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What are some fun facts and information to teach kids about coconuts?

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Quick Answer

"Coco" means "laughing face" in Portuguese. Portuguese sailors in the 16th century thought the three holes on the coconut's surface made it look like a smiling face. The English word "nut" came later. Although technically a seed, a coconut is also considered a fruit and a nut.

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Full Answer

Coconuts can float for thousands of miles across the ocean and then grow roots when they're washed up on shore. Coconut palms can bear fruit for up to 80 years and live for up to 120 years.

Coconut water can be used as a substitute for human blood plasma. This is because it has the same amount of electrolytes as human blood. As such, coconut water was used for transfusions during World War II.

In countries like Sumatra, farmers train monkeys to climb coconut palms and harvest coconuts. Some monkeys used as coconut harvesters can even understand their handlers' voice commands and therefore don't need to be on leashes.

Coconuts are used to make construction materials. The Coconut Palace in the Philippines is made from 70 percent coconut fiber. Coconuts are also used to make "clean" fuel for automobiles. Coconut fuel can be used on its own or blended with other environmentally friendly fuels.

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