The Science of Popping Popcorn

Two French researchers have at last figured out the precise science of how popcorn pops (before you add butter and salt)! From the hard hull splitting due to the pressure of heated water vapor (which creates that popping sound) to the puffy expansion that “works like a muscle, vaulting the kernel into the air,” here’s the deal with your favorite movie snack— and bonus slo-mo footage of a leaping, somersaulting kernel.

And just in time for awards season, here are 10 smart ways to upgrade your go-to popcorn recipe!

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