Happy National Popcorn Day! Here Are Five Things You Never Knew About Your Favorite Movie Snack

  • Share
  • Read Later


January 19 is National Popcorn Day — not be confused with National Popcorn Month which is October or Caramel Popcorn Day which is April 7.

If you’re not too bogged down by the debate over the origins of this awesome snacking holiday (some connect it with the Super Bowl), then kick back with a bag of the microwavable munchies and learn some little-known facts about the movie theater staple.

1. Each kernel contains a tiny drop of water. This is why, when heated, the water expands causing the kernel to explode and flip inside out.

2. Popcorn consumption declined significantly during the 1950s with the invention of the television. As Americans stopped going to the movies, they stopped eating popcorn. That is, until microwave popcorn restored the snack’s popularity.

3. The world’s oldest piece of popcorn, at 5,600 year old, was found in a bat cave in New Mexico in 1948.

4. The average American eats 17 gallons of popcorn a year. As a whole, America eats 4.3 billion gallons of popcorn a year.

5. Some Native American tribes believed their ancestors’ spirits lived withing popcorn kernels. When they got angry from homes overheating, the kernels would explode leaving puffs of smoke in the air.

(via 1890 Caramel Corn)

More on TIME.com: How much do movie theater concession stands make?

More on TIME.com: How hard is popcorn on your digestive system?