So the first thing I think you should know is that figs aren’t even technically fruit. Yeah, I know, weird. They’re actually what’s known as a ‘false fruit’…meaning the ends of the stems are flowers. And all those little seeds inside? Those have to be fertilized by an insect. Specifically, a wasp. And here’s where things get hinky.
With the figs that we eat, there are male figs and female figs. AND there are fig wasps. You need to know all this. A fig wasps entire life purpose is to go inside the fig and lay their eggs. The male fig. Don’t worry, we don’t eat those. But sometimes the fig wasp gets confused and ends up going into the wrong fig.
The opening at the bottom of the fig is so tight that most of the time when the wasp enters, they lose their wings. So if they don’t figure out how to wiggle back out? Yup. Waspy Fig Newtons. YUM!
The whole thing is actually even more complicated and cool than all that, though. Want the whole story? Take a look!