Imagine this: You're out in the Minnesota wilderness, shivering in -10 degree temperatures. You must make a shelter or perish in the cold. Timberwolves start howling in the distance. Or maybe they're moose, which is bad, because you have a deathly fear of moose.
There are plenty of sturdy branches lying around for you to fashion into some kind of lean-to. Randomly enough, you happen to have brought a couple boxes of nails on this expedition. But no hammer. Maybe you should use your forehead to whack those nails instead....
But that didn't work out too well the last time this happened. Thinking twice, you recall that you packed a banana in your survival kit. Pulling out the dolphin-shaped golden fruit, you note that the terrible cold of the American North has frozen it to the hardness of diamond. Could you use this seedless wonder to hammer those nails?
As it happens, yes! Multiple amateur-video experiments have confirmed the validity of the banana hammer. Here, for instance, is a test from Minnesota this past January:
The banana hammer is as common as a wrench in the toolboxes of many Alaskans. Here's a display of its usefulness from a man in Fairbanks, Alaska, who left the fruit outside overnight in -35 to -40 degree cold:
And finally, this video from Baicheng in frigid northeast China shows that the banana hammer is a universal tool understood worldwide. Says the hammer wielder: "Result says, banana can be hardened to hit nail. By the way, I was able to eat banana after thawed."
It's only a matter of time before Craftsman gets in on the game and starts selling conjoined bunches of banana hammers. But how many folks in the U.S. will be able to deploy this unique instrument in the winter of 2011 - 2012? Well, it's likely to snow in the central Rockies today, according to the National Weather Service, so mountain climbers can definitely drive anchors into the ice with these stony fruits.
If you're ever curious whether the weather is optimal for forging a frozen banana, the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center has a nifty page devoted to yesterday's highest and lowest temperatures across the U.S. Check it out: While it was 82 in Boca Raton, Fla., on Monday, the mercury dropped to -11 degrees in West Yellowstone, Mont. That's good banana-hammer weather, right there.