Debunking The Myth Of The Everlasting Twinkie : Short Wave Happy Hallo-Week! Today we have the story of Twinkies that were left alone for eight years. One grew a moldy spot and another shriveled up in its packaging, almost like a mummy. NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce explains how two scientists unraveled the mystery of the mummified and moldy snack cakes.
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The Mystery Of The Mummified Twinkie

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The Mystery Of The Mummified Twinkie

The Mystery Of The Mummified Twinkie

The Mystery Of The Mummified Twinkie

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  • Transcript

A box of Twinkies sat in Colin Purrington's basement for eight years, until just a few weeks ago. Two West Virginia University scientists are studying the fungi growing on them. Matt Kasson hide caption

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Matt Kasson

A box of Twinkies sat in Colin Purrington's basement for eight years, until just a few weeks ago. Two West Virginia University scientists are studying the fungi growing on them.

Matt Kasson

A box of Twinkies, left alone for eight years, held some surprises for Colin Purrington. Upon having a sugar craving, combined with being "just so bored, with the pandemic," Purrington opened the box a few weeks ago.

Like many people, Purrington believed Twinkies are basically immortal, although the official shelf life is 45 days. He removed a Twinkie from the box, unwrapped it — it looked fine — and took a bite. Then he retched. And thus the illusion was crushed, but some cool science lay ahead.

NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce talked to Purrington and explains to Short Wave how two scientists got involved and started unraveling the mystery of the mummified Twinkie.

To read more of the story and see more pictures, check out Nell's reporting here.

This episode was produced by Brent Baughman and Thomas Lu. It was edited by Gisele Grayson. Ariela Zebede checked the facts.