Why do bowling balls look like coconuts

If you’ve ever played bowling, you know what the bowling ball looks like. There are three holes in the ball where you insert your fingers to grip the ball. Likewise, coconut has the same three holes, except it is not a gaming piece but a fruit.

Let’s discuss further into this.

Why do bowling balls look like coconuts?

Bowling balls look like coconuts, probably because of the same three holes they both have on their bodies. However, there is an excellent differentiation regarding the functionality of these “holes.”

Bowling ball holes are for gaming purposes, like your grip and control of the ball before tossing it into the pathway. In contrast, the “holes” on a coconut are not holes, but pores meant for germination.

Plus, two of the three holes are virtually useless. Only one of the pores is functional from where the new coconut shoots grow.

Why do coconuts have bowling ball holes?

Although they resemble traditional bowling balls with three holes, it has nothing similar to do with their functionality. As mentioned, coconut is a fruit for consumption, while the other is gaming equipment.

Coming from the Arecaceae family (Palms), the three holes on a coconut are pores of germination.

Even though all coconuts have three holes, only one of them is actually functional. The rest are plugged in. New coconut shoots grow from this pore.

The holes on the bowling ball are also functional but for a different purpose. You insert your fingers into the holes to get a good grip on the ball before you toss it into the bowling pins. On the other hand, coconut holes are not catually hollow, so you can’t insert your fingers into them.

Are coconuts bowling balls?

They are not considered bowling balls, but you can use them to play games similar to conventional bowling. If you don’t have access to a bowling alley, coconut bowling can be a makeshift game that you can play.

It’s easy to prep and play. You can even engage your kids in making the game, like helping in coloring the water bottles and designing the alley. It’s an inexpensive way to spend some fun time with family and friends when you cannot go out for a traditional bowling game.

Can I play bowling with coconuts?

Yes, you can play bowling with coconuts. Since coconuts look very similar to bowling balls and have the weight and structure to knock down regular bowling pins, water bottles, or bamboo pins, you can use a coconut as a bowling ball.

Coconut bowling is much like the traditional form of bowling. You roll the coconut down the alley, aiming to shoot down as many pins as possible. Typically, you’ll find that the pins are placed like a traditional game but less in number, probably 6 pins.

However, if you’re planning on using coconut instead of a bowling pin at a professional establishment, you must first ask for permission because the coconut could break. When spilled, the water in the coconut can make for a slippery alley which threatens the safety of people in the alley.


Bowling balls and coconuts have a lot of things in common; they are both spherical and have three holes. However, the reasons for these holes are completely different.

One is explicitly made to help the grip and control of the gameplay, while the other is a natural phenomenon that aid in the life cycle of the coconut.