While they didn’t technically invent popcorn, it was the Aztecs who inadvertently introduced popcorn to the world as a result of the Spanish invasion. When Columbus first interacted with the Arawak tribe, he was given a popcorn corsage. Believed to be a key component in the foundation of their empire, popcorn played a large role in Aztec culture. It was often made into necklaces or headdresses, and it was commonly used to decorate religious statues. One Aztec ritual involved throwing a whole ear of un-popped popcorn into a fire as a sacrifice to the gods. They referred to the kernels which came out as “hailstones.”Some archaeologists believe that popcorn was actually the first form of corn ever cultivated, with evidence of its existence dating to the Anasazi tribe of Utah, who arose around 350 B.C. Using seed selection, an agricultural process to determine the healthiest future crop, Native Americans are thought to have developed the crop almost 5,000 years ago.