Happy Halloween! Google commemorates Halloween with a massive-pumpkin-carving video. What's the science behind gargantuan gourds?
Google bid the Web-surfing masses a happy Halloween Monday with a time-lapse video of Googlers carving immense pumpkins in the middle of the company's Mountain View, Calif., campus. Each of the pumpkins weighs around 1,000 pounds., with the heaviest of them weighing in at 1,298 pounds.
Pumpkins are the world's largest fruit (botanically speaking, a fruit is any plant with the seeds on the inside), and they can get much bigger than the ones seen in Google's video. According to Guinness World's Records, the heaviest pumpkin ever, grown in 2010 by Chris Stevens of New Richmond, Wis., tipped the scales at 1,810.5 pounds.
Cinderella stories aside, titanic pumpkins are a relatively new phenomenon. In 1991, the world record holder was a mere 493.5 pounds. Ten years later, growers passed the thousand-pound milestone, and they've just kept getting bigger ever since.
It all began with Nova Scotia grower Howard Dill, the most famous person in the world (at least when it comes to mammoth pumpkins). All of today's record-shattering fruits come from a single gourd from 1979 named the Atlantic Giant, a member of the subspecies Cucurbita maxima. C. maxima was first cultivated in the early 19th century, by growers who crossed a Japanese kabocha squash with a Hubbard squash.