The (Irreproducible) Science of Grape Jelly and Ruined Carpets

| 4/22/2008 2:26:40 PM

Physics are clearly not the only factor at play when a piece of toast falls on the carpet, jelly-side down. Many assume the probability of the bread landing jelly-side down is directly proportional to the price of the carpet. In actuality, price is not the determining factor. The real reason why the jelly would be attracted to the carpet, according to Iva P. Aitchdee in the science humor magazine the Journal of Irreproducible Results (article not available online), is the color contrast between the carpet and the jelly.

If the color of the carpet, no matter how expensive it is, were to match the color of the jelly, then foodstuffs would have no attraction to the carpet. If, however, the carpet were moderately expensive and white, grape jelly would be inevitably drawn downward. “Toast has no motivation to land face-down on expensive carpet,” writes Aitchdee, “if that carpet will not be ruined in the process.”

Bennett Gordon