What do you know about the watermelon? You know that it's a fruit - or is it? You know that it's delicious. And you know it's a melon that makes a great summertime treat. But there's more to find out about watermelons! Read on for some interesting watermelon facts that may surprise you.
- Watermelon contains a lot of health benefits. It's good for the heart and it is even believed to help prevent many well-known cancers.
- Some consider it to be a vegetable and not a fruit. While its sweet taste makes most say fruit, it is actually grown like a vegetable and harvested as such as well. It comes from a plant similar to what a pumpkin and other gourds come from. When the rind is used for pickling purposes or stir fried or stewed, then it is being used like a vegetable. However, most commonly it is known as a fruit.
- Every part of the watermelon can be eaten.
- Watermelon is believed to come from Africa and was first cultivated as early as 2000 B.C. It is believed that it was used to refresh travelers as they traveled through Africa, and was also used as canteens. It came to the United States with African slaves, and the term watermelon appeared first in the English dictionary in 1615.
- The first seedless watermelon was treated with acid on the unpollinated flowers of watermelon in 1939.
- It is said that, by weight, watermelon is the most consumed melon in the United States.
- There are more than 1200 different variates of watermelon. They even come in different shapes - including square.
- If you have sun, bees, and water, you can grow watermelon. You will also need a lot of room. Watermelon is best planted in rows 8-12 feet apart. It takes about 3 months for a watermelon to be ready to harvest.
- Watermelons must be harvested by hand and not by machine because they are very fragile.
- August 3 is considered national watermelon day. So remember to eat plenty of watermelon on this day!
- Watermelon contains more than 90% water.
- The world's heaviest watermelon was grown in Arkadelphia, Arkansas by Lloyd Bright. It weighed 268.8 pounds (121.93 kg).
- American comedian Gallagher became famous for smashing watermelon on stage with his Sledge-O-Matic. It was wildly popular prop comedy, especially in the 1980s.
- Mark Twain once described watermelon like this: “It is the chief of this world's luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat. It was not a Southern watermelon that Eve took; we know it because she repented.”
And there you have it. Everything you could possibly ever have wanted to know about watermelons. Where it came from, to how it is grown, its health benefits, and even how well liked it is by famous people.