Why Did All These Watermelons Explode?

Illustration for article titled Why Did All These Watermelons Explode?

Watermelons are delicious, especially during the summer. I search far and wide for the biggest, juiciest, perfectest watermelon around. But sometimes they can get too big, like this field of watermelons that've exploded like landmines.


According to a news report, these exploded watermelons were 'accidentally' pumped with forchlorfenuron, a growth accelerator. Forchlorfenuron is legal, stimulates cell separation and "can bring the harvest forward by two weeks and increase the size and price of the fruit by more than 20%." But! It turns the melons into weird shapes, makes its seeds white and if sprayed too late, causes these explosions.

A watermelon farmer, Liu Mingsuo, has lost 8 acres to the chemical and can't sleep at night because of images of the fruit bursting. It'd be a sad sight for me too. In total, about 20 farmers were affected and 110 acres ruined. Well, damn. [Guardian UK via BoingBoing]



Magic growing aid? Fee Fai Forchlorfenuron Fum, I smell the sweaty sheets of a Chinaman.