How to Mail a Coconut

by Laura Overdeck

When you’re eating a yummy snack and wish you could share it with a friend, wouldn’t it be great if you could just slap a stamp on it and stick it in the mail? It turns out you can, with one food: coconut. On the small Hawaiian island of Molokai, the Hoolehua Post Office gives out free coconuts for people to ship to their friends. No box, no envelope — you just stick a stamp onto the coconut. The “Post-a-Nut” postage costs between $9-13 depending on the coconut’s weight: If you shake a coconut and hear juice sloshing around inside, that means it’s still fresh enough to eat — but it will weigh more since it hasn’t dried out.  For a fresh coconut snack, it’s totally worth it.

Wee ones: If you mail a coconut to each of 2 friends and grab one for yourself, how many coconuts do you get?

Little kids: If you could ship a coconut for $10 and a watermelon for twice as much, how much would it cost to ship the watermelon?  Bonus: How much do you pay to ship both?

Big kids: 7,000 people live on Molokai. If each one sends a coconut to 3 friends, how many coconuts get shipped out?  Bonus: If out of 400 nearby trees, 1/2 the trees grow 10 coconuts each while 1/2 grow 20 each, how many coconuts can the post office mail?











Wee ones: 3 coconuts.

Little kids: $20.  Bonus: $30.

Big kids: 21,000 coconuts.  Bonus: 6,000 coconuts: 2,000 from the first 1/2, and 4,000 from the 2nd set.

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