Bananas Nature of Banana Skins

24 June, 2004 at 15:10 Leave a comment

Was just eating a banana and had some struggle taking its skin off as it was all soft and squishy. Someone in my family likes it that way. Evaru abba? Anyway, it just made me wonder of what is the purpose of the banana skin? If one thinks really hard, it does not seem to have any obvious pupose except than increasing our garbage[1]. What function does the skin of a banana or an orange or an almond serve I wonder. Especially those of almonds and cashews. They are tiny little nuts surrounded by a loads of fibrous material. Reminds me of the words from Truman’s Show movie – “that is a whole lot of world for one single person”. Well, one may ask what is the purpose of the petals in a flower? It is for attracting insects for pollination I suppose. One could also ask of why do olives and other edible-fibre things have the flesh? I suppose it is for attracting animals and to make them eat and then drop the seeds off. What a wonderful thing nature is! And all that guy Darwin thought of was random variations. It is like Newton coming up with the law of gravity, only that he did not know how and why it worked. I mean, why should two bodies of any mass attract each other with whatever force? What is the point? Unless of course, our theory that there are invisible strings connecting one body to another is proven true (in another parallel universe, perhaps). Einstein said that matter warps space but why should it? Reminds me of the Richard Feynman quote “it is like God is playing some kind of a chess game and we keep guessing the rules from the moves that he makes”. All this is fine but there is no reference with whom God is playing. Maybe it is single-player game[F] or like the Hindu mythology, this is a multi-player game with Brahma, Vishn and Shiva[M]. Coming back to biology. So, the flesh actually serves a luring function much like the petals.

Maybe, this thread answers the apples and oranges and cashews scenario (I should seriously consider becoming a naturalist and go on my own “Beagle”[2]) but it still does not answer the main question of the purpose of banana skin except (in a more optimistic way) making bananas a bit unperishable and uncontaminated while in transit and thus making Fairtrade[3] of bananas possible today making little fortunes for many farmers and traders. Speaking of which, bananas always remind me of the train journey to Trivandrum and all the stops in between with the freshly fried banana chips in coconut oil smells and sights at almost every railway stop in Kerala. This is bananas… enough of nostalgia, we are on a sientific quest here. Wait, it does not answer the oranges skin. It still makes it difficult for animals to get at the flesh and the skin is bitter as well. Maybe it is a symbiotic thing as in some animals liking the skin that way (specificity) but in a natural world, what really happens to these oranges and bananas is that they just fall off the branch. And it still does not explain how the plants and animals became symbiotic in the first place – like the 2-inch-curvy beaked hummingbird and the corresponding plant[4]. So, the banana skin should have some purpose – a greater purpose than what my feeble intellect can comprehend right now. And then there is this thing about the extinction of the banana plant due to hi-breeding[5] or something. A skin, a skin, a blog post for a skin…


Entry filed under: Life-Theories.

Secret Lives of Enviable People Yet Another Day…

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