Wait, Can Bananas Actually Conduct Electricity?

From topping ice cream to being baked into cakes, bananas add an extra flair to many recipes. But can bananas conduct electricity? It's probably not a question many have pondered while eating their banana nut muffins, but it's worth answering all the same. While bananas are unlikely to power anyone's house, it turns out that bananas are perfectly capable of conducting electricity, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.  

According to LiveScience, fruit and vegetables like bananas are ionic conductors (which contain both positive and negative charges), which means they can conduct electricity. Michael Hickner, a professor at Penn State, explained to the outlet, "Fruits and vegetables conduct electricity in the same way a salt solution will complete an electrical circuit." Fruit high in either potassium or sodium conduct electricity better than others. As many know, banana is a source of potassium, containing over 400 mgs.

Bananas aren't the only fruit or vegetable capable of being great conductors. Anything with a sufficient amount of superconductive ions would work. For example, pickles and potatoes hold many of the same qualities that make bananas good conductors. Even Vegemite was found to be a good conductor of electricity. All of this is neat to know, but you might be wondering if there are any practical applications for these edible conductors.

Inventors go bananas with these gadgets

Bananas have been the star of many absurd gadgets over the years. For instance, a group of students from Kazakhstan once used bananas to create a musical keyboard. Well, in this case, it's more of a banana board. They accomplished this by threading specific wires to the banana and connecting them to a laptop. The bananas would send signals to the laptop and play the appropriate note.

The applications for bananas in electronics get even more outlandish from there. Several inventors have created video game controllers made of almost nothing but bananas. For instance, one YouTuber beat the notoriously difficult game "Dark Souls 3" by using bananas instead of a traditional controller. Meanwhile, video game developer DaniDev also created a racing game that was specifically built for a banana steering wheel.

While all this is fun, bananas themselves are still best used as food instead of controllers and musical instruments. However, there has been some research on using banana peels as a source of biofuel. According to a study in the Royale Society of Chemistry, researchers have looked into a way to harness biomass from bananas to use as energy. It just goes to show how science can go from silly to potentially world-changing at the drop of a hat.