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Otters Oddities

Okokok....imagine in your head, the music from Fantasia, where Mickey is commanding all the brooms carrying water in buckets. Are you imagining it? Isn’t it great?

Yes. I am aware that the orchestral score I am referring to is titled ‘The Sorcerers Apprentice’. My way was funnier.


But, unfortunately, after writing that, I went to youtube to verify that was the actual music I was picturing in my mind. And that led to some vkgoeswild and 2cellos. And that meant time wasted listening to good music.

Oh well. Time not wasted is time that should have been wasted. Or something like that.

But since I wasted, like, an hour and a half watching music, (and some other crap), on youtube, I now have to speed through todays post. And that’s a shame. Because it’s Totally Trippy Theory Thursday.

And today, I am going to deviate from the norm a little bit with my theory. Be patient. You’ll understand in a little bit.


Some of you may have heard of this theory. It’s called the Gummy Bear Theory. And what most of you have heard about it, or read, came in the form of a lot of reviews of Haribo Sugar Free Gummy Bears.

You’ve all read them. They are all about how eating them causes explosive gastric evacuations. (look, I already did a post this week about diarrhea, so I’m going with explosive gastric evacuations, or EGE’s).


Now, we’re all aware of the comedians on Amazon who love to have fun with the reviews. There’s even books compiling the best ones. (um...I might have them on my Kindle, why?). And the first time you read about theEGE’s, you probably chalked them up to Amazons Amateur Comedy Hour.

But the thing is, they kept coming. More and more were being posted on a daily basis. All describing EGE’s to some extent. Clearly this was a case of a joke taken so far it’s not funny anymore.


But people started thinking, was there actually something to it? Could sugar free gummy bears really cause EGE’s? Was there something sinister going on here? Was this a resurgence of some fiendish experiment Joseph Mengele concocted in the 1940’s? Does anyone besides me remember the TV show SOAP?

People started conducting experiments. They would eat a handful of sugar free gummy bears and wait. Nothing would happen, so they would eat more. Still nothing would happen, so they ate even more. And then....something happened. These people who thought it would make for a funny Saturday night of drinking to test the gummy bear theory found themselves experiencing EGE’s. Innocent people started evacuating their gastric systems explosively.


But this was just a coincidence, right? There couldn’t be any actual correlation between sugar free gummy bears and EGE’s.This was just some people messing with Amazons reviews and others playing along. How could a gummy bear cause an EGE?

Actual doctors decided to look into it. And one of the things they found was the sweetener used in the sugar free gummy bears was a little chemical called Lycasin.


Lycasin is a sweetener that is commonly used in food stuffs targeted for those trying to lose weight, or who are diabetic. Because, unlike sugars, lycasin doesn’t get absorbed by the digestive tract. This is especially good for diabetics. They can have their sweets fix, but not have to worry about a spike in blood sugars.

When the doctors started looking into lycasin though, they noticed that everywhere but America required foods that contained lycasin to post it clearly ion the label. Why would that be? Virtually every other country in the world requires a warning that you’re about to consume lycasin. So they looked into it and guess what they discovered?


It seems that lycasin, because it doesn’t get absorbed, creates an osmotic effect in the guts. That means it unabsorbed lycasin draws water out of the system to help it pass. Eat enough lycasin, and enough liquid is drawn into your digestive tract which......causes EGE’s.

The amount of lycasin it takes to cause an EGE is thought to be about 100 mgs. That would be quite a lot of gummy bears you’d have to eat. But some people are more sensitive to lycasin than others. For some, as few as 10 bears will cause an EGE. Now, imagine you’re one of those sensitive people and you bought a bag of sugar free gummy bears to eat on your flight from New York to Berlin. Guess what happens about the time the pilots turn off the seat belt sign?


It’s because some people are more sensitive to lycasin that most of the world requires it to be labeled. I’ll give you three guesses as to why the US doesn’t require the same labels, and the first two guesses don’t count.

So, now you know why I said this was not a normal theory. This one, which seemed like it started as a joke, actually turns out to be 100% true.


Whoda thunk it? And, if you’re interested, Amazon still sells them by the 5 pound bag.

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