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Sci-Tech

At 40, the world's oldest Twinkie still looks kind of edible

A Maine high school teacher unwrapped the sweet treat during the Bicentennial, and it still hasn't decomposed.

The Guinness Book of World Records doesn't keep records for "oldest Twinkie," but if it did, the award would almost certainly go to the 40-year-old sweet treat in the video below.

In 1976, according to a Monday article from Bangor Daily News, Roger Bennatti, then a chemistry teacher at George Stevens Academy, a private high school in Blue Hill, Maine, unwrapped a pack of Twinkies. He ate one, and displayed the other in his classroom so his students could time its decomposition. That question remains unanswered, because the Twinkie has turned out to be as indestructible as Peyton Manning, also born in 1976. (Manning retired in March, but the Twinkie might still be able to run the hurry-up offense.)

The Twinkie now sits in the office of Libby Rosemeier, the school's dean of students and one of the students in Bennatti's chemistry class that day.

"The most remarkable thing to me is that this is a piece of food that is 40 years old and the shape is basically unchanged," Rosemeier said. "Preservatives work, I guess, to some extent. I think it is dusty more than anything."

Rosemeier also speaks highly of the town and institution that's kept the Twinkie for so long. "This is an awesome community and George Stevens Academy is an absolute gem right in the middle of town," she told CNET.

Other events of 1976, the year the Twinkie first emerged from its wrapper? Jimmy Carter was elected president. The Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Bucs entered the NFL. Nadia Comăneci scored seven perfect 10s at the Montreal Olympics. Microsoft turned one year old. A gallon of gas cost 59 cents, and the average US house cost $48,000. Mark Zuckerberg and LeBron James wouldn't be born for eight more years.

In the 2009 movie "Zombieland," Woody Harrelson goes on a hunt for the world's last Twinkie. "Believe it or not, Twinkies have an expiration date," his character tells a fellow survivor played by Jesse Eisenberg. "Someday very soon, life's little Twinkie gauge is gonna go empty."

Not as long as the George Stevens Academy Twinkie is there to keep the faith, Woody.