We all know the famous commercials with the child asking the owl "how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?" Well, New York University now actually has the answer.

 

Eric Meier/TSM

Scientists have figured out the process that causes water currents to shape and dissolve materials the way they do. This made it possible to answer the age-old question about the Tootsie Pop. According to The New York Post,

It takes an estimated 1,000 swipes of the tongue per centimeter of candy to reach the center of one’s favorite lollipop, according to a new study published in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics.

This ultimately means that a Tootsie Pop, at approximately 1.063 inches in diameter, would need to be licked about 2,500 times for someone to successfully make it to the middle, according to doctoral student Jinzi Huang and his colleagues at NYU.

[New York Post]

This may seem like a weird question for scientists to study, but there's more to it than that. Learning more about how water dissolves and shapes certain materials can help when it comes to figuring out more on how our bodies digest medicine, and even how water has eroded and shaped lots of Earth's surface. Science Daily reports,

the work addresses some serious science, too. Understanding how materials dissolve is at the heart of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries -- their products rely on the incorporation of solid compounds into solutions within reactors and within the human body.

[Science Daily]

Even with all this new information, the number of licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop was still an estimate. Does anyone want to try the experiment themselves and actually count the amount of licks it takes??