You probably already know that potatoes are one of the most popular vegetables in the world but they’re more than just a versatile and delicious side dish. 
Potatoes originated in South America, eventually making their way all over the globe and becoming a staple of diets across many cultures. Today, the potato’s main production countries are China, India, Ukraine, Russia, and the USA.  
Though the humble potato may look rather plain from the outside, it’s one of the more versatile and unique vegetables out there. Below are six special facts about potatoes you probably didn’t know.  
1. They’re still alive when you buy them!
Unlike a harvested carrot, for example, a potato is still alive when you find it in the grocery store. If you’ve stored your potatoes in a warm, humid place, you’ve probably noticed those sprouts growingout of them. But did you know that if you put that potato back into the soil those sprouts will grow into a potato plant? 
2. Potatoes were the first vegetable grown in space. 
Seed potatoes were first tested by NASA in 1995.Then in 2004, NASA used a Chinese technique to actually grow them in a chamber. So you could say potatoes really are out of this world!  
3. Sweet potatoes are not actually potatoes. 
Sweet potatoes seem very similar to potatoes in both look and texture.However, they actually belong to the Convolvulaceae family, which Morning Glory also belongs to. This means that though they are only distantly related, sweet potatoes are still closer to being a flower than a potato. 
4. Potatoes are chameleons among vegetables. 
Potatoes come not only in yellow, but alsored, gold, or even purple varieties.They can even change their color! If not kept in optimal conditions, their skin will go from brownish to green. Butmake sure to not eat those green potatoesthe color is a warning that the toxin solanine could be present.  
5. People and potatoes have something in common.
You wouldn’t know by looking at them, but potatoes contain about 80% water, almost the same amount as the human body! You could juice them just like an apple but it probably wouldn’t taste very good.  
6. Potatoes are environmental friendly. 
Because potatoes are easy to grow, they dont need massive amounts of fertilizers or other chemicals. They also produce few greenhouse gas emissions. This makes them a more environmental friendly source of carbohydrates than rice and the grains used for foods like pasta and bread.  
So the humble potato is a bit more interesting than you may have realized. Next time you have fries with your meal, remember they’re more than just a delicious side dish.