Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Samantha. Samantha Wonders, “Why do pop rocks pop??” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Samantha!

When Halloween rolls around each year, kids everywhere have just one thing on their minds—candy! Do you have a favorite type of candy? Maybe you love biting into a delicious peanut butter cup. Or perhaps gummy bears are more your style. Just about everyone has a candy they call their favorite!

Today’s Wonder of the Day is about a type of candy that many people enjoy. Which one are we talking about? Here’s a hint: it’s sugary, comes in a pouch, and goes Pop! when you put it in your mouth. Can you guess what it is? That’s right! We’re talking about Pop Rocks®. 

Have you ever WONDERed what makes Pop Rocks . . . well, pop? It all comes down to how they’re made. This candy contains five main ingredients: sugar, lactose, corn syrup, water, and flavoring. 

The first step in the process of making Pop Rocks is to mix all the ingredients together. Then, the mixture is heated until it starts to boil. It’s boiled until all the water evaporates. In this stage, it’s also combined with pressurized carbon dioxide. Eventually, the pressure is released. This causes the hardened candy to crumble, creating Pop Rocks. 

When you empty a pouch of Pop Rocks into your mouth, your saliva goes to work. It breaks down the candy, releasing the carbon dioxide trapped inside each small piece. That’s why they pop! Each crackle you feel and hear is a bubble of carbon dioxide escaping from the Pop Rocks as they dissolve.

Pop Rocks have long been a popular choice among children. However, some urban legends around the candy have also formed over the years. One is that eating pop rocks and drinking a soda at the same time can cause your stomach to explode. This causes some kids to question whether the candy is safe to eat.

The answer is yes. The stomach explosion story is just a myth. If you like Pop Rocks, it’s fine to eat them in moderation. There’s nothing dangerous about this candy, other than the risk of a sugar rush!

Do you like Pop Rocks? Is there another candy you prefer to find in your trick-or-treat bag? We all have our own preferences, but the fizzing pop of this candy makes it a favorite for many kids around the world.

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

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