15 Juiciest Fun Watermelon Facts & Trivia
Grab a slice of these refreshingly delicious watermelon facts and trivia! Perfect for a summer's day!
Everyone loves watermelon (well, almost everyone) - but have you ever stopped to think about those big green orbs of crunchy, sweet juice? Crack open these 15 fun facts about watermelon and all will be explained!
If you're hungry for more fruity facts then had a squeeze of these banana facts, this amazing fruit and vegetable quiz, or maybe this list of plum jokes is more your jam! Gediit? Jam?
1. They're almost all water
Watermelons are made up of 92% water! The clue is in the name, really! They're so thirst-quenching that early explorers used them as water bottles! Makes sense - watermelon juice is refreshing, and much safer to drink than water from swamps!
2. Is it a fruit? Is it a vegetable?
Depends who you ask! If you ask a scientist, they'll say its a fruit because it's produced by a plant after flowering and has seeds inside. But not everyone agrees! But who could disagree with science? Let's find out!
The people of Oklahoma, USA disagree with science! They insist that watermelons are vegetables, and are so sure of it that they've made it the official state vegetable. So, who do you trust more? Science or Oklahoma? Well?
4. Where do they come from?
Wild watermelons are native to South Africa - we think. There's a bit of debate about this and watermelons have a long and interesting history, but we'll find out more about that in a moment. Nowadays they're grown all over the world, in 96 countries! China is the biggest producer, with the USA down at number 5 (not that it's a competition or anything).
5. Watermelons in ancient Egypt
There are lots of wild melons all around Africa, with many of them being small and bitter. But the big red sweet ones we know today are at least as old as the pyramids! They have found watermelon seeds in ancient Egyptian tombs! So watermelons must have been eaten in Africa for a long time, and farmed deliberately to make them even bigger and juicier.
6. They've taken over the world
We're still not sure exactly how watermelons spread around the world, but from ancient Egypt it took a while to to reach China (the first record there was 10th Century) and another few hundred years after that to reach Europe. We're sure they were popular when they first turned up!
7. Japanese cube melons
Some of the strangest examples of these fruit (sorry, vegetables if you're in Oklahoma) are novelty cubed watermelon grown in Japan! Watermelons are grown in glass boxes to hold their shape. You can get other shapes too, but be prepared to spend a lot of money on them!
8. There are lots of different ways to eat them
In Egypt and Israel/Palestine it's common for watermelon to be served with feta cheese! Other people put it in salads, smoothies, sauces, or just eat it as it is! That's probably our favourite way!
9. They're related to pumpkins and cucumbers
There are more than 1,200 varieties of different watermelons, and they're all in the group of plants called Cucurbitaceae, which is the same as pumpkins and cucumbers. If we want to get technical, the type of fruit a watermelon is is called a pepo. Who comes up with these words?
10. You can eat the skin and pips!
There's nothing wrong with eating the skin of watermelon, believe it or not. It's a bit tough when raw, but in China the skins are fried or stewed, and in many places they pickled to make a tangy snack. And the seeds are good to eat too! They can be dried and roasted, or just gulped down. You don't need to spit them out - they won't grow more watermelons in your stomach!
11. They're very popular
In the United States amongst all the different melons (and there quite a lot - honeydew, cantaloupes etc), watermelon is the most popular. Americans eat over 7 kilos of watermelon each per year. And for such a big country, that means a LOT of watermelon!
12. The biggest watermelon ever
The heaviest watermelon weighs 159 kg and was grown by Chris Kent (USA) of Tennessee, USA. With a green-thumb, luck and some hot weather, Chris managed to grow an absolutely huge melon, and got in the Guinness Book of Records for it! Here he is planting a little baby watermelon! Let's hope it grows into a big'un!
13. There's ZERO watermelon in watermelon flavouring
Artificial watermelon flavour is everywhere, in chewing gum, sweets, even shampoo! But it doesn't have any actual watermelon in. Instead it is made by scientists out of a long list of chemicals, like dimethylheptenal, anisyl acetone and.... sugar! So if you're health conscious, maybe stick to the real deal!
14. Seedless watermelons!
Not all watermelons have seeds. Some have been specifically grown to have no, or at least very few seeds. They don't do this by genetically modifying it, it's possible by just lots of very clever melon breeding. A lot of people spent their whole lives working out how to do it! Again though, you can just eat or spit out the seeds. So....
15. Watermelon is good for you!
Watermelon is full of good stuff. It helps keep you hydrated with all that delicious juice, and despite being really sweet they're also very low in calories. Watermelon even has more lycopene that tomatoes - which is a really good thing! It helps keep blood pressure down and generally keep you ticking along in good shape. So eat as much watermelon as you can, it's good for you!