While others are fretting about our coming electric future, Elon Musk reminded us that gasoline, a petroleum product, is highly flammable. Then again, we shouldn't be afraid of all petroleum products (I hope, maybe). Plenty of stuff we use every day is made out of petroleum, even where you'd least expect it.
I'll be honest about where I found the inspiration for this came from. There I was, sitting in the office, minding my own business, doing work, like you do in an office, and never anything else, just munching on the contents of the enormous jar of gummy bears that my generous co-workers placed on my desk thinking that that was a safe spot because lord knows little old me would never decimate an entire jar of gummy bears because that would be crazy, right?
And I'm not crazy.
So, like I said, there I was, munching on said gummies. I figured I'd check the back of the package they came in for the ingredients. Lo and behold, one of the key ingredients was Red 40, a food dye. And what exactly is Red 40?
Red 40, aka Allura Red AC, is a food coloring commonly used to make those reds and oranges you so love. Originally made from coal tar, it's now made from the delicious liquified and pressurized remains of dead dinosaurs.
You can find it wherever you can find red food coloring, be it gummies, soda, or even red velvet cake.
Sure, it may be the cause of significantly altered behavioral effects and it may be banned in Denmark, Belgium, France, and Switzerland, but it can't be too bad. Right?
Photo credit: Vat19
Yes, apparently oil is one of the mysterious ingredients that goes into the elusive, yet pungent nature of Old People Smell.
Photo credit: Thirteen of Clubs
What is it with Western society and this strange desire to put oil in our faces?
Photo credit: Greta Ceresini
Aspirin and other pharmaceutical drugs are often coated in phenol, which, like Red 40, we used to make out of coal tar but now we make out of oil. Humanity makes about 15,000,000,000 pounds of the stuff every year, which means its good and cheap, so we actually use it in a bunch of things, like Bakelite and herbicides.
Fun fact! Phenol, on its own, will cause damaging burns. Don't worry, though. I'm sure your aspirin is fine. Probably.
Photo credit: Dirk Vorderstraße
This one may be a bit more commonly known, but the very road you drive on is made out of what is essentially a semi-solid form of petroleum itself.
Crayons themselves are traditionally made out of paraffin wax, which is made by separating and crystalizing oil. And we feed organic chicken to our kids.
Photo credit: Blake Burkhart
So while it looks like we may one day give up burning petroleum in our engines, it doesn't look like we'll get them out of our lives (or our bodies) anytime soon. What do you think is the weirdest thing out there made out of oil? Let us know below in the comments!
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