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One of the things that you can never match outside of Africa are pineapples. Probably it’s because I pay 20 cents for one but since I don’t like to think of myself as a scroungy cheap person, I insist believing that pineapples taste much better down here than they do back home. Over the last few weeks I have been working on a post titled: “things that are missing in Lira” and to the present day it has grown to a gianormous list that is far from exhaustive. So, in the best tradition of my perfectionism, I chose not to share it, yet. However, incredibly, amongst the things that are to be found in Lira are coconut milk and rum. Add pineapple and pina colada is served; delicious, dangerously delicious. It’s perhaps when I overindulged in the heavenly sweetness of the drink, feeling my brain raising higher with each and every sip, that I started wondering about the evolutionary meaning of pineapple. Think about it, all the best fruits in the world have seeds, including the ones that grow here. Mangoes do, guavas do, papayas do (far too many), watermelons do, so why not pineapple apparently? Why the hell does a bush like plant go through the trouble of growing a ten pound juicy sugary fruit? Since when does nature run charities? No, it didn’t make any sense. Big fruity seeds are deceiving tools for naive animals or, at best, just a fair tradeoff of energy for genes. In other words, they taste good cause they need to.  So are the pineapple seeds going to collapse my need of a unifying theory of nature, and more importantly, a theory that I don’t need to go through the trouble of devising entirely myself cause Darwin did it for me already? Thankfully not. It turns out that the seeds hide somewhere here and that are scattered sparsely in the fruit, deep inside of it. Guess what, fruit bats eat pineapples and with them the seeds, which then they release in flight over the ground, spreading around another generation of pineapples. So I am guessing that because the seeds are scattered all inside the fruit ad the fruit is so juicy and tempting, the bat eats without possibility to avoid the seeds because they are never in the same spot in all the pineapples and also, let’s face it, the fruit tastes too good to get picky. So the bat eats, drops, another pineapple grows… and I feel better. Amazing actually, because it turns out that fruit bats are the only animals – along with chimpanzees, guinea pigs…and humans – that do not produce vitamin C in their bodies, even though every animal needs it for survival. Why? Cause they get it from their diet. Where? From pineapples. So why did these animals stop producing vitamin C? Cause the process took away energy from other important things, which in turn made them less likely to reproduce. And why the pineapple produced juicy tempting stuff? Again to reproduce. Everything in this world is sex. Charles Darwin, I love you.

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