Why do coconuts have exactly three "holes", as seen in this picture?

enter image description here

A theory says: As coconut is a sibling of palm, somehow long time ago, three palms were in a same husk. Based on evolution theory, it's how the coconut was born in the world with three holes.


"Why does a coconut have exactly three eyes?", Quora

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ I'm not exactly sure what your question is. Are you wanting someone to clarify or confirm this theory? $\endgroup$
    – James
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 12:32
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    $\begingroup$ That's not evolutionary theory, that's mythology. $\endgroup$
    – MattDMo
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 13:31
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Is this a question? If so, it desperately needs an edit. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 17:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Based on strictly on evolutionary theory: "because it can". $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 21:49
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This was necessary to invent bowling. $\endgroup$
    – user8621
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 21:54

1 Answer 1


The three "holes" are the result of the 3 carpels in coconut flowers, and three carpels is typical of the family Arecaceae (Palms). The "holes" are actually germination pores, where one is usually functional and the other two are plugged. The new coconunt shoot will emerge from the functional, open, germination pore.

For further info and pictures, see this webpage or the paper Morphological and anatomical studies of the coconut (Smit 1970, link to pdf), which holds a wealth of information.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This must be truly the answer with the highest vote-to-text ratio ever! +1 $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 21:29

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