Carrots in the Arts & Sciences

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Carrot Trivia - Part Two - The Arts & Sciences

Main Sections: Rock art - Cloning - Get High? - Make Antifreeze - Musicians - Laser Carrots

Mind Test - Tattoos - Outer Space - Icy Sparks - Flaming Carrot - Mysteries - Henry Ford - Campaign Monument

Trivia 1 lists the many and weird interesting facts about carrots.

Trivia 2 which gives examples of the carrot in the Arts and Sciences together with some fascinating "rock art" discovered by Brian Lee in America. Here you will also find the famous icy sparks microwave effect explained, and examples of carrot tattoos.  Carrots can make antifreeze and see if carrots could unlock the mysteries of the universe!
Were Carrots the first step in cloning?  and so much more .........

Trivia 3 concentrates on Carrots in Literature, Poetry and Quotations.

Trivia 4 starts to register the carrot in Films and Television.

Trivia 5 - Even More "one liner" trivia items!.

Fine Art works containing depictions of Carrots are now on a separate page. Click here to go there.

Rock Art -

"Carrot Men in the Rocks"

This panel is several miles south of Rangely, Colorado, in a sandstone overhang on a small wash. It is referred to as the "carrot men" site. The rock art was probably made by people of the Fremont culture (about AD 650 - 1150) and the Ute (about AD 1200 - 1881). No one has been able to positively identify the significance of the paintings, however, they were probably made to mark significant events or for religious purposes.

The Carrot Men Site is number 16 on the Rangely Rock Art Tour near Rangely, Colorado. The site is listed as Moon Canyon on the National Register of Historic Places and is considered an important resource in the work of discovering more about the early inhabitants of Western Colorado. Signs of habitation date from the Archaic Period (3000 BCE - 100 CE) up to the Ute Period (1300+ CE). More detail

The red carrot men loom largest among the images. A close examination reveals that while the main portions of the carrot men were done with red iron ore pigments other colours are present, including green, blue and black, in places like their headdresses and body areas.

These blue images (left) may have been done with azurite which is quite rare in this area. That might possibly signify trade with other people or distant travels. (photos courtesy of

carrot rock art Colorado carrot rock art Colorado

Cloning Experiments

In an interesting 1958 experiment, F.E. Steward, a biologist working in the Lab of Cell Physiology, Growth, and Development at Cornell University succeeded in growing a complete carrot plant from a fully differentiated carrot root cell.

Steward literally shook apart cells from a carrot root and placed these individual cells in a rotation tube containing cell nutrients. The cells surprisingly began to divide and grew to form tissues. Some cell masses broke from the tissues and grew their own roots. When these massed were planted in soil, they developed into complete carrot plants. Steward's results surprised biologists because at the time it was thought individual differentiated cells would not divide and grow to form complete organisms. After the failure of Robert Briggs and Thomas J. King and other scientists to clone animals from differentiated cells, Steward's results led some scientists to hold on to the belief that cloning from differentiated cells was not biologically impossible

the carrot lovers Can you get high on Carrot Seed?
Daucus has been reported to contain acetone, asarone, choline, ethanol, formic acid, HCN, isobutyric acid, limonene, malic acid, maltose, oxalic acid, palmitic acid, pyrrolidine, and quinic acid. Reviewing research on myristicin, which occurs in nutmeg, mace, black pepper, carrot seed, celery seed, and parsley, Buchanan (J. Food Safety 1: 275, 1979) noted that the psychoactive and hallucinogenic properties of mace, nutmeg, and purified myristicin have been studied.

It has been hypothesized that myristicin and elemicin can be readily modified in the body to amphetamines. Handling carrot foliage, especially wet foliage, can cause irritation and vesication. Sensitized photosensitive persons may get an exact reproduction of the leaf on the skin by placing the leaf on the skin for awhile, followed by exposure to sunshine.

Carrot Musicians and Musical Instruments

Several groups of people make and play musical instruments made from carrots. To learn more about carrot musicians visit the page in the Carrot Museum dedicated to these true artists  - here.

These include Flutenveg; Linsey Pollack; Wyldmen; Vienna Vegetable Orchestra and Heita.  ENJOY!!

Carrots in Space (1)

Yes you read it right - here is STS-43 Pilot Michael A. Baker, on the Atlantis Orbiter vehicle in 1991, seated at the forward flight deck pilots station controls, eating a free floating peanut butter and jelly sandwich while holding a carrot in his right hand.

Click on photo to see larger image.

And when they return from Outer Space, what do they ask for?   ..... Carrots:

Associated Press Writer Mike Schneider explained on Wed Apr 5, 2006:-

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida. - After more than six months in orbit, returning U.S. astronaut Bill McArthur longs for two simple pleasures: a hot cup of fresh coffee and a carrot!!!.
"Life up here is an extraordinary experience ... but we miss the richness, the texture, the three-dimensional nature of living on our home planet," McArthur said Wednesday in an interview from the international space station with The Associated Press and the Houston Chronicle.

"I'm a big coffee drinker and I always like a nice hot cup of coffee in the morning," he said. "The coffee on board tastes good but it's all in bags."

McArthur will fly back Saturday on a Soyuz spacecraft, landing in the steppes of Kazakhstan. Also aboard will be Russian flight engineer Valery Tokarev and Marcos Pontes, Brazil's first man in space.

McArthur and Tokarev have been at the space station more than six months. They are being replaced by Russian commander Pavel Vinogradov and U.S. flight engineer Jeff Williams, who arrived at the station with Pontes last Friday.

McArthur said he also is looking forward to biting into a crunchy salad and feeling "that sensation of pressing into a nice fresh lettuce or a nice raw carrot."

This week, the crew tested a new method of preparing for spacewalks and produced sufficient data, even though the test was cut short, McArthur said.

Before beginning spacewalks, crew members usually have to breathe pure oxygen for several hours to purge their body of nitrogen and prevent a condition known as the bends. The new method could reduce that preparation time.

McArthur and Williams had planned to spend eight hours sleeping in an airlock. But the test was stopped after five hours when two alarms went off while the astronauts slept.

The alarms were triggered by a software glitch that gave an erroneous message about oxygen pressure.

"We were never in any danger," McArthur said. "There was never any problem with the atmosphere."

Carrots in Space (2)

Fresh Food for Astronauts on Its Way -  CHICAGO-

New research indicates that astronauts will soon have their own gardens aboard the International Space Station with the ability to grow vitamin A-rich carrots in space, according to a study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists. Researchers from Tuskegee University in Alabama conducted a study targeted at finding a way to incorporate natural and fresh antioxidants into the diets of astronauts while travelling in space.

They grew 18 different varieties of hydroponic carrots using two different methods of nutrient delivery. Growing carrots hydroponically cultivates the vegetables by placing the roots in liquid nutrient solutions rather than in soil. Among all foods, carrots have the highest carotenoid content. They also contain a natural pigment known for provitamin A and have been associated with protection against cancer, cardiovascular diseases, cataracts and macular degeneration as well as enhancing the immune response. Astronauts can be exposed to elevated levels of radiation, which might put them at risk for some types of cancer. Researchers believe that the addition of unprocessed carrots to their diets may help reduce the negative effects of radiation and cancer development. The

Hydroponically grown carrots were issued nutrients in two different methods. One method is the nutrient film technique (NFT), in which the roots were exposed to a nutrient solution within a plastic film trough. The second method is the microporous tube membrane system (MTMS), in which nutrient tubes were embedded into Turface, a material similar to crushed clay,  where the carrots were planted. All carrots were harvested 70 days after planting. They were tested for moisture, fat and carotene content as well as colour and texture. Consumer testing also occurred to test the acceptability of the hydroponic carrots.

This group evaluated colour, crunchiness, sweetness, fibrousness, blandness and overall preference of the 18 different carrot types grown using NFT and MTMS. The study concluded that hydroponic carrots grown using the MTMS method were most appealing to consumers due to their colour and more carrot-like appearance. Moisture contents were similar among all hydroponic carrots as was the carotene content. Lead researcher A.C. Bovell-Benjamin stated, “The Nevis-F carrot cultivar grown using the NFT method had the highest carotenoid content and acceptability among consumers, and therefore, it will be the most likely choice for inclusion in NASA’s food system.”

 Campaign Carrot Monument

The Carrot Campaign monument, located in Port Hardy, British Columbia Port Hardy is a small community in British Columbia, Canada located on the north-eastern coast of Vancouver Island. Port Hardy has a population of over 4,500.

It is the gateway to Cape Scott Provincial Park on the northern most tip of Vancouver Island. British Columbia provincial highway 19, which stretches from one end of Vancouver Island to the other, ends in Port Hardy, right near Rotary Park.Carrot Campaign Monument This explains the town's motto, found on a sign entering town, that reads, "where the highway ends and the adventure begins."

If you can't read the sign, it says: The Carrot Campaign - "This carrot, marking the northern end of the island highway, is a symbol of government road building promises, dangled in front of north island settlers since 1897. The successful late 1970's 'Carrot Campaign' was aimed at making the government keep promises of a completed island highway."

There was no highway connecting the northern end of the island to the rest of the southern communities up until 1979. The only infrastructure, logging roads, in place was built and funded by private logging companies, coupled with a ferry system.

What is more, companies decided to hike prices to local ferries. Residents were in an outcry, so much so the ferry company immediately reduced fare prices to appease the northern communities. North islanders had to navigate a network of unpaved dirt roads to reach the closest community to the south, Campbell River. Naturally, residents grew tired of it.

In 1976, the North Island Gazette wrote a damning headline targeted at the provincial government, “Do you carrot at all?” This slogan was born out of a response to funding cuts for the highway. Residents would send carrots to the provincial capital as a reminder that there was still no finished highway, but more importantly it kept pressure on the politicians.

The island highway ends with the carrot. And there’s a reason as to why there’s a piece bitten out of it – a commemorative symbol that residents wanted a finished highway. “We want the rest of the carrot” another slogan reads “Build the North Island highway”. And they finally got it in 1979.

Icy Sparks from your Carrots !!

If you often cook mixed vegetables from frozen in a microwave, on a microwaveable plate you may notice that carrots produce sparks during cooking and, on closer examination, they display small burns. Why is this? several factors make frozen carrots susceptible to the effect described (although other vegetables also do this).

Mark Morgan, professor of food engineering at Purdue University states that chopping mineral-rich vegetables into small pieces and heating them close together increases the likelihood of sparks due to variations in the electric field created by the microwaves. The sparks don’t harm the food but they may prevent it from cooking evenly and leave a black mark or burned taste. If the food is very dry it might actually catch fire. Robert Wolke, in his “What Einstein Told His Cook,” explains that this is most likely to happen to carrots, because they are cut in cubes with corners, which act like the tip of a lightning rod, attracting electrical energy toward itself. The highly concentrated energy makes the sparks.

Main reasons -

Firstly, dense vegetables such as carrots have a higher amount of minerals in them - iron,  microwave cartoonmagnesium and selenium - than other food items and sometimes create an arcing effect in a microwave.  This tends to happen more in glass dishes. Sparks result as the microwaves reflect or bounce off the metal. the "arcing" does not harm the food, but it does prevent it from heating thoroughly because reflected microwaves will not cook.  Also, extensive arcing can damage your oven's magnetron tube.

 If arcing occurs, turn off the microwave oven and finish cooking the food on the range top. Arcing may occur in other vegetables, and most often appears in green peppers and green beans.

Secondly, while microwaves are extremely good at heating liquid water, ice is almost totally transparent to them, so it is actually quite difficult to get ice to melt in a domestic microwave oven. The "defrost" option on a microwave oven relies on intermittent heating of a small amount of liquid water present on the food, and heat conduction from these areas into frozen material. By putting frozen material into the microwave oven with continuous energy input, no time is given for thermal conductivity effects, and therefore a colossal heating effect occurs on a very localised surface area. These areas, typically at the extreme point of the carrot, will dry out rapidly and then char, essentially forming small carbon points.

Thirdly, carrots are relatively large objects (compared to, say frozen peas) and because microwaves are essentially varying high voltage fields, a large alternating electrical potential exists between the highly conductive charred sections.

Finally, carrots are generally given quite angular cuts, giving sharp points which will yield the highest field gradients. The combination of a large alternating field across a good electrical conductor with sharp points causes electrical breakdown of the air and the sparks which accompany this. Depending upon the precise conditions, it is equally possible for charring to be a secondary effect, rather than a cause. In this case, the discharge may originate from un-charred points, with charring only occurring as a huge current passes through a relatively small point.

What is "arcing"? Arcing (pronounced "AR-king") is sparks inside the microwave oven caused when microwaves react to gold paint on dishes, twist ties and other metallic materials. Some foods such as raw carrots can cause arcing while being microwaved. In carrots, it can be due to the minerals in the soil in which they were grown. Whatever the cause, turn off the oven immediately to end the sparks. Prolonged arcing can damage the oven and/or the utensil. If caught at once, arcing should not damage the oven. Remove the offending utensil or food from the oven and either substitute a microwave-safe utensil or cook the food by other methods.

Sodium is known to have the effect of making a microwave arc.

Was Henry Ford Carrot Crazy?

Henry  Ford was anti-milk ("the cow is the crudest machine in the world") and anti-meat (he promoted soybeans in lieu of beef and oatmeal crackers as a substitute for chicken), but he was devoted to the carrot which, he was convinced, held the secret to longevity.

In the 1920's , the American automobile maker Henry Ford tried to impress upon his business associates the value of a vegetable-based diet. He held a banquet in a Detroit hotel that highlighted carrots in all their splendour, complete with a master of ceremonies dressed in a carrot suit who proclaimed, “I am King Carrota! I am full of vitamins, full of iron, full of iodine, full of bottled sunshine. I have no enemy but a bad cook. I am a friend of flappers and the bald-headed, the spindly baby and three-chinned monsters, but who shall mix me with canned peas shall be consigned to outer darkness.”

Here is the account in detail -

Source - William C. Richards The Last Billionaire 1948

Carrots were plat du joir for months, and it was not unusual for Ford to come into an office in the early morning, unroll a handkerchief and expose before a subordinate’s affrightened eyes, a couple of carrots which he had brought over from his own bins.

“Want to join me?” he would say, hospitably.

He would give the executive one carrot, take the other fort himself, and the two would munch on them, the employer with evident relish and the employee with what enthusiasm he could feign, as they talked over the business had brought Ford into the office.

K William Klare, a hotel manager and an old China hand at wangling publicity, and some caterers arranged a twelve course carrot dinner for a small group to toast Ford and his fad of the moment and they invited a number of doctors, several citizens of his liking, and by merest chance, representatives of the entire metropolitan press.

The climax was disruptive, for up to the final talk of a forthright dietician, one was amazed by the succession of dishes made with carrots as a base, and the affair course along brightly, conversation was lively and the aprt was a enat nosegay for Ford’s latest love of the nutriment.

The room was blacked out at the beginning and after a prop stage wait a baby spot picked out a gowned figure in a black art orange domino who stood at the left of Mr Ford’s chair at th head of the table and said, substantially:

I am King of Carrota! Full of Vitamins, full of Iron, full of iodine, full of bottle sunshine. I have no enemy but a bad cook. I am a friend of the flappers and the bald headed, the spindly baby and three chinned monsters, but who shall mix me with canned peas shall be consigned to outer darkness.”

It set off on the right note, a rare dinner of carrots l’orange, carrot soup, Crecy mirliton, pickled onions Greek style, carrot hors d’oeuvre, mousse of carrots, carrot loaf ravigote (a mixture of chopped chervil, chives, tarragon, and shallots), carrots au gratin, carrot marmalade, carrot salad Henri Ford, carrot ice cream, carrot tarte, ail the whole swigged down with a magnum of carrot juice. I remember the guest of honor saying over the stiff demi-tasse that the feast was Lucullan or something that meant as much. (extremely luxurious)

No one planned the unhappy denouement. The evening most naturally was that carrots were fruit of Olympus but the mousy dietician began to say near the finish that he thought it would be unfortunate that the public drew wrong conclusions from the dinner and yielded to general carrot saturnalia.

“I remember”- he rose to make certain there was no misunderstanding of his scientific objection- “I remember a New York orphanage with which I was once associated overfed its children with carrots. A doctor remarked that he had seen children who ate too many carrots turn yellow, which certainly dampened the festivities, at least at his table”

One story holds that Ford became interested in the painter Titian when his son Edsel donated a Titian painting ("Judith and the Head of Holofernes") to the Detroit Institute of Arts. It wasn't the artist's work that interested him; it was the fact that Titian had reportedly lived to be ninety-nine. He wanted to know if Titian ate carrots.

The Flaming Carrot -

Bob Burden the writer/artist and ingenious mind behind the Flaming Carrot came up with a superhero not quite like any others ever seen before in the comic book industry. The Flaming Carrot was a mysterious and demented Flaming Carrot/person that went on rampages battling monsters, gangs, communist hoards, old girlfriends, journalists, and sometimes his own morality (yes, it is as crazy as it sounds). The entire print run of 30 epic stories lasted from 1984 to 1993. See Tattoos below.

Carrots make antifreeze!!

A team of plant biologists at the University of York  (England) have isolated the first plant antifreeze protein. The naturally occurring 'antifreeze' in carrots might lead to improved frozen foods, more efficient freezing of tissue for medical use and better frost tolerance for crops.

The discovery of the antifreeze protein by a team from the Plant Stress Response Group led by Professor Dianna Bowles, is reported in the international journal, "Science"

"Antifreeze proteins act in a different way to the antifreeze you put in your car radiator," said Maggie Smallwood the senior scientist involved in the project. "These proteins specifically bind to ice crystals and stop them growing." The stress response team showed that extracts from carrots which had been growing under cold conditions could prevent ice crystal growth. They went on to purify the protein which kept the ice crystals small and identify the gene which encoded the protein. They transferred the gene into a model plant which does not normally express antifreeze activity and showed that extracts from these plants stopped ice crystals growing.

Dawn Worrall, a postdoctoral scientist working on the project, pointed out that much of the damage which plants and other organisms experience when they freeze is due to the growth of ice crystals over time. "Large ice crystals disrupt tissue structure more than small ones and regulation of ice crystal growth may be important to survival of a carrot root in the field over winter," she said.

Professor Dianna Bowles expects the carrot antifreeze protein to have a number of potential applications. "Simple natural extracts from carrots may be useful in enhancing the quality of frozen food products and prolong their life in the domestic freezer," she says. "The pure carrot protein might also prove to be useful in cryoprotection (freezing) of medical tissues. In addition, transfer of the gene into temperate crop species may increase their frost tolerance and widen their season or region of cultivation. Similarly there may be applications for horticultural species that suffer from early frosts."

The antifreeze protein discovered in this study is produced by a carrot plant: it is an example of a commercially important product that can be grown in a 'plant factory'. Plants can be used to produce large quantities of industrial or speciality chemicals in a highly energy-efficient manner. Researchers in the Plant Laboratory at the University of York are exploring the potential of this environmentally friendly technology to manufacture products for a wide range of industries. Read technical report here.

Carrots unlock the mystery of the universe -

Guess what you can do with a plate of lovely vegetables? And it's got nothing to do with sex or slimming. Put down that fork. Show your coleslaw a little more respect. For Sliced carrots could help to unlock some of the strangest secrets of the Universe.

The tangled history of the Universe could be unravelled by the light from a glowing carrot. Now there's food for thought. Carrots can be used to make lasers. Check out the full detail on the laser page. 

Take the Carrot Mind Test

Well known faith healer Charles R. Collins from the US says you don't need, faith healers to get well - you can do it yourself using the incredible power of the human mind.

He wrote a book, The ABC's of Life and opened a practice as a faith healer in Miami in the mid-70s. The basis of his philosophy is shown in a simple experiment, he says.

"Take eight to 10 good-sized carrots and cut off the top, leaving about half an inch of carrot attached to the top. Be sure to cut any green sprouts coming from the tops. Then place four or five carrot tops in two dishes of water. Mark one dish with a 'plus' sign and the other with a 'minus' sign. Place both dishes on a sunny window sill.

Love (+)

Several times a day pick up one dish, tell the carrots how beautiful they are and encourage them to grow.

Hate (-)

Do the opposite with the others: curse them, hate them and think negative thoughts toward them.

Collins says "Ninety-nine percent of the time, the 'plus' carrots will sprout and flourish while the minus' ones will wither and die."

This simple carrot experiment offers proof, says Collins, of living power of the human Mind. If you can kill growth out your body in such an obvious way," he said, "just think of the damage you're doing inside your body by thinking negative thoughts. I truly believe that this is the basis all sickness!" While Collins is no longer active faith healer, he has an impressive case book of successful cures.

"The carrot experiment shows you what you can do," he insisted. "You can control the power in and around your mind. And once you learn to do that, you'll be free of disease forever!"

But in spite of his brilliant successes, Collins gave up faith healing and retreated to the isolation of a mountain top in Utah! At least he had the good sense to use carrots in his experiments.

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