Mexican jumping bean video

I enjoyed this short, creative BBC video that tells the story of the Mexican jumping bean. (Via Bits and Pieces)


  1. I remember having these beans in the Fifties. I didn’t know they were still being sold. It seems strange that importing these moth larvae is legal. How long a shelf life could they have? How do they determine if a particular bean will jump? Candling?

  2. There is a rigorous testing ground at the Mexican border. Apparently, the Mexican Bean Authority will not let sub-par beans out of the country. The actual testing is closely guarded in a secret facility.

  3. I bought a small box (six or seven beans) last year. Eventually the beans stopped “jumping” as the larvae metamorphosed, and a few weeks later tiny grey moths started emerging, spread out over the course of a month or so.

    Must’ve been confusing for them, awakening in the wrong environment, without the plants they are so dependant upon for nourishment.

    They flew away, to make their lives as best they could.

  4. “Witchetty Grubs
    Keys : Australian Australia Aussie Pacific Australian Oz
    Ingredients :

    4 lrg witchetty grubs

    Method :

    * The reason this recipe is for only one serving is that it is almost impossible to find anyone else to eat them with you.
    * First catch your witchetty grubs.
    * 1. Raw: Hold the live grub by the head, lower into the mouth, bite off at the neck and start chewing. Tastes like cream.
    * 2. Cooked: Throw them into the coals of the campfire and lightly roast till the skin is crisp like a sausage skin. Tastes like sweet scrambled eggs.
    * Tip:
    If eating them raw, it’s important to start chewing straight away because it can be a bit disconcerting to have the grub wriggling inside your mouth for any length of time.”

  5. I remember playing with some as a child, visiting family in Rosarito. They’re neat. When they stopped jumping, I figured some horrible creature was bound to emerge, so I didn’t hang on to them.

  6. The time-lapse of them seeking shade is really remarkable.

    Idea for a painting:

    Dip a batch of jumping beans in a paint or ink that won’t dry immediately and won’t hinder their movement much, then distribute them randomly on a canvas.

    Position your light and shadows across the canvas to artistic effect. Turn the lights on and let them go.

    Remove the beans when they’ve found the shadows.

    Repeat with a different color ink, and a different set of shadows.

    I may have to try this! …(off to hunt wholesale jumping beans on the internet) =D

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