Now don’t we all love chewing gum? Be it to relieve stress and tension or be it just an annoying habit to others, chewing gum is a part of almost everyone’s daily life. Chewing gum goes back to the ancient era. The simple yet amazing 5000 odd year old tar that was extracted from the bark of trees was discovered by an intelligent British student who was digging in Finland.
This phenomenal “gum” had a distinctive purpose back in the day. It was either used to cure mouth infections or just to glue and fix broken pots or other items together. But little did we know that there are some weird yet true facts about chewing this “gum” and which would definitely have you scratching your head.
The 10 Most Bizarre Tales of Chewing Gum:
10. The law that banned chewing gum
As most of us may know, chewing gum has been strictly banned in Singapore for many years, for some of you that have just discovered this, do not chew or litter the streets of Singapore as it could cost you $500 as a fine. But thanks to the wonder of Wrigley Jr, which is a famous chewing gum manufacturer and the famous congressman Mr. P. Crane, the ban was lifted 12 years after it was placed, in 2004.
This was not a complete lift, as you could now buy chewing gum only with a prescription from a certified doctor. And not only that, the gum must have health benefits. So a special brand of this same company mentioned that their product contained calcium which helps strengthen our tooth enamel. So much for that law!
9. A video game played by chewing gum!
Out of all the strangest video games I have ever come across, this one would most definitely be the weirdest. Where we have remote controls to control our characters, this game needs you to chew gum. In the year 2013, the world of Video games was introduced to this new game called Gumulon, with the main character that is a green slug wearing a helmet, known as Ace.
In order to control Ace, there are a number of different ways to chew. The faster and better you move your jaws, the safer your character is from getting eaten by the evil monster. So it’s all up to how well your jaws work!
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8. Getting arrested for chewing gum?
There are been many different reasons for which a number of NFL players have been arrested over the years. Dwyer, O.J Simpson, Vicks etc, were all charged with devious crimes that they committed. However one of the most bizarre of these crimes was this, committed by Jacksonville Jaguars famous quarterback Dwayne Gratz.
In November, this year, he was caught trying to pay for items at a store, not with money but with his chewing gum! He argued with the store keeper and did not want to leave, which caused him to get arrested for trespassing as well as intoxication. How strange is that?
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7. Stealing chewing gum
In England, in the year 2012, there were a number of chewing gum thefts that took place. Even though it sounds as strange as ever, the largest robbery took place in a supermarket in the town of Brough. A whooping 850 pounds of gum was stolen from the store by a gang who were from Romania.
It is believed that in Romania, as you can see here, the vendors use chewing gum as change to pay their customers. They steal this fruity treat to use as currency! However the largest theft of them all was a 1000 pound robbery in the famous Asda store in the town of Grantham!
6. Chewing gum introduced by a Mexican General who fought at the Alamo
Some of us may know the famous Mexican General Antonio de Lopez de Santa Anna who was the leader at the popular Alamo attack. But it is not just this that he is remembered for. He introduced chewing gum to the people of his society at the time. In the year 1836, the general was captured and imprisoned by a man called Sam Houston.
During this time, he chewed on chicle to help keep his nerves calm. Chicle was a dried sap that was found in the jungle. After he was let out, he carried this chicle with him all the way back to New York where he chewed it in front of a famous inventor Thomas Adams. Adams, on the disappearance of the general, mixed this substance in hot water, created small balls and sold it at a local drug shop.
The gum was tasteless at the time but the people loved it. And because of Santa Anna, Adams was considered as the father of chewing gum! You won’t find this in your history books!
5. The history of Aviation with a little help from some chewing gum
If it weren’t for chewing gum, Charles Lindbergh would not have accomplished what he did in 1927. This famous aviator was the first person to make it through a non-stop flight from New York to Paris. During this journey there were a number of barriers that he faced, from lack of sleep, to bad weather, he even lost contact with the rest of the world for over 15 hours.
Another trouble that he was faced with was that his compass was too high and he was unable to read it while flying. But with the help of chewing gum, he was able to stick on a ladies mirror to help him check the compass. Thanks to this gum, he was able to fly over 33 hours nonstop!
4. A student that passed away because of a gum explosion
In the year 2009, Vladimir Likhonos who was just 25 years old and a student of chemistry lost his life. His parents described that his death came with a loud pop sound. On reaching his room where he lay, they mentioned that the lower half of his face was completely disfigured because the gum had exploded, taking off his jaw completely.
On carrying out certain tests, the results stated that there was a chemical substance that was not a part of the gum and realized that Vladimir was dipping his gum into citric acid but that day dipped it into the wrong substance which caused the explosion. Since the two powders were very similar anyone could have made that mistake.
3. The famous actor who survived on just tea and chewing gum
We all know the famous superstar Jake Gyllenhaal, but did we notice in the film Nightcrawler he had lost a considerable amount of weight? At a famous film festival in Toronto, it was revealed that Jake had lost all this weight because he was living on just tea and chewing gum, yes that’s right. The gum was elaborately flavored to help trick his mind thinking he was eating a full meal, and alongside this he would sip on some 1 calorie tea. After you watch the film, you would realize why he went through such measures!
2. A $14000 bid for a chewed piece of gum
Some fans are crazy but then there are some that go over the top and they would do just about anything to get a hold of “a piece” of their favorite celebrity. In 2004, on EBay, it was found that a discarded and chewed piece of gum of the famous Britney Spears ended on a surprising bid of $14,000. The original auctions were not as high and there was no certificate of authenticity either.
The listing showed a picture of the gum and a copy of the concert ticket from the exact place where it was found. Strange but true, this made a great article. It is said that the so called winning bid of $14,000 was pushed up to that level by a person who bid against himself just to hype up the product.
1. Chewing gum developed by the Pentagon
Talk about putting your money where your mouth is! It was reported that the pentagon was working on a special chewing gum for the Army known as the “Combat Gum”. It would be used to help soldiers deal with their dental problems and help in saving $100 million in services.
The soldiers would chew on it to kill and get rid of bacteria and remove dental issues. It would also fight plaque and provide the benefits of sugar-free gum. This amazing gum has passed its first phase of testing and after one more year of going through some more tests it will be introduced to the troops!