You Probably Didn't Know Vegemite Can Conduct Electricity

You probably don't even know what Vegemite is, and unless you're old enough to remember those original MTV darlings, Men At Work, or their 1980's mega hit, "Down Under," which sings of a Vegemite sandwich, you've probably never even heard of it.

Vegemite is a uniquely bitter-tasting sandwich spread, typically served up on toast, or crackers, that is a requisite repast in the Land Down Under. Many an Aussie count the spread in their list of favorite, can't-live-without, foods, Liam Hemsworth among them. It's such a staple in Australia that nine out of 10 households on the continent reportedly keep a jar in their pantry at all times (via What's Cooking America).

Made from brewer's yeast, Vegemite is the offshoot of the savory paste that our brethren across the pond are mad for, Marmite. During WWI, Marmite was difficult to come by Down Under and the Aussies just weren't having that, so they came up with their own indigenous version. Vegemite was slow to catch on, but when Vegemite was included in WWII soldiers' rations, the spread became a symbol of patriotism for the island nation, and was thus wholeheartedly adopted as the country's own sandwich spread standard.

Many years later, the beloved Australia spread was discovered as a conductor of electricity.

Will Vegemite replace the potato as a power source?

Though Vegemite hasn't caught on as a pantry staple stateside, it apparently has other uses that may suit our needs, energy consumers that we are: It can conduct electricity. According to Popular Mechanics, a professor at the University of Wollongong (wouldn't that be a great graduate certificate on the wall?) discovered that, because of its iron and water composition, the substance can actually conduct electricity. The proverbial lightbulb lit up for him, in terms of energy conductivity, when he connected the substance, via two wires, and formed a circuit, in the case of this experiment connected to, you guessed it, a small lightbulb.

Well, the possibilities here are, of course, endless. Two jars of Vegemite, two wires, and something that requires electric power (a computer perhaps?) and a storm surge becomes a mere nuisance, right?

Of course, Vegemite isn't the only food that can conduct electricity. Sciencing features a long list of energy-conducting foods, including citrus fruits, pickles, and of course, the perennial science project favorite, the potato. And while Vegemite is not yet an American staple, the overwhelming majority of Australians who consider it a must-have are apparently well-equipped to produce power when their main power source poops out.