Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day- it’s Pop Culture
Pop!

Bubble wrap was invented by mistake.

In 1957 two inventors named Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes were working on a three-dimensional plastic wallpaper.

By sealing two shower curtains together, they trapped a layer of bubbles.

Although the textured wallpaper idea never popped, they found it could be a great packing material.

(Though they did try it as a greenhouse insulation first.)

Bubble Wrap is now manufactured in 52 countries.

Every year, the factories make enough to stretch to the moon and back.

The two inventors probably never dreamed of the uses of bubble wrap since – wedding dresses, chocolate molds, paint applicators.

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day came about when a shipment of microphones was delivered to a radio station in Bloomington, Ind.

The microphones inadvertently picked up the sound of the bubble pack they had been wrapped in.

Not the rustling sound, but the popping sound.

Bubble Wrap reduces stress

“There’s something about the sound,” Dr. Kathleen M. Dillon said in an interview.

She established that popping the plastic bubbles reduces stress and leaves the popper less tired.

You can find her report in the journal Psychological Reports in 1992 under the title “Popping Sealed Air-Capsules to Reduce Stress”.

Bubble Wrap could save your life

In 2011, Wired.com contributor Rhett Allain crunched numbers and estimated one might need 39 layers of Bubble Wrap in order to survive a fall out of a sixth-story window.

So maybe it could cushion a fall – but we can’t recommend testing it!

Sometimes it doesn’t pop

In 2015 Sealed Air began offering iBubble Wrap, a product that ships flat and uninflated so it takes up less space in warehouses.

One roll of the new iBubble Wrap uses roughly one-fiftieth as much space as the more traditional wrap.

(Customers can inflate it when it’s ready to be used.)

It’s as effective as regular Bubble Wrap, with one proviso: it’s no fun.

Bubble Wrap is a – toy?

The poppy packaging was a finalist in 2016 for induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame.

To be eligible, Inductees must foster learning or creativity through play.

So, grab some addictive plastic bubbles today, and go to town!

Happy Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day every 29 January.

 

 

Siobhan O’Shea is a freelance writer. She writes about pretty much everything but especially likes to bring readers’ attention to new tech, marketing, human behavior, and other oddities.