Banana is the common name for the fruits of the species in the genus Musa, tree-like plants native to the tropical region of Southeast Asia.
According to Berkeley University primate scientist Katherine Milton, "Wild monkeys never encounter bananas at all ever unless they are around human habitation where bananas are or have been planted." In nature, monkeys' diets almost exclusively consist of small fruits, leaves, nuts, and insects. In fact, some animal nutritionists suggest not feeding bananas to monkeys, as bananas contain larger amounts of sugar and calories than monkeys are typically accustomed to consuming.
On April 25, 2016, 30-year-old Andrew Lawrence shattered the previous 2 hour 58 minute record run by Patrick Wightman in the 2011 Barcelona Marathon. Dressed as a bright yellow banana, Lawrence completed the London Marathon in 2 hours, 48 minutes, and 41 seconds.
While it's estimated that there are over 1,000 varieties of banana grown today, by far the most popular is the Cavendish banana, making up approximately 47% of worldwide production. Up until the first half of the 20th century, however, the most common variety was the Gros Michel, or "Big Mike" banana. Gros Michel bananas had thick, study peels, and grew in large, dense bunches that made them easy to ship. In the 1950s, a fungus known as Panama disease all but wiped out production, forcing cultivators to switch to varieties resistant to the disease, including the Cavendish.
Opened in 1976 and located in Hesperia, California, the Banana Club Museum contains more than 17,000 banana items. Most artifacts have been donated by members of the official Banana Club, of which there are over 35,000 in 27 different countries.