The Explosive History of Pop Rocks


You can't not like pop rocks. They bring the kid out in all of us! 

And I'm willing to bet that, when you hear "pop rocks," you think of some very specific childhood memories. 

Did you ever swallow pop rocks whole...and then take turn listening to your friends' stomachs? 

Did you pour the whole packet into your mouth at once? (Probably). 

Pop Rocks became popular because they taste good... but also because there's no candy that's quite as fun. 

Have you ever wondered where the idea for Pop Rocks came from? 

The History of Pop Rocks 

Pop Rocks are one of the coolest inventions in the history of candy. But they were actually discovered by accident! 

In 1956, General Foods product inventor, William Mitchell, was trying to make carbonated Kool-Aid. His idea was to add carbon dioxide to the drink mix––and theoretically, when added to water, it would turn into soda. 

Sounds pretty cool, right? 

The only problem was...that didn't work. He ended up creating a substance no one had seen before: sugar crystals that would react with saliva and make all kinds of cool popping sounds. And they tasted great, too! 

Mitchell knew that he had discovered something big. It took him twenty years to get a patent for the recipe; but it was all worth it when Pop Rocks finally reached store shelves in 1976. 

They Entered the Scene With a "Pop!"

Unsurprisingly, Pop Rocks were super popular when they first came out. No one had ever seen anything like them before––and kids were amazed at the concept (it was like a fireworks show going off inside your mouth!) 

Not long after the debut of Pop Rocks, they were making 5 million pounds of them (that's 2.5 billion packets!) 

Can Pop Rocks Kill You? 

No way! 

After Pop Rocks had been out for awhile, rumors started circulating that Pop Rocks could kill you. The theory was, if you ate them with soda, the carbon dioxide would react, causing your stomach to fill with gas and explode. 

But that's just not true! There's not enough gas in Pop Rocks to cause that kind of reaction. 

People really believed it, though––to the point that General Foods had to pull Pop Rocks off the shelves for a while after the rumor caused a drop in sales.

In order to prove that Pop Rocks were safe, they had to run a full-page ad and write dozens of letters to concerned school boards. They even sent out William Mitchell himself, who attended schools and conferences to dispel the myth. 

Isn't it crazy how rumors can spread like that? 

Obviously, Pop Rocks were able to withstand the rumors...because they remain a classic and beloved candy today. 

And you can buy them at Life is Sweet! 

Click here to buy everyone's favorite explosive candy. 


P.S...How do you like to eat your Pop Rocks? Let us know in the comments! 


  • Denene Berry

    I’ve found them at Atwoods in Norman Oklahoma where I’m from. Tried them again. Nope still hurts when they pop🤣

  • Brenda Penrod

    I love pop rocks but they stopped selling them in the stores near me i would buy ten to 20 packs at a time I miss them strawberry and cotten candy are my favorite