In case you’ve missed it, the internet has been collectively freaking out over the act of eating oranges in the shower. But why? Serious questions call for serious journalism. So I did my research, bought a naval orange and stripped down to my birthday suit. Below, the full report.
Wait, why are people eating oranges in the shower?
Like many bizarre internet crazes, shower oranges were born on Reddit. In the winter of 2016, a Redditor (whose account has since been deleted) posted a comment calling shower oranges “the best feel-good thing you can ever experience.” That post has since generated tens of thousands of people sharing snaps of their peels in the shower, and affirming its transformative powers.
Is there any science to shower oranges?
NPR's All Things Considered, also hot on the shower orange trend, writes that while there are no conclusive studies, they were able to ask Johan Lundström of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia what his “educated guess” was. Lundström's take? “The only thing I can think of is that the heat makes the orange odors more volatile and this, merged with the increase in mucosa humidity, makes the orange odor smell more in the mouth.” Another potential factor, care of yours truly? Maybe the small, enclosed space, compounded with the steam, also intensifies the concentration of delightful citrus-smelling molecules.
The test: Was eating an orange in the shower life-changing?
Yes. And no. Contrary to science, the shower dampened the citrusy scent—the orange was actually way more fragrant when I took a bite outside the bathroom. (Face palm.) Maybe my olfactory system is flawed. Maybe I psyched myself out. Maybe it’s all hogwash. Whatever the case, that much was clear as day. However, the sensation of eating something cool and juicy while standing under a hot stream of water was pretty heavenly. And for someone who hates sticky fingers and general mess, it was remarkably satisfying to eat and clean up in a single step.
Sadly, shower orang-ing did not change my life or morph my taste buds into superbuds. But it was delicious. And fun. Highly recommended for those who love eating, showering, being ridiculous or any combination of the three.