2,500 Licks Gets You to Center of Tootsie Pop Say Scientists

Posted on February 11, 2015

Tootsie Pops

Researchers from the New York University and Florida State University say they have identified the complex process where materials are dissolved by water currents. They conducted experiments that included immersing hard candy in a water tunnel. This led them to develop a theory for how water flows dissolve materials, such as hard candy.

The researchers say they found their work helps answer the questions of how many licks it takes to get to the center of a lollipop and a Tootsie Pop. The researchers calculated that it will take about 1,000 licks to get to the center of a lollipop. According to the New York Post, the researchers also found that it takes about 2,500 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.

This is considerably more licks than determined by previous studies. Purdue University and University of Michigan each created licking machines in separate studies to determine how long it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. Purdue's machine took 364 licks on average to get to the center and the University of Michigan's machine took 411 licks. Purdue also had human volunteers lick Tootsie Pops to see how long it took them to get to the center. It took them 252 licks on average.

A research paper on the latest study was published here in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics. In an old Tootsie Roll commercial, Mr. Cow, Mr. Fox, Mr. Turtle and Mr. Owl weigh in on the "How Many Licks" question. Mr. Owl took three licks before biting into the Tootsie Pop. Take a look:

Image: Tootsie Roll, Inc.