Here are some fun facts about popcorn for your pleasure (and to help you win trivia contests).
1. The amount of popcorn Americans eat every year would fill the Empire State Building 18 times. (We eat 17 billion—that’s “b” for billions—quarts annually).
2. The largest popcorn ball weighs 70 pounds and is valued at $700. (Wow—that’s $10 a pound! Now that’s expensive popcorn!) It is in a popcorn shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. It will be auctioned off.
The ball is dyed red, white, and blue and was created for a New Year’s Eve popcorn ball drop.
The ball was stolen in March, 2017, but has been since recovered.
3. Popcorn is the official snack food of
Illinois and, since 1958, has had an annual “Popcorn Day.”
4. A popping popcorn kernel can fly up to 3 feet in the air as it is popping.
5. There are about 1,600 popcorn kernels in 1 cup.
6. The ideal popping temperature for popcorn is 400-460° Fahrenheit. A kernel will pop, on average, when it reaches 347° Fahrenheit.
7. Popped popcorn comes in two basic shapes: snowflake and mushroom. Movie theaters prefer snowflake because it's bigger.
8. Nowadays, many movie theaters make a greater profit from popcorn than they do from ticket sales.
9. Christopher Columbus allegedly introduced popcorn to the Europeans in the late 15th century.
10. If you laid popcorn kernels end to end from
coast to coast beginning in New York
City and ending in Los Angeles, it would take more than 350 million
popped kernels to span the distance. Now that’s a lot of popcorn!
11. The un-popped kernels at the bottom of our bowl are called “old maids.”
12. Just like today, popcorn has always served more than one purpose including as a food source and for decorative or ceremonial purposes.
13. The scientific name for popcorn is zea mays
everta, and it is the only type of corn that will pop and make popcorn.
14. Some Native American tribes flavored popcorn with dried herbs and spice, even chili.
15. Native Americans made popcorn into soup and beer and made popcorn headdresses and corsages. (Now popcorn beer sounds interesting!)
16. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s largest popcorn ball measured 12 feet in diameter and required 2,000 pounds of corn, 40,000 pounds of sugar, 280 gallons of corn syrup, and 400 gallons of water to make.
17. Kettle corn was first introduced in the early 1700’s. The Settlers would pop the popcorn in large cast iron kettles. They would use rendered lard and whatever sweetener they had on hand. Many times it was molasses, honey or sugar cane.
18. Popcorn is the official snack of Illinois.
19. If you made a trail of popcorn from New York City to Los Angeles, you would need more than 352,028,160 popped kernels.
20. There are 120 calories in 2 tablespoons of un-popped kernels; those 2 tablespoons will make 1 quart of popped popcorn.
21. It takes 135 pounds of pressure to pop popcorn.
22. January 19th is National Popcorn Day.
23. Americans eat more popcorn than any other country.
24. While other businesses failed in the Great Depression, the popcorn business thrived.
25. In movie theaters, for every dollar spent on popcorn, about 90 cents is profit.
26. An ear of corn averages 800 kernels in 16 rows.
27. A pound of corn consists of approximately 1,300 kernels.
28. National Today in 2017 surveyed 1,000 people about popcorn and
found that over 9 in 10 Americans like popcorn.
29. Buttered popcorn is the favorite among men and women. Almost 41
percent of Americans like sweet popcorn.
30. Women are 30 percent more likely to choose kettle corn than men.
Buttered popcorn is the favorite among men and women.
31. 53% of Americans listed Orville Redenbacher as their favorite
32. Approximately 70% of popcorn sold in America is eaten in the home. The other 30% is eaten in theaters, stadiums, school, etc.
33. When popping, a popcorn kernel can reach a height of 3 feet.
34. By volume, popcorn is America’s favorite snack food.
35. Autumn is the peak time for popcorn consumption, followed by the winter months. Popcorn sales taper off during the spring and summer.
Share your popcorn fun facts with our readers. Also tell us where you found your fun fact.
For more fun facts about popcorn visit Easy Science for Kids.