In all my banana-eating life, I always called those stringy things on bananas stringy things on bananas. I never knew their name was phloem (pronounced floem). They are like veins and carry nutrients to the banana.
How did I learn this? Today while I was doing some Algebra, a voice in my head said, “What do they call those stringy things on bananas?” The Algebra problem I was solving had nothing to do with bananas. I was not eating a banana, and there were no bananas in sight. So I said to the voice, “I’m dividing polynomials. What made you ask me a question about bananas?”
“I don’t know,” said the voice. “Obviously you don’t know the answer. Why don’t you google my question?”
“Wow! I never knew that.”
“See?” said the voice. “Aren’t you glad I asked?”
Those stringy things on bananas never bothered me. I always ate them. But some people gag when they see phloem.
I knew that we peeled bananas the wrong way by snapping the stem. The myth is that monkeys peel bananas the right way: by pinching and peeling from the bottom (which is actually the top). What I didn’t know is that you will not get any phloem on bananas if you peel them the right way.
Amazing! I learned about phloem and how to prevent it while dividing polynomials.