We’ve all seen “The Nutcracker” at this point, and maybe we’ve even had a few of the wooden dolls on display around our homes during the holidays. They’re a popular Christmas decoration that pretty much everyone is familiar with. However, not everyone knows that in addition to being Clara’s prized possession in the classic ballet, they actually have a functional use too. People are just discovering that nutcrackers actually do something — crack nuts — and it’s blowing their minds.
I was today years old when I realized that nutcrackers are actually used to crack nuts…
— whit (@lolwhitt) December 3, 2022
- To be fair, most people don’t actually use their nutcrackers. These days, they’re mostly entirely decorative. Those of us who do get nuts tend to get them unshelled, negating the need to use a nutcracker to crack nuts. However, they still remain in use in China, where they crack open nuts including macadamias, pecans, and walnuts. Since most people will never have seen the nutcracker in use, maybe assuming they’re just for display is the natural response.
- It’s all about the lever in the back. The discovery that the doll has another purpose often comes after people realize the movable lever on its back. Moving that lever opens the nutcracker’s mouth. That’s not just to make it look like it’s talking, as you would with other puppets. It’s so that you can pop a shelled nut in and crack it open.
- People’s responses to this discovery on social media are hilarious. TikToker @dave.winford, for instance, posted a video in which he admitted his ignorance. “I was today years old when I found out nutcrackers crack nuts.” Meanwhile, Lisa Marrey wrote on Twitter: “How did I not know that these fellas aren’t just called nutcrackers but they actually crack nuts!” She added that the lever that does the cracking is “behind the hairy bit.” A third user, who posts as Daddy Khakipants, shared: “You’re telling me that nutcrackers can actually crack nuts?” – Me, Thanksgiving 2022.”
- Of course, knowing this is just a fun bit of trivia. It won’t change the way people use (or don’t use) their festive decorations. However, it’s always fun to know the history of an object, right? Whip that factoid out at your office holiday party. You might blow people’s minds.
“You’re telling me that nutcrackers can actually crack nuts?”
-Me, Thanksgiving 2022
— daddy khakipants (@hted_airotciv) November 26, 2022