Deeply satisfying Minnesota corn spill has the world talking

The corn is perfectly spread on the tracks, and it's legit.
Author:
Publish date:

It's been confirmed that a viral photo of corn-filled train tracks in Minnesota isn't fake. 

The photo, apparently first shared to Twitter by Mike Parker on Jan. 5, quickly went viral around the country, carrying enough weight to land on the front page of Reddit and get coverage from national TV programs. 

Parker never said where the photo was taken, so the hunt to find out if the image was current, much less real, took a couple of days before Star Tribune reporter Adam Belz located it in the Hennepin County suburb of Crystal.

The corn is perfectly spread between the tracks as far as the eyes can see, leading many to think the photo was fake. But no, it's real and strangely satisfying (to each their own). 

How does that much corn fall out of a moving train? 

A train engineer, who did not wish to be named, explained to Bring Me The News that the corn is hauled in grain hoppers, which are what an Average Joe probably calls a train car, like the one in the image to the right. 

"Grain hoppers typically have 3-4 bays on them," the engineer said. "Product will empty out of those bays because the customers don’t properly close and latch the dump gate on that particular bay. 

"It can even be barely open, but over time can rattle itself more open causing that bay to spill/empty. The whole car won’t empty, just the bay with the open door/gate."

The more you know, right?

Next Up

Related

Minnesota corn growers cashing in

State farmers will benefit in two ways: drought has helped to drive corn prices higher, and Minnesota farms are producing high yields compared to farms in other states, where dry conditions have shriveled crops, WCCO reports.

Corn causing frustrations in Fridley

Last July, a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train derailed and more than a dozen railcars carrying corn spilled into Locke Lake. Ten months later, neighbors tell KARE 11 the corn is causing foul odors and attracting more geese to the area. A railroad spokesperson says crews have already removed about 25 tons of corn, but aren't able to remove it all. A bike path that runs underneath the rail line also remains closed, but is supposed to reopen in July.

$17 million mountain of corn piles up in western Minn.

In the midst of the nation's worst drought in decades, farmers in Wheaton, Minn. struck gold. The area was blessed with one of its largest corn crops ever while dry conditions crippled harvests around the country, driving up corn prices.

Heat, drought threaten Midwest corn, but Minnesota largely spared

Searing sun and drought are shriveling corn in some parts of the Midwest, the New York Times reports. But experts note that the driest, hottest conditions have mostly steered clear of some crucial Corn Belt states, including Minnesota, where the crop in most places appears healthy and strong — not to mention increasingly valuable.