nobel Prize (the spoof awards presented by Harvard) when it discovered why banana peels are slippery. Within the banana skin are tiny follicles that, when any pressure is exerted on them (for instance, a foot step) release a gel of polysaccharide molecules, which make it more slippery than other fruit peels.
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