The Strange Side of Barcodes: 10 Facts You Never Knew Existed


We all have encountered barcodes in our daily lives, from scanning them at the grocery store to receiving them on packages. However, there are some fascinating and bizarre facts about barcodes that most people are unaware of. In this article, we will discuss some of the weirdest barcode facts that will amaze you.

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1. The First Ever Product Scanned by a Barcode

The first product ever to be sold using a barcode was a pack of Wrigley’s chewing gum in 1974: On June 26, 1974, a pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum was scanned at a supermarket in Ohio using a barcode system developed by IBM. This marked the first-ever commercial transaction using a barcode.

2. The World's Largest QR Code

Yuengling, a popular beer brand, wanted to show appreciation for farmers who are an essential part of the beer industry. In May 2022, they teamed up with a family business in Farmland, Indiana called Chalfant Family Farms to create something special. The farmers carefully planted crops in a unique design that would form the world’s largest QR code. After months of nurturing and growth, the crops have now grown to form a QR code that spans a quarter-mile in length and a quarter-mile in width. This impressive code is equivalent to the size of 20 football fields and is made entirely out of real, live crops.

3. The Most Scanned Barcode

The Universal Product Code (UPC) is the most scanned barcode in the world. The UPC was invented by George J. Laurer in 1973 and is used on products sold in North America, Australia, and New Zealand. The barcode is scanned over 5 billion times every day.

4. Barcodes on Graves

In Sweden, some graves have barcodes on them, allowing visitors to scan and learn more about the deceased person: This system, known as the “Memorial QR code,” was developed in 2014 and is used in some cemeteries in Sweden. When scanned, the barcode takes visitors to a website with information about the person buried in that grave.

5. The highest number of barcodes scanned in one minute by a team of two

The highest number of barcodes scanned in one minute by a team of two is 11,422, achieved in 2013: This record was achieved by Tomomi Sasaki and Miyuki Sato from Japan, who scanned a total of 11,422 barcodes in one minute using handheld scanners.

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