Someone Is Selling a Rotting Twinkie on eBay

Moldy dessert disproves immortal-Twinkie theory

Twinkies have long been rumored to possess the supernatural ability to survive anything, including bankruptcies, nuclear events, and even the long, slow march of time itself. But it turns out Twinkies are mortal after all; one man has proof and has decided to do what any intrepid Internet entrepreneur would do with that kind of significant scientific discovery: sell it on eBay.

The latest entry in the chronicle of weird food novelties being sold on eBay is a streaky green Twinkie, unpackaged and wrapped in plastic. The seller says he's had the Twinkie for a year, and that it was already green when he found and almost ate it.

"I survived, but I wrapped the green Twinkie in clingwrap, and then decided I'd write Hostess," the seller says. "Obviously, they wanted it but I said no."

Over the years, people have spread all sorts of crazy rumors about the lifespan of the Twinkie. According to Snopes, its readers have relayed claims that Twinkies have shelf lives in the decades, contain chemicals used in embalming fluid, and would outlast even their cellophane wrappers.

“According to lore, Twinkies have multi-year shelf lives and remain edible for decades,” writes Barbara Mikkelson of Snopes. The rumored immortality is usually credited to the idea that the Twinkie is not actually made of food, but of chemicals strung together through artificial processes and molded to look like a fluffy cake.

The legends of the Twinkie’s long shelf life have even inspired awesome time-lapse videos of Twinkies failing to decay while sitting next to fresh produce that quickly turns to mush. But just because a Twinkie outlasts a fresh tomato does not make it eternal. The Twinkie actually has a shelf life of 25 days, which is a long time for a baked good but a poor substitute for immortality.

The horrifyingly moldy Twinkie's responsible seller urges any prospective buyers to remember that while the item may have started out as a delicious golden pastry, it is long past the point of being something that should be eaten.

"It is not food now," he writes. "Do not eat. Do not eat. Do not eat." He insists that the Twinkie is being sold only as a scientific and historical curiosity.

Gawker's Mallory Ortberg suggests that there is no great mystery to the Twinkie. "Like all things," she writes, "it will decay and disintegrate into nothing. You can also perform this experiment at home by selecting any dessert of your choice and exposing it to time and the elements; you can do this for free."

Bidding on the auction started at $25. So far 10 bids have driven the price up to $46, but there are two days left on the auction, so this gross, rotting Twinkie is anybody’s game.

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