21 Delicious Chocolate Facts You Didn’t Know

First, the Mayans and Aztecs drank it. Then, the Europeans made it solid. And today, chocolate is a booming world industry worth well over $100 billion per year. Celebrate the world’s favorite sweet — and learn a thing or two — with these 21 surprising chocolate facts:

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Chocolate Facts Bars

Flickr/Dobrin IsabelaA 2004 survey found that 70 percent of people would reveal their computer passwords for a bar of chocolate.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Flickr/Veganbaking.etRuth Wakefield invented the chocolate chip cookie at her Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts circa 1938. She sold the recipe to Nestle for one dollar and a lifetime supply of chocolate.

Chocolate Cupcake

Flickr/Stephanie Keeney The chocolate industry makes well over $100 billion per year, which is more than the Gross Domestic Product of about 150 of the world's nations.

Chocolate Macroons

Flickr/annieseatsThe Latin name for the cacao tree, Theobroma cacao, means "food of the gods."

Chocolate Mousse

Flickr/planningqueenAbout 70 percent of the world's chocolate supply comes from Africa; the Ivory Coast is the largest producer.

Chocolate Stacked

Flickr/Sonia - L'ExquisitDuring World War II, the Nazis had a plan to assassinate Winston Churchill with an exploding bar of chocolate.

Milk Chocolate

Pexels The average chocolate bar contains eight insect parts, and anything less than 60 insect parts per 100 grams of chocolate (about two bars' worth) is allowed by the FDA.

Chocolate Donut

Flickr/Jack HebertIn fact, a 2012 report suggests that most people with chocolate allergies are actually allergic to the cockroach parts that inevitably find their way into the chocolate.

Chocolate Chips

Hero Images Central and South Americans may have been cultivating the cacao bean as early as 1250 BCE, but it wasn't introduced to Europe until the 16th century.

Chocolate Coin

Westend61The Aztecs used cacao beans as currency: 100 beans could be traded for a turkey, while one bean was good for a tamale.

Melted Chocolate

DNY59The melting point of chocolate is below the typical human body temperature, which is why it melts in your mouth.

Chocolate Heart Cookies

Bianca Moraes/FlickrA study from Osaka University in Japan found that parts of the cocoa bean, the main ingredient of chocolate, combats mouth bacteria and tooth decay.

Cacao Beans

Wikimedia Commons One cocoa tree produces only enough beans each year to make about 20 standard-sized Hershey bars.

Chocolate Candy

GMVozd/Getty Images Europeans eat the most chocolate: The average British, Swiss, and German person will each eat around 24 pounds of chocolate per year.

Chocolate Raw

Magnez2/Getty Images In 1847, British chocolate company J.S. Fry & Sons made the first "eating chocolate": a solid edible chocolate bar concocted from cocoa butter, cocoa powder, and sugar.

Chocolate Shavings

Nikolay Trubnikov/Getty ImagesDark chocolate has significant health benefits: it reduces the risk of stroke, and keeps the brain healthy.

Hot Chocolate

Flickr/invisible_helicopterThe word chocolate actually comes from "xocoatl," the Aztec term for the bitter drink they brewed from cacao beans and mixed with peppers, water, and honey.

M And M

Wikimedia Commons According to NASA, M&Ms have flown into space 130 times as an astronaut snack.

Chocolate Chips

Leslie/FlickrOne chocolate chip will give you the energy needed to walk approximately 150 feet.

Chocolates

Flickr/Justin MillerBoth the Mayans and the Aztecs thought that cacao had magical properties and used it in their most sacred rituals, including human sacrifice and weddings.

Salted Chocolate

Flickr/Jamie JohnsonDuring the Revolutionary War, soldiers took part of their payment in chocolate.

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Bad Luck Brian Kyle Craven

Photos courtesy of Kyle CravenLeft: The original photo of Kyle Craven used to create Bad Luck Brian memes. Right: Craven today.

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Each year in the United States, upwards of 800,000 children under the age of 18 disappear — and that’s just counting reported missing persons cases.

While these cases often make fine fodder for evening news, for most of history they did not garner popular attention. Indeed, it wasn’t until the disappearance of Etan Patz and later, Adam Walsh, that mass media became a tool to crack the cases as well as pass legislation meant to curb the number of them that end in death. But almost 200 years before Etan Patz and Adam Walsh inspired the concern of millions came a little boy named Charley Ross, who would become the first missing child in American history to make headlines.

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