Most people have heard of Mexican Jumping Beans and how they are known for jumping (and I don't mean across the border), but have you ever wondered what's actually inside one? The Mexican Jumping Bean is a seed pod from the shrub Sebastiania pavoniana, and although it is referred to as the jumping bean and it does jump, it is not actually a bean at all. A YouTube channel called What's Inside takes a hands-on look and shows you close up what is actually inside this strange little marvel of nature.
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This episode of What's Inside is hosted by father of three and creator Dan, and his son Lincoln. At the start of the show, Dan explains how traveling to Mexico to hunt down a bagful of jumping beans wasn't an option so he ordered some offline. Admittedly, he was skeptical that the magical beans were legit, but sure enough, they begin to move!
To stimulate the biggest response out of the beans possible, the pair uses some high-powered lamps to heat the beans and seemingly like magic, they begin popping in a chorus of movement much like popcorn kernels in a microwave. So now to the really interesting part, what's actually inside them that is making them move? Dan begins cutting the hard brown layer on the outside and inside appears to be hollow. But as he breaks it open further, a small worm appears. Well, actually it's not a worm, it's a larva of a moth that is native to Mexico known as Cydia deshaisiana.
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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">What's Inside | YouTube</span>
The odd jumping movement the "beans" have been named for is actually because the larva spasms as it attempts to roll the seed to a cooler environment. By rolling the seed pod to a cooler environment, the larva ensures it's survival. If it were to get too hot, the larva would become dehydrated and consequently die. The larva may live for months inside the bean with varying periods of dormancy. If the larva lives long enough to reach the pupal stage and then spring, it will force itself out of the bean through a round trap door.
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