Say what you will about the pumpkin spice latte, but the pumpkin itself is a whole different story. The latte may take the essence of the great gourd and reduce it down to foam and sugar, but the pumpkin is so much bigger than a fall drink — it's a force with its own gravitational force. Ok fine, maybe not all pumpkins are like that, but the record-setting 2,058 pound white pumpkin in Half Moon Bay, California, which just smashed every previous title holder of "North America's Biggest Pumpkin" to bits, probably does. I mean seriously, it weighs the equivalent of a ton and a small child. Think of how many PSL's, muffins, cookies and other treats you could make with that!
The famed Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival, started 44 years ago, is the pinnacle of all pumpkin loving parties. The event includes the "Great Pumpkin Parade, pie-eating and costume contests, pumpkin carving and a host of pumpkin-inspired food and drinks," according to ABC7, but no part of the festival is as anticipated and no prize as coveted as the pumpkin weigh-in, which is in its 41st year of grandeur. But this year is particularly special for the Half Moon Bay as both first prize and second prize pumpkins exceeded the one-ton mark for the first time in North American history.
John Hawkley, who sired the largest, 2,058-pounder, told ABC7 that he had devoted considerable time and effort into creating his pumpkin masterpiece.
I spent hours on my plants, I gave up a lot of weekends where my wife wanted to go someplace and I wouldn't go. I took some time off work because it was so much work this year with the hot weather.
That, my friends, is dedication. And at $6 per pound, Hawkley's hard work has certainly paid off — he and his wife will pocket a check for a whopping $12,348 as a reward for some seriously great gardening. Of course, Hawkley didn't reveal exactly how he managed to grow such a "colossal ghost," but did note that he kept California's drought conditions in mind and was careful not to over water the plant. Hawkley told NBC Bay Area that he "just kept the water constant" with an overhead misting system.
So just how big is 2,058 pounds? Let's compare Hawkley's pumpkin with a few other considerably sized items to see how the gourd stacks up.
At 1,000 pounds each, a pair of whale testicles adds up to a ton, or about the same as Hawkley's pumpkin. This may seem absurd, but when you consider that a whale itself can weigh up to 200 tons, the 1,000-pound testicles seem a bit less far-fetched.
Great White Shark
If a giant pumpkin swam at me in the ocean, it would probably be even more terrifying than a great white shark, mostly because it would actually weigh more than a shark. Sharks can weigh anywhere between 1500 and 2400 pounds, which means that your average-sized character from Jaws would probably be a bit lighter than the great white pumpkin.
Cheshire Mammoth Cheese
Ah yes — what is better than pumpkin if not cheese? Perhaps the most famous giant wheel of cheese was presented to President Thomas Jefferson in 1802 and weighed 1,230 pounds. The "mammoth cheese" was conceived as a gift to the president in "honor of his republicanism and his support of religious liberty," according to Monticello.org, the foundation that maintains Jefferson's historic house. This cheese made use of the milk of 900 cows, and bore the inscription: "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God."
That's right — this pumpkin weighs more than a grizzly bear, the most fearsome of all forest creatures. An adult male Grizzly, at most, can tip the scales at about 1700 pounds. The pumpkin is considerably larger than a grizzly bear, but doesn't have sharp teeth or claws and probably doesn't stink to high heaven either.
According to the Telegraph, the average weight of an adult is 137 pounds. It would take 15 of us to stack up equally against a single Hawkley pumpkin. In America, the average adult weight is 180 pounds, so it would take fewer of us to equal the pumpkin, but still, 11.5 is nothing to laugh at.
So if you ever have the pleasure of encountering this massive pumpkin in person, just be thankful that it is an inanimate object incapable of actually doing you any harm — that is, unless, you decide to eat the whole thing.