I know many of you are running around frantically trying to find last minute gifts and creative stocking stuffers. I have an idea for you. They are small, infinitely entertaining, and educational. The best part about this tiny gift is its price, $0.99. Yes that says ninety nine cents.
Are you ready for it? The best stocking stuffer this Christmas is Mexican Jumping Beans! (Imagine me standing up, raising my arms and saying "tada"). Your reactions to this revolutionary news is varied. Some of you are instantly nostalgic thinking about all the fun you had playing with jumping beans, your thinking "I haven't seen those in years." Some of you proclaim, "What those are real?" Others of you are puzzling, "Jumping beans, I wonder how they work?" And you seasoned moms are making a face at your screen, "Don't they have bugs in them or something?" Here is the skinny on jumping beans.
Jumping beans are actually seeds and no it is not derogatory to call them Mexican because the shrub they come from grows in the Northern deserts in Mexico. The shrub's genus is Sebastiania, and is commonly called the jumping bean tree or in Spanish arbol de los frijoles saltarines. A tiny grey moth lays it's eggs inside the seed. When the larvae hatches it eats away at the inside of the seed making a nice little nest for itself. Eventually, it spins for itself a cocoon, and turns into a moth. The moth crawls its way out of the seed and flies off to live its little moth life.
This still does not tell you why they jump. You know when you are at the beach and it is a particularly warm day. The sun is perfect for turning your pasty flesh into tanned perfection. You get off of your beach chair and step out into the sand. The scalding grains mold around your feet. You yelp "hot hot hot hot" and jump doing a funny hot sand dance. Well this is exactly what happens to the jumping bean. The seed falls off the tree and may lay for a while in the shade, but as the sun moves the jumping bean gets very hot on the sand so the larvae jumps, seeking cooling shade.
Now all of your questions are answered. It is time to hurry out to the airport so you too can put jumping beans in your child's stocking this Christmas. You can put them in yours too, don't worry we won't judge you.
For instructions on care and maintenance visit wikipedia.com for all of your jumping beans needs.