Thanks to a recent Kinja deal, the office is filled with Haribo Gummi Bears. Based on a loose survey, I know of at least 40 pounds of bears in the vicinity, minus around 2-3 pounds because that's how many I think I've eaten.

Before we start, I should make a note: I will use the "gummy" spelling as opposed to the "Gummi" spelling because science, at least in my world, doesn't care about brands and I will not be held hostage to Haribo's idiot spelling. I have no other comment on brands at this time.


The Experiment

If you've ever eaten 2-3 pounds of gummy bears, you might have wondered what the fuck is going on inside your body. I decided to find out after one final "I can't take these bears anymore" stomachache, but instead of using stomach juices or acids or goo or whatever to test what was going on in my tummy, I used water because water is less gross. So this is an experiment about what happens to gummy bears inside your stomach, if your stomach was filled with 100% New York City tap water.

My Credentials

I got a 4 on the AP Biology test in 1999 and I don't even know if Biology was even real then. It's also possible I did not get a 4, and I only remember getting one. I am certain I got a 5 on the AP Spanish test though. Hola! Me encantan las ciencias.


Phase One: Bears Look Pretty Swimming


Aren't they nice? According to the bag, these bears were imported by Haribo of America, Inc. in Baltimore. They are a product of Turkey. This is a picture of multi-colored Turkish bears—who lived for a brief time in Baltimore—swimming. They're not as famous as Baltimore's other famous swimmer, Michael Phelps, but their arms are much shorter.

Phase One (Sideview): They're So Cute


See their cute little paws reaching up toward the sky asking for help? Soon those paws will be broken off by coworkers sticking their fingers in a cup of water trying to feel wet bears.

Phase Two: 8 Hours Later, the Bears Start Bubbling and Feeling Weird


The bears were noticeably bigger at this point and if you reached in to touch them, which we should not have done, they felt weird. So weird. Almost obscene? Inexplicably gross. Lesson learned: don't touch the bears during phase two, but if you do, touch the clear one because you won't notice his missing limbs as much.

Phase Three: 24 Hours Later Bears Look Bloated and Mushy


I was out of the office and this photo was sent to me along with reports of people aggressively fingering the bears. "They feel like nothing," someone told me. "I think I keep breaking off some tips of their paws," Slacked another coworker who couldn't keep his hands off. Just rolling his chair over, sticking his finger in the glass, rolling back to his desk, rolling over again, it was fucking weird.

The bears, growing together into one bloated, horrifying bear mass were left to tread water over the weekend with this beautiful and important message on top of their glass:


Did the note on top of their glass impact their growth? Who knows and who cares when you have a note with such beautiful handwriting.

Phase Four: 4 Days Later, Emptied on a Plate


On Monday morning, I drained the water from the bear glass and then birthed each one out onto a paper towel. It reminded me a lot of this video which I've seen multiple times, and you might enjoy it too if your life is charmingly sad. After staring at the birthed bears on the paper towel, I decided to move them to a plate for better pictures. I fear this move damaged the already-questionable structural integrity of the bears. But the plate does look better than a paper towel, so there's that.

Phase Four: 4 Days Later, Emptied on a Plate, Close Comparison


Un-soaked red bear next to soaked red bear. I chose the red bear because red tastes the best.

Phase Four: Emptied on a Plate, Overall Comparison


The yellow blob stayed the smallest and the green and red blobs still looked the most like bears, especially if we're pretending that gummy bears actually look like bears to begin with.

Conclusions: The red, green, and yellow bears are the sturdiest. The artificial colors (Yellow 5, Red 40, and Blue 1) probably had something to do with this. Do I know if that's the case for sure? No. But the bears with the most dye (a scientifically sound hypothesis based on the power of sight) seemed to really be hanging on.

I've also concluded eating gummies in mass quantities is shameful and probably not healthy and I will limit my future consumption of gummy candies to less than a pound a week. Thank you, the end.

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