The peanut (also known as groundnut, earthnut, goober, goober pea, pinda, pinder, Manila nut or monkey nut) is the edible seed of the plant Arachis hypogaea. It is a member of the pea family and the fruit is not a nut, but a legume or pod.
In 1981, a fossilised peanut more than 100,000 years old was found in China. Quite what happened to peanuts over the next 98,000 years is unknown, but it is known that they arrived in Europe from South America where they have been cultivated for over 2,000 years.
Peanuts are the official state crop of Georgia where, in Turner County, you can see the 'World's Largest Peanut'. It is a 20ft-tall monument erected in honour of the importance of the peanut.
It takes about 550 peanuts to make a 12oz jar of creamy peanut butter. Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth is called 'arachibutyrophobia'. The high protein content of peanut butter draws moisture from your mouth. That's why it sticks.
The average American eats seven pounds of peanuts and peanut butter a year.
The Peanuts strip cartoon first appeared on 2 October 1950. Its creator, Charles Schultz, retired in December 1999 and died on 12 February 2000, the night before the last of his 18,000-odd Peanuts cartoon strips was published.