Remember that Tootsie Pop commercial always taunting us on TV with that Owl always wanting to provide the actual number of licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop but failing and taking a bite after only a few licks?
Well, being it's the age of the internet and all the answers are out there if you seek them out, I decided to end this curiosity once and for all and find out what had been established as the official number of average licks to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop.
Oh if it was only that simple.
At least three detailed scientific studies have attempted to determine the number of licks required to reach the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop.
Apparently some mechanized licking machines from Purdue University averaged 364 licks while the University of Michigan's machine averaged a whopping 411. Purdue college student volunteers averaged 252 licks while Swarthmore Junior High School students reported a mere 144 licks.
So it could take anywhere from 144, 252, 364 to a whopping 411 licks to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop based on quite a few factors. It appears the mechanical licking machines took more licks, thoroughly enjoying the treat longer than the biological counterparts.
I'm thinking there were some factors not built into the licking machines such as volume of saliva, enzymes, lick pressure, lick distance, all things a Jr. High student does by default like the drooling little lickers they are.
It would appear that by the time you reach college age it takes an average of 108 more licks than when you're in Jr. High. Does your tongue really change that much over just those few years and how will that effect your <ahem> adult oral exams as well?
Then you have to wonder about these scientists building licking machines that didn't even come close to the human averages. They're so used to experimenting with mice and rats that perhaps it was the scale of the project threw them off their game. I'm suspecting they used actual rat tongues glued to a wheel but PETA would've raised a big fuss so who knows.
No real answers and so many new questions.