You know, I had always heard that Wintergreen LifeSavers would “spark” when chewed, but I don’t think I ever actually tried it. Evidently, it is true (and my wife says she has verified it). So, why does it do this? According to exploratorium.edu,
When you crunch on wintergreen candies, you are making light with friction. The scientific name for this process is triboluminescence, from the Greek word tribein, which means â€œto rub,â€ and the Latin word lumin, which means â€œlight.â€
Here is another interesting site where someone crushed Wintergreeen LifeSavers with needle-nosed pliers and took some pictures of it. Pretty cool.
I’m going to have to figure out a way to work triboluminescence into a conversation. “I witnessed triboluminescence while eating my Wint-O-Green LifeSavers in the dark.”