Why do banana skins get thinner as the fruit ripens?

Wednesday 22nd July 2009
Submitted by Luis Villazon
Kirsty Nesbitt, Waterlooville

The skin of an unripe banana is full of water. Although the skin is quite watertight on the outside, water is gradually lost from the skin by osmosis to the fruit inside as the banana ripens. This causes the skin cells to wilt and collapse, making the overall skin thinner and more pliable. This is probably an adaptation to make the
fruit easier to eat when it is ripe, thereby encouraging seed dispersion.

Are food cravings ever targeted at the nutrients we actually need?
previous qanda Article
Could a human live on water and supplement tablets?
next qanda Article
Q&A Tabs

Phlegm is the mucous secretion of the respiratory passages. The cilia cells that line these passages are continually driving the phlegm upward to the throat, where it triggers the swallow reflex...

Lobsters and other shellfish have harmful bacteria naturally present in their flesh. Once the lobster is dead, these bacteria can rapidly multiply and release toxins that may not be destroyed by...

Humans looked essentially the same as they do today 10,000 years ago, with minor differences in height and build
due to differences in diet and lifestyle. But in the next 10 millennia, we...

Yes, vehicles create a region of relatively low-pressure air behind them, and it is indeed possible to reduce fuel consumption by getting into this ‘slip-stream’. According to research...

A combination of the words ‘smoke’ and ‘fog’, the term emerged around a century ago to describe the dense, choking mix of gases and soot that was becoming common in big...

All female mammals have a clitoris, the sole purpose of which is to react to sexual stimulation, and presumably this stimulation has evolved to be pleasurable for most species. But establishing...

To create a sound, we have to set matter - whether it's a gas like air, a liquid or even a solid material - in regular motion, creating a wave of specific frequencies, which we hear as a sound of...

Mirrors don’t reverse left and right either – that’s just our interpretation of what happens. Your reflection in the mirror is actually reversed front to back – if you have...

Discovered by an American student named Gary Flandro in the mid-1960s, the slingshot manoeuvre usually involves spacecraft briefly 'coat-tailing' a planet orbiting the Sun, extracting some of the...

The ice disappears because the wind blows away water molecules that have evaporated or 'sublimed' from the ice, so the ice slowly shrinks in size. The molecules that escape are those with the...