6 strangely scientific moments in pancake history


This article was originally published in the Spring 2016 issue of Cottage Life magazine.

Early spring is maple syrup season. Which is, of course, pancake-eating season. Weird fact? There’s a lot of R&D in pancakes and pancake technology. A brief recent history:


A physicist at the University of Birmingham concludes that it takes half a joule of energy to flip a 50 g pancake perfectly, and that pancakes should be flipped at the speed of 16 km/h for an ideal trajectory.


Kansas, topographically, is flatter than a pancake. From a paper published in Annals of Improbable Research: “That degree of flatness might be described, mathematically, as ‘damn flat.’ ”


No shortcuts! A patent is filed for Batter Blaster, a pancake mix in a pressurized spray can. (The company went out of business.)


Forget cutting out gluten. It’s the bugs, people. The World Allergy Organization publishes research on Pancake Syndrome, anaphylaxis caused by consuming foods made from mite-infested wheat flour.


Hello, PancakeBot, “the world’s first pancake printer.” It can create pancakes in pretty much any shape you want. Parallelogram. Unicorn. Kanye West’s face.


A Japanese inventor unveils two pancake-making humanoids at Maker Faire Tokyo. One mixes the batter, while the other uses flame-thrower hands to cook the pancakes. What a time to be alive.