World may never know: unwrapping the mystery of the tootsie pop
Schmidt, Tyler T.
University of Wisconsin--Stout. Research Services
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There is a surprising amount of research available on the number of licks it takes to reach the center of a Tootsie Pop (Zyra, 1996; Waksman, 2009; Tootsie Roll Industries, n.d.). Yet, many of these studies have a large amount of inconsistency in the number of licks it actually takes. I conducted research in order to mathematically find how many licks it takes to dissolve each millimeter of a Tootsie Pop. With that number, I determined that two different methods of licking resulted in 124.74 and 39.91 licks per millimeter to reach the center. Combining the more effective 39.91 licks per millimeter method with the average width of a Tootsie Pop, 8 millimeters, I concluded that the average number of licks to reach the center of a Tootsie Pop is 319.28. Discovering that Heid (2013) had licked the thicker side of the Tootsie Pops during his research I adjusted the average width from 8 to 10.5 millimeters. Using this final piece of data I determined that my new average number of licks, 419, confirmed Heid’s average of 417 licks.