25 Amazing Facts About Apples That Will Fascinate You!

25 Amazing Facts About Apples

Sprawling apple orchards, their boughs laden with ruby and sage-hued fruits ripe for the picking, are a familiar autumnal sight for many of us. In fact, the apple is the most widely produced deciduous tree fruit in the world. But the apple offers us much more than just a healthy snack or a refreshing drink. From the poisoned apples of fairytales and folklore to religious iconography and the discovery of gravity, apples certainly have a weird and wonderful history, extending far beyond the orchards. Here are 25 apple-solutley amazing facts about apples!

25 Interesting Facts About Apples

25 Interesting Facts About Apples
  1. Apples are the edible, seed-bearing fruit produced by the deciduous apple tree (Malus domestica). The genus, Malus, belongs to the Rose family (Rosaceae), which contains other fruit-bearing trees such as cherries, plums, and almonds.
  2. There are more than 7,500 different varieties of apple grown all across the world. That’s the widest variety of any fruit! 
  3. Malus sieversii is the oldest known ancestor of the apple tree. They originated in Central Asia, where the variety still grows in the wild today. There is archaeological evidence suggesting that Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers in Kazakhstan foraged wild crab apples about 750,000 years ago! Neolithic farmers in Asia began cultivating apples for food as early as 6,500 BC. After its domestication in Asia, apples were traded along the Silk Road, which is how they became introduced to Europe. apple facts
  4. Apples make up over half of all the world’s deciduous fruit tree production. In 2017, just over 87 million tonnes of apples were produced globally! Despite such massive amounts of apple production, the majority of apples are still picked by hand! 
  5. Apple seeds contain amygdalin, which is composed of sugar and cyanide, which can be fatal if ingested. The cyanide is released if the seeds are crushed or ground up by your teeth. Fortunately, though, the concentration of amygdalin in apple seeds is not high enough to kill most humans. The average person would need to eat hundreds, if not thousands, of apple seeds to be at serious risk of cyanide poisoning. 
  6. The fear of apples and apple trees is known as Malusdomesticaphobia. 
  7. Apples are rich in fibre and antioxidants. Eating apples regularly has been shown to lower the risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer! They also help to promote bone health by minimising the amount of calcium that the body naturally loses. Even the peel of an apple is jam-packed with nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and K. Maybe an apple a day really does keep the Doctor away? 
  8. The heaviest apple ever grown weighed in at a mammoth 4 lb 1 oz! It was grown by an apple farmer in Japan in 2005.  
  9. ‘Johnny Appleseed’ (real name John Chapman) was a legendary missionary who traveled barefoot across America in the 18th and 19th centuries. He moved from state to state, planting apple seeds along the way, and is responsible for introducing the first apple orchards to much of America. 
  10. 25% of an apple’s volume is air! This means that they can float because they are less dense than water, and that is why we can use them to play traditional apple bobbing games. 
  11. To celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, apples are traditionally dipped in honey and eaten with sweetbreads. This is thought to usher in a ‘sweet’ year to come. fascinating facts about apples
  12. In Chinese Mandarin, the word for ‘apple’ is Ping (), which sounds very similar to the word for ‘peace’. Apples are thus associated with peace in Chinese culture and are often given as gifts, particularly on Christmas Eve. These apples, known as ‘peace apples’ (平安果), are not intended for eating and instead are often highly decorative and beautifully wrapped and are thought to bring peace to the recipient. 
  13. Apple cider is an alcoholic drink produced by fermenting apples. First recorded as being brewed by the Celts of Britain during the Roman occupation in around 55BC, Britons now consume more cider each year than the rest of the world combined! 
  14. In 14th Century Europe, babies were often baptised in apple cider, since it was generally cleaner and more sanitary than water. At that time, water carried so much bacteria that it could often be deadly! 
  15. In Southern England, where cider production is hugely popular, there is a tradition known as ‘apple wassailing’. On the 17th of January each year, men will enter the orchards and lay slices of bread on the ground around the apple tree trucks, before pouring cider over the roots. The ceremony is said to bless the orchard, warding off bad spirits and ensuring a successful harvest for the coming year’s cider apples. The first recorded apple wassail was in 1585, and the tradition continues to this day. 
  16. The technology giant Apple apparently got its name because its founder, Steve Jobs, really loved apples. He often followed ‘fruitarian’ diets, where he ate nothing but fruit. On one of these diets, he visited an apple farm which is apparently where he decided on the company name, as he thought it sounded “fun, spirited and not intimidating”. apples facts
  17. Supposedly, an apple was responsible for Isaac Newton first developing his theory of gravity. The legend goes that a young Newton was resting under an apple tree when an apple fell from a branch, landing on his head. This caused him to consider why objects always fell straight down, and not sideways or upwards. The apple tree in question still stands today at Woolsthorpe Manor in Cambridge, England.
  18. Apple trees may be best known for their fruit, but they also produce beautiful blossoms of pink and white flowers during the springtime.
  19. Standard-sized apple trees can reach between 20 to 30 feet tall. Healthy apple trees can usually live for between 30 – 50 years, but some have been known to far exceed 100 years of age. The oldest known apple tree is thought to have reached 194 years old!
  20. Apples must cross-pollinate in order to reproduce, meaning each apple tree grown from a seed is totally unique. To create clones of a specific apple variety with desired characteristics, a section of the original tree’s limbs must be fused or grafted onto another tree or rootstock, where a clone of the parent tree will eventually grow. 
  21. Throughout human history, many cultures and religions have placed great symbolic and spiritual importance on the apple. In Norse mythology, the apple symbolises eternal youth and fertility. In Ancient Greek mythology, the apple signified love. Throwing an apple at someone was seen as an expression of adoration, and if the recipient caught the apple, it meant that they accepted that love. In Celtic mythology, both the apple trees and their fruits were revered, thought to symbolise immortality. Druid wands were carved from the wood of apple trees because it was believed to contain magical powers. 
  22. In Christianity, apples are highly symbolic of several, often contradictory meanings. Supposedly, the forbidden fruit eaten from the Tree of Knowledge by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden was an apple. After eating the apple, Adam and Eve became wise, so the apple is often used to signify wisdom or intelligence. But it also became associated with sin, temptation, and the fall of man, as the fruit was forbidden. Because of their religious symbolism, apples feature prominently in religious medieval and renaissance art and iconography, although the Bible never specifically states that the fruit was even an apple! apple fact
  23. The Adam’s Apple, a prominent lump made by the larynx on some men’s throats, is so-called because whilst taking a bite from the forbidden fruit, Adam supposedly got a piece of the apple stuck in his throat. 
  24. In the Disney film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Snow White bites into an apple that has been poisoned by the evil witch, causing her to fall into a deep sleep which can only be broken by Prince Charming’s kiss. This is probably a popular culture reference to the sinful associations of the apple in Christianity, combined with the cyanide content in the seeds, which are poisonous to humans. 
  25. Second American President, John Adams, loved hard apple cider so much that he drank a tankard of the stuff each day before breakfast, often writing long letters to friends rambling about his obsession with the alcoholic drink, and detailing the many health benefits of cider. He may have been right, as he lived to be 91 years of age! 
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Today an ordinary feature of family fruit bowls, throughout history the apple has made an extraordinary journey from the ancient trade routes along the Silk Road, to lending its name to futuristic technology giants. Apples may be a modest fruit but they have made an enormous impact on everything from Celtic sorcery to cancer prevention. Baptisms by cider might have faded into obscurity, but as one of the most popular fruits in the world, apples certainly remain a core feature of millions of our daily lives and diets. In the words of the 19th Century American naturalist, Henry David Thoreau, “Surely, the apple is the noblest of fruits”. 


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Emily Grice

Emily Grice

Em Grice is a content writer specialising in horticulture and botany who combines her respect for the natural world with her love for the written word. A regular contributor - with a First Class Honours BA in Politics and Sociology and MA in History - to a range of international publications and organisations, she is most at peace when pottering in her own little garden in the north of England

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