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Bubble Wrap Has a Simple Life Lesson

by Janine Boylan on January 28, 2013

Bubble wrap, showing the life lesson that some things are just fun

Who can resist a length of unpopped Bubble Wrap?
© Janine Boylan

It’s Fun to Burst My Bubble (Wrap)

Monday, January 28, is Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. Bubble wrap is a great packing material for keeping breakables whole, but, really, who can think about bubble wrap and not think about popping it?

So I started to wonder, why do people love to pop bubble wrap? I researched and found theories that bubble wrap’s allure comes from:

  • the sense of power people feel when they smash the bubbles flat
  • the satisfying, exploding sound of each pop
  • the stress-relief from the monotonous activity
  • the ancestral instincts of an active, but repetitive activity that triggers memories of the grooming and insect-squishing behavior of their ape ancestors.

I wasn’t convinced.

So, for the sake of science, I did my own lab work and started popping the rectangle of bubble wrap that I had secretly stashed away just for this story.

Pop, pop, pop, pop . . . Before long, I had satisfyingly popped half the sheet. It was fun.

Oh, I see! It’s just fun. My simple life lesson was sometimes there’s no need for an explanation. Just enjoy it because it’s fun!

 Bubble Wrap on the Wall

This product, the Bubble Calendar, looks very fun.

This wall calendar comes close to bubble wrap’s ancestral roots. Bubble wrap was first created by accident in 1957 by Marc Chavannes and Al Fielding, who were trying to make a plastic wallpaper with a paper backing.

Bubble calendar, showing the life lesson that some things are just fun

A bubble to pop every day!
© Alex Kotlik photography

Can you imagine knowing that every single day for an entire year you had a bubble just waiting for you to squish it?  The only challenge is that I’d have to stop after one pop, or I’d be ahead of time.

Bubble Wrap on the Street

Bubble wrap street art, showing the life lesson that some things are just fun

Squares of bubble wrap, an offering of anti-stress
© artist: Fra.Biancoshock and photographer: Myst-R

Italian street artist Fra.Biancoshock had an idea to share the fun. He offered different size sheets of the magical plastic to people in Milan waiting for the bus. The sheets were sized according to the estimated wait time. Participants grabbed the sheets and popped, popped, popped away.

Squares of bubble wrap, an offering of anti-stress life lesson © artist: Fra.Biancoshock and photographer: Myst-R

People can’t stop popping!
© artist: Fra.Biancoshock and photographer: Myst-R

Bubble Wrap in Video

There are numerous YouTube videos that show people squashing the bubbles, ranging from factory workers who smash meters of bubble wrap in a hydraulic press to cartoon characters singing about the stuff.

The team who created this Bubble Wrap Hip-Hop-Pop took their fun quite seriously.

If the video does not display, watch it here.

Bubble Wrap on Your Screen

And then there’s the virtual bubble popping you can do with a number of online games.  I think the real stuff is more fun, but this will do in a pinch (or, when you can’t pinch actual Bubble Wrap).

However you decide to celebrate Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, while remember the life lesson—have fun! And when you are through, check out these great ways to reuse popped bubble wrap.

Comment on this post below, or inspire insight with your own OIC Moment here.


7 thoughts on “Bubble Wrap Has a Simple Life Lesson

  1. I love bubble wrap. I can’t stop at just one pop. Sometimes I just like to take the whole sheet and twist it like I’m squeezing out a wet towel, and hear them all just pop, pop, pop…Ahhh, must find bubble wrap!! :-)

  2. I teach Special Education at the elementary level and we use bubble wrap as a sensory break , on occasion,
    for my students and they love it!

  3. I love bubble wrap so much im making a de-stress thing of bubble wrap for my science fair! Its fun and really takes away your stres

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