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Live, From Iceland: It's A Hamburger

They call it "The last McDonald's hamburger in Iceland." Purchased more than five years ago, it has been displayed in the Na­tional Mu­seum of Ice­land. Now a webcam has been devoted to the hamburger (with a side of fries), among the last sold by the American company in the country.

The McDonald's hamburger is on display at the Bus Hostel Reykjavik.

In its glass display case, the burger could be seen as a mute commentary, delivered at the nexus of modern food ways and a global economy.

Or, it could just be an experiment to see what a McDonald's hamburger looks like when it gets old.

Icelandic news site MBL tells us, "The only no­table dif­fer­ence from a new burger is that the meat patty is a lit­tle lighter in color."

The meal was purchased nearly 2,000 days ago by Hjor­tur Smara­son, when Iceland's economy was suffering a severe financial crisis.

As Smara­son tells MBL, the burger has survived several moves — and the disdain of a Danish specialist who wanted to throw it out, saying it couldn't be preserved.

"I think he was wrong be­cause this ham­burger pre­serves it­self," Smara­son says.

If you were hoping to see a a hamburger in decay, the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum made a time lapse video last year (see below). And BuzzFeed kept seven fast-food hamburgers under glass for 30 days to compare how they aged.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.