The world is a wonderful place where even the most normal, everyday things can turn out to be surprisingly interesting.
If you've ever wished you knew the answer to questions like "How much corn does Iowa produce?" or even more obscure ones like "How many kernels are on a cob of corn?", then you need to read our list of amazing facts. Even breakfast cereal is interesting: the corn used to make it may look ordinary, but the yellow bushels hide tons of interesting facts.
Corn Plant Facts
Learn to tell your cob from your kernel with these corn plant facts.
1. The big ears of yellow corn covering the prairie are field corn - a completely different type to sweet corn.
2. Corn kernels are the plant's seeds, while the ear, or cob, makes up part of the flower.
3. On average, an ear of corn has 16 rows and 800 kernels. Corncobs always have an even number of rows.
4. Corn leaves may only be 4 inches wide, but they can measure up to 4 feet long.
5. The average corn stalk is 8 to 10 feet tall.
6. Corn stalks look like bamboo canes, with 20 internodes of 7 inches each.
7. On an ear of corn, every kernel has its own silk strand.
8. Corn plants have both male and female flowers. The tassel is the male flower while the ear is the female flower.
9. Corn is an annual plant. It completes a full life cycle in a year.
10. The husk is the inedible leaf over the corn cob.
Corn Variety Facts
Facts about the different types of corn plant that will a-maize you.
11. Corn is a cereal. Cereals are a type of grass and include corn, wheat, rice, rye, and oats.
12. There are different types of corn like dent, flint, pod, popcorn, flour, and sweet corn.
13. Any variety of maize grown for production of livestock food, ethanol, cereal or processed food is called field corn.
14. Dent corn gets its name from its dented kernels. It's mostly for animal feed, in processed food, or to produce ethanol.
15. Flour corn, as its name suggests, is usually used to make cornflour and cornmeal.
16. Flint corn's hard, colorful kernels make it too tough to eat. It's mainly used like dent corn.
17. Pod corn has extra leaves that cover up each individual kernel.
18. Sweet corn is sweeter and has less starch than most corn varieties.
19. The highest corn stalk on record measured over 35 feet.
20. Corn plants had only one ear of corn until Native American farmers crossed different varieties to produce more food.
Corn Belt Facts
Where is corn grown? In the Corn Belt, of course! Learn all about corn production with facts about the top producing corn states, from Nebraska corn facts to facts about Iowa corn.
21. The United States is the biggest corn producer in the world, followed by China, Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine and India.
22. Over a third of the world's corn is grown in the United States, where it is a major crop.
23. Most of America's corn is produced in the Corn Belt, made up of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
24. Iowa is the biggest corn producer in the United States, and produced over 2.5 billion bushels of corn last year.
25. Iowa produces so much corn, it's called the Corn State.
26. The first-ever mechanical corn harvesting machine was invented in Missouri in 1931.
27. Corn grows best in subtropical and temperate climates, which is why it grows so well in Iowa.
28. Iowa may grow the most corn, but Japan buys the most: in 2019, it spent $3.5 billion on the yellow stuff.
29. 36% of all the corn production in the USA is for livestock feed, while 40% goes for biofuels like ethanol.
30. Pioneers planted four corn plants to harvest one. There was even a rhyme about it: "One for the maggot, one for the crow, one for the cutworm, one to grow".
Corny Facts About Corn Products
From corn syrup to livestock feed, find out about all the uses the United States finds for corn.
31. Corn has over 3,500 uses in cookery, industry and more. That's a lot of corn products!
32. Things as diverse as cosmetics, laundry detergent, soap, antibiotics, fireworks, glue, paint and chewing gum are produced from corn.
33. All kinds of processed foods, like peanut butter, potato chips, soups, ice cream, baby food, margarine and mayonnaise are produced using corn.
34. Corn is used to supply ethanol production. Ethanol is added to gasoline to make it burn more cleanly, reducing air pollution.
35. A major ingredient in many soft drinks is corn syrup. One bushel of corn can sweeten 400 cans of soft drinks.
36. Corn is used to replace oil as a major ingredient in new bioplastic products. It's less harmful to the environment.
37. One of the weirder maize facts: corn is used in drywall products.
38. Corn oil is produced when a kernel is processed to make cornmeal or cornstarch. Companies then bottle it and sell it for cooking.
39. As well as frying food, corn oil is used in skincare because of its high levels of Vitamin E.
40. In the USA, corn makes up 95% of all livestock feed as well as being the main ingredient in dry pet food.
This crop of facts will give you food for thought.
41. Grain, or cereal, is the most important staple food around the world. People get about 48% of their calories from cereals.
42. There are roughly 1,566 calories in a pound of corn.
43. Corn is a good source of vitamins A, B and E as well as minerals and antioxidants.
44. Grains like corn are also a good source of carbohydrates, protein and fiber.
45. Eating corn can have health benefits like helping control diabetes and preventing heart problems.
46. The US counts corn as a vegetable, although everywhere else in the world classes it as a grain.
47. Sweet corn should be cooked within three days of being harvested, otherwise, its sugars start turning to starch. In some heritage varieties, this takes as little as 30 minutes.
48. The husk of fresh corn should be bright green, with a golden tassel. If the stalk end is brown, the corn is not fresh.
49. Almost every food in Mexican cookery uses maize. It's the main ingredient in tortillas, tamales, pozole, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, tostadas and more.
50. Many cultures like corn porridge. Italy calls it polenta, it's angu in Brazil, mamaliga in Romania, kacamak in Serbia and cornmeal mush or hominy grits in the US.
Fun Facts About Corn
All the most interesting information about maize.
51. Before it was brought back from the New World in the 15th century, Europeans had never heard of corn.
52. Corn is grown on every continent except Antarctica.
53. 'Maize' is a Taino word that means 'sacred mother' or 'giver of life'.
54. Maize was once considered so valuable that people traded things like meat and furs for it instead of money.
55. Maize was first grown about 7,000 to 10,000 years ago in southern Mexico.
56. Humans bred field corn from an ancient grass called teosinte.
57. Sweet corn is only about 1000 years old and was first found in Brazil.
58. The Iroquois called sweet corn ‘papoon’. The sweet grain spread to Europe when the Iroquois gave some to European settlers in 1779.
59. Archeologists found some corn kernels at a dig on the east coast of Peru. Despite being over 1,000 years old, the kernels still popped when cooked.
60. 5,600-year-old ears of popcorn were found in the Bat Cave of West Central New Mexico.
Weird Corn Facts
A bushel of weird facts about corn. Have a field day with our corn trivia.
61. Across the world, over 1 billion tons of corn are produced every year.
62. Just one acre of maize crop can suck up to 8 tons of carbon dioxide out of the air.
63. It takes 91 gallons of water to grow one pound of corn.
64. Native Americans used corn leaves as chewing gum. Corn is still used in gum production today.
65. Asian countries like China and Korea use soft corn silk to make a nutritious tea packed with vitamin K and potassium.
66. Once you've eaten the kernels, you can use dried out corn cobs as eco-friendly pot scrubbers.
67. Corn is measured in bushels. One bushel of corn weighs 56 pounds.
68. Huitlacoche is a fungus that grows on corn. It sounds like a pest, but it's been considered a delicacy in Mexico since Aztec times.
69. Although most of us picture corn as yellow, it comes in all kinds of colors like white, green, blue-gray, purple, red and black.
70. As well as being the biggest corn producer, the USA also consumes the highest number of bushels in the world: about 12,295 billion.
71. Your toothpaste has corn in it. Sorbitol, a corn product, is used to bulk up toothpaste.
72. 23 November is National Maize Day.
73. Although most corn kernels are quite small, they've been seen to grow as big as 1 inch.
74. All corn is technically a grain, a fruit and a vegetable. The ear, or cob, of corn is a vegetable, each kernel is a grain, and all grains are fruits.
75. Popcorn is exploding food. The puffy snack is made when a certain variety of corn heats up and explodes.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 75 Corn Facts That Are Simply Amaize-ing then why not take a look at chicken facts, or bamboo facts?
Jennie is a Manchester native who discovered a love of teaching and travel whilst teaching at a kindergarten in China, and has spent her time since then becoming an expert in both. Jennie mainly teaches KS2 children and still thinks she has the best job in the world. She also runs a tutoring and mindfulness company called ‘Recreate-U’ which helps people to reach their full educational potential through making them feel comfortable, safe, and happy in their learning environment. In her spare time she can be found up to her elbows in a craft project or curled up somewhere comfy with a book and a hot cup of tea.