1949: Fruit Collider

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Fruit Collider
The most delicious exotic fruit discovered this way is the strawberry banana. Sadly, it's only stable in puree form, so it's currently limited to yogurt and smoothies, but they're building a massive collider in Europe to search for a strawberry banana that can be eaten whole.
Title text: The most delicious exotic fruit discovered this way is the strawberry banana. Sadly, it's only stable in puree form, so it's currently limited to yogurt and smoothies, but they're building a massive collider in Europe to search for a strawberry banana that can be eaten whole.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Add title text explanation. Add a table with the combinations of fruit Ponytail mentions (and the one in the title text) and discuss the the possible improvement over the two regular fruits. Add wiki links. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

The comic draws a parallel between fruit and atomic or subatomic particles.

Particle accelerators, the most famous of which is the Large Hadron Collider, are used to smash sub-atomic particles together at very high near-light speeds. Particle collisions can test theories in physics and sometimes have unexpected consequences that force physicists to revise existing theories. For example, colliding two particles at extremely high speeds can result in a release of enough energy to produce massive exotic particles that do not exist under standard conditions.

When explaining particle accelerators to the general public, this kind of experiment is sometimes explained with a fruit analogy. For example, the University of Oxford's "Accelerate!" show says "It's like throwing together two apples really really hard and getting three bananas and a mango." In this comic strip, the analogy is taken literally.

Ponytail for instance mentions a pineapple with apple skin. Pineapples are (almost) impossible to eat without a knife and it will easily become messy even with a knife, and the skin cannot be eaten (by normal humans). But many really like the taste of pineapple, maybe even more than apples. Randall has previously displayed that he finds pineapple tasty but very hard to eat, even harder than peeling a Grapefruit, in 388: Fuck Grapefruit, but not by far as difficult as opening coconuts! (See the title text of that comic).

Many fruit-based snacks and drinks, such as the yogurt and smoothies mentioned in the title-text but also including juices, candies, etc. will derive flavors from fruit blends. These blends are generally created by mixing the juice or artificial flavorings of two separate, individual fruits, rather than by attempting to create a new fruit by smashing it together. Strawberry and banana are a common combination. Some man-made hybrid fruits have been created via grafting and genetic engineering, but smashing two fruits together at high speeds will usually result in a sticky mess rather than a new fruit hybrid.[citation needed]

This comic was published on the Jewish holiday for the trees, Tu B'Shvat(Hebrew: טו בשבט), on which it is traditional to eat exotic fruits.


[Ponytail points with a stick at a graph hanging on the wall. It depicts a collision of two apples producing a banana, a bunch of grapes, a cherry, three strawberries, and one product which is too small to distinguish clearly but which may be a single grape or berry.]
Ponytail: When two apples collide, they can briefly form exotic new fruit. Pineapples with apple skin. Pomegranates full of grapes. Watermelon-sized peaches.
Ponytail: These normally decay into a shower of fruit salad, but by studying the debris, we can learn what was produced.
Ponytail: Then, the hunt is on for a stable form.
[Caption below the panel:]
How new types of fruit are developed

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I propose that - for once - we keep the bot-generated text in this explanation section: "This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect." 15:41, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

+1! And Ponytail gets banned from particle physics conferences? Or her biology license is revoked. https://xkcd.com/410/ -- 16:57, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
We need to compile a blacklist for conferences people are banned from... Linker (talk) 18:36, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
Hey baby, you can still practice biology without a license... ProphetZarquon (talk) 21:39, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
.*Pepper Spray*Linker (talk) 17:16, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

I suppose it's not okay to copy and paste random portions of other articles here in hopes of creating a super explanation? 20:41, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

Does this remind anyone of Tom Scott's Piña Collider?

no but it reminds of the Higgs boson search by looking and bananas and acorn squash http://sci-ence.org/higgs/
Odds that inspired this by showing up in Randall's recommended videos? Wizardofdocs (talk) 06:34, 11 September 2021 (UTC)

There's a new-year's day for trees? This fact alone deserves its own comic! ProphetZarquon (talk) 21:44, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

A holiday =/= new-year's day - 01:25, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
If you google the jewish holiday for the trees, you will see it is actually a “new year’s day” for the trees. 12:06, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

If only, if only. Orange juice is somewhat sour, and pineapple juice cloyingly sweet, but what would the combination fruit be like? 02:54, 1 February 2018 (UTC) Gene Wirchenko [email protected]

I believe that is next on the agenda after the peanut/grape enigma is solved These Are Not The Comments You Are Looking For (talk) 01:50, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

This reminds me of https://what-if.xkcd.com/116/, especially title text of the last picture: "A hole bunch of strange, extremely massive drivers were created by collision, but all were extremely short-lived." 10:19, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

Is Banapple Gas an early result from the Fruit Collider? 05:39, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

The hypothesis presented in this strip has now been empirically tested by The Slow Mo Guys. 13:16, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

So apparently I'm not the only fan of The Slow Mo Guys here... Herobrine (talk) 09:25, 7 April 2018 (UTC)

A coconut with orange skin! Explodes after 12 µs (microseconds) StillNotOriginal 00:50, 21 May 2018 (UTC)

Why does the explanation say that many people " ind the high seed-to-flesh ratio offputting when eating" pomegranates, when in pomegranates the seeds are actually the tasty thing you want to eat instead of the flesh?--Lupo (talk) 17:44, 12 October 2018 (UTC)