"Mitochondria is the Powerhouse of the Cell" is an expression describing the function of mitochondria organelles found in the cells of eukaryotic organisms. On Tumblr, the phrase is typically mocked as an example of impractical information taught in public schools.
The phrase "powerhouse of the cell" used to describe the function of mitochondria was coined by biologist Philip Siekevitz in the article "Powerhouse of the Cell" published in 1957. In April, 2013, Tumblr user apatheticghost posted several things learned in school, which included "mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell" (shown below). In the following two years, the post gained over 992,000 notes.
On February 12th, 2014, Tumblr user thomas-stillinski posted a photo of a biology exam in which the function of mitochondria is described as "the powerhouse of the cell" (shown below, left). On June 8th, Tumblr user kanga-roux posted another photo of a biology exam with mitchondria described as "the powerhouse of the cell" (shown below, right).
On October 6th, Tumblr user perks-of-being-chinese posted the phrase "The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell," which gathered more than 1,500 notes in the next month. On November 2nd, Tumblr user tylersivia-troyeoakley listed several things he learned in school, including "mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell" (shown below).
On December 8th, Tumblr blog Meme Passion highlighted the original post and described the meme as a "reflection of adolescents" general dissatisfaction with the school system. On December 15th, BuzzFeed included a multiple choice about mitochondrion in a quiz article titled "Could You Possibly Get A High School Diploma Now?" On May 26th, 2015, BuzzFeed featured another quiz specifically pertaining to facts about mitochondrion.