Do you have a favorite Skittles flavor? You might think you do—but in all actuality, it turns out every Skittle in the rainbow tastes the same. After posing a question about gummy bears, NPR‘s Ashlie Stevens stumbled across that hard fact—and not to burst your bubble, but the same is probably true for a lot of your favorite candies.
“The newsroom was split on the answer, so we conducted a highly unscientific experiment — a blind taste test. And while initially the question seemed kind of silly, several people played along and once they closed their eyes, their accuracy in differentiating the flavors majorly declined,” Stevens said of her gummy bear experiment, which tested whether or not there are really different flavors.
As for Skittles, Brandeis University neuropsychologist Don Katz says “The Skittles people, being much smarter than most of us, recognized that it is cheaper to make things smell and look different than it is to make them actually taste different…so, Skittles have different fragrances and different colors—but they all taste exactly the same.”
How is this possible, you ask? According to the article, “This works because our brains are used to processing certain sensory cues together. For example, our brains associate the color yellow, a lemon smell and a slightly acidic taste with each other. When you’re offered two of these three sensory cues, your brain will fill in the blanks.”
Of course, people aren’t happy with their newfound knowledge:
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Skittles: Are You Really Tasting The Rainbow, Or Is Your Mind Just Messing With You? was originally published on globalgrind.com