The Surprising Science Behind the World's Most Popular Fruit

From tropical plantations to grocery aisles, getting a banana to market is a complex process—and a race against the clock.

This article is part of our Urban Expeditions series, an initiative made possible by a grant from United Technologies to the National Geographic Society.

For more on the history of cultivation and the future of the Cavendish, check out our three-part series on the banana.

Read This Next

To practice saving Earth, NASA hit an asteroid with a spacecraft
The history and traditions of Rosh Hashanah
Oysters are making a comeback on menus and in the water—for now

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet