You’re probably familiar with the little pits and indents on a potato’s surface we typically refer to as “eyes.” But have you ever wondered why potatoes have eyes—or why they’re even called eyes in the first place?
They’re a curious sight: Perfectly round rings of mushrooms, growing that way all on their own. You might find them in forested areas, or you might find them on your lawn. You might even know what they’re called: “Fairy rings” —a seemingly magical name for a seemingly magical phenomenon.
There’s nothing quite like a bright green Granny Smith apple; between its delightful color and slightly tart sweetness, the fruit is lauded as much for its appearance as it is for its taste. But have you ever wondered where the Granny Smith apple gets its name? Was there ever a real “Granny Smith,” or is the apple’s moniker just a catchy marketing phrase?
Plants may not be able to do math or post on Instagram, but that doesn’t mean they can’t protect themselves in complex, or even crazy ways. From thorns to chemical cries for help, check out some of the wild ways that plants keep herbivores at bay.