The Indestructible Hamburger

If someone told you that a simple MacDonald’s hamburger can last forever, probably, you wouldn’t believe it. But, here is the true story of a hamburger that has survived 10 years without revealing any signs of the decomposition whatsoever.

When MacDonald’s closed in Iceland, in 2019, Hjörtur Smárason bought the last burger in the country and decided to preserve it. He kept it safe, accompanied by french fries, in a plastic bag.

“I had heard that McDonald’s never decompose so I just wanted to see if it was true or not,” Smarason said who kept the burger for three years with himself. After that when he saw no significant change in the composition, he donated it to the National Museum of Iceland.

After some time a specialist at the museum explained that they were not equipped to preserve the food so it was returned back to the Smarason.

“I think he was wrong because this hamburger preserves itself,” he said in the interview. The museum specialist also advised him to throw it away but he wanted to preserve it. He later gave it to Snotra House, a hostel in southern Iceland where it is still preserved in a glass cabinet.

“The old guy is still there, feeling quite well. It still looks quite good actually,” Siggi Sigurdur, owner of the hostel, said to BBC. “It’s a fun thing, of course, but it makes you think about what you are eating. There is no mold, it’s only the paper wrapping that looks old.”

The meal has been put for the live online streaming for the curious people, on the website of the hostel, where it gets around 400,000 hits daily.

Smarason is not the only person who preserved the food item for so long. In 1996, Karen Hanrahan also bought a hamburger and later claimed that even after the 14 years, it looked the same.

MacDonald’s said in 2013 about it that even their food decomposes like the others in the right environment but if moisture is not there, I would last longer.

Bjorn Adalbjornsson, Senior lecturer, at the University of Iceland confirmed it by saying, ”food will simply dry out”.

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