Feast your eyes upon what man hath wrought.
Japanese farmers grow hundreds of cube watermelons every year to be sold in upscale markets both in Japan and abroad. While each fruit typically sells for approximately $80 dollars in Japan, wealthy Russians have been known to spend as much as $860 dollars on one of these molded melons.
Square watermelons have been floating around the internet for quite a while, but as The New York Times pointed out this week, there are several misconceptions about how these bad boys are made. Here’s the lowdown on these freaky fruits.
First off, square watermelons are not genetically modified or engineered to grow in this particular shape. Farmers place the baby watermelons inside boxes and allow them to grow, letting the melons naturally form to the boxes’ edges.
Square watermelons originated as a direct response to limited refrigerator space many Japanese people deal with. A full-sized watermelon can take up a lot of room in cramped spaces, so Japanese farmers decided to force their watermelons into a more manageable cubic shape.
Unfortunately, square watermelons are more decorative than they are tasty. The melons are harvested before they are ripe, making them pretty much inedible. In Japan, it’s customary to give high-end fruits as gifts, so these watermelons make great presents for special occasions. We have to say, though, it’s not the most efficient use of our resources.
Peruse the magical melons below and ponder if mankind has finally gone one step too far.