5 Fascinating Facts About Watermelons

Did you know that watermelons can stay fresh for months if stored properly?

The watermelon is a simple fruit that easily makes it into my top 5 favorites.

Whether eaten as a fruit or drank as a juice, it is a cool and refreshing option on hot summer days, lounging by the pool.

Whether blended, sliced, or mixed, this fruit perfectly embodies summertime.

Without further ado, let’s explore some interesting facts about watermelons.

Watermelons Have a Long History

The origins of watermelons are largely unknown, but many theories suggest that this fruit originated in Egypt about 4000 years ago.

Hieroglyphs and images can be found all over Egyptian tombs and paintings, including King Tut’s.

The main theory is that the Egyptians cultivated the same fruit we know today, based on an image that depicts an oblong fruit much like the one we all recognize.

Despite the fact that we all have the same image in our heads when we think of the humble watermelon, there are many species of this fantastic fruit, with over 1200 varieties differing in texture, taste, and appearance, including solid black varieties like the densuke and yellowish-fleshed ones like the orangeglo.

Over 300 varieties are grown in the U.S. alone.

There are Many Watermelon World Records

The most expensive watermelon ever sold was a Densuke, auctioned in 2008 for a staggering Y650,000 JPY or $6300 USD, and was one of the first harvested in Hokkaido, Japan.

This Japanese fruit is pure black and averages a price of $250 USD per fruit!

Watermelons always seem to be the go-to fruit for any chopping, smashing, slashing, or squeezing demos, and there are many world records for doing just that.

In 2014, Olga Liashchuk crushed 3 watermelons with her bare thighs in 14.65 seconds, and in 2006, Leonardo D’Andrea smashed 10 watermelons with his head in 16 seconds, both securing Guinness World Records for their efforts.

In 2013, in Tennessee, USA, Christopher Kent set the Guinness World Record for the largest and heaviest watermelon in the world, weighing an unbelievable 350.5 lbs (159 kg).

To put this in perspective, the average watermelon weighs 25 lbs (11.33 kg), so Chris’s specimen was 14 times heavier!

Watermelons Have Been Involved in Crime and National Security!

In 2014, a man was allegedly arrested after his partner felt threatened when she returned home to find a watermelon stabbed with a butcher’s knife.

The woman, who had recently attempted to turn the man in for drug offenses following the discovery of marijuana, came home to find the impaled fruit and felt it was left there to intimidate her.

The suspect came in and apparently started cutting up the fruit, and was later bailed.

Watermelons have also wreaked havoc on Israel’s security!

In June 2016, an Israeli military zone prevented a Palestinian man from entering his home in Hebron when he attempted to cross the area with a watermelon. Despite the man’s desire to enter the zone, 25 Israeli soldiers refused him access and forced him to wait for four hours while they decided whether to let him pass.

Watermelons have various uses around the world. Egyptians and other cultures cultivate this fruit to keep it edible for months if stored in optimal conditions. During times of drought, the fruit can be crushed and drained for water since it contains over 91% water. National Geographic reported this technique being demonstrated in Sudan in 1924. Across Asia, watermelon seeds are considered a popular snack and a vital part of national holiday celebrations, such as the Chinese New Year and Vietnam’s Tết.

Watermelons are incredibly healthy, containing over 91% water, which is comparable to the water content found in the human brain. The fruit is considered one of the best hydrators in the world. The medicinal properties of watermelons are numerous. The juice can reduce muscle soreness, improve eyesight, and lower the risk of cancer due to the presence of Citrulline, Vitamin A, and Lycopene, respectively.

Watermelon is a widely popular fruit globally, with various uses and health benefits. It is now even used in new drink concoctions and vaping liquids. So, grab a wedge, sit down with a book, and enjoy this delicious fruit. In Japan, a watermelon is a traditional gift to bring along when visiting a friend.

FAQ

1. How did watermelons get their name?

Watermelons were named for their high water content, which is around 92%. The word “watermelon” comes from the Greek words “water” and “apple,” which is a reference to the fruit’s juicy, refreshing taste.

2. Where did watermelons originate?

Watermelons are believed to have originated in Africa. They were first cultivated in the Nile Valley as early as 2000 BC and were a popular fruit in ancient Egypt. From there, watermelons spread to other parts of the world, including Europe and Asia.

3. What are some health benefits of watermelon?

Watermelon is not only delicious, but it’s also good for you. It’s low in calories, high in vitamins A and C, and contains antioxidants that can help protect your cells from damage. Watermelon also contains lycopene, which has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.

4. How can you tell if a watermelon is ripe?

Choosing a ripe watermelon can be tricky, but there are a few things to look for. First, the watermelon should feel heavy for its size. Second, the spot where the watermelon was resting on the ground should be creamy yellow. Finally, give it a thump – a ripe watermelon will have a deep, hollow sound.

5. What are some fun ways to eat watermelon?

Watermelon is a versatile fruit that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Some popular ways to eat watermelon include slicing it into wedges, cubing it and adding it to a fruit salad, blending it into a refreshing smoothie, or grilling it for a unique twist on a summer BBQ. You can also try pickling watermelon rind or making watermelon salsa!

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