10 fun facts about pumpkins

So you think you’ve got pumpkins all figured out, huh? In the spirit of Halloween, we've rounded up 10 facts about pumpkins that you might not have known!

By Emily Rivas

article-cover-american-pumpkin-patch-660x660 Photo: Sparefoot

1. Pumpkins may look tough, but they are actually very delicate. Once bruised or pierced, organisms are quick to munch away at them.

2. Morton, Illinois, is the pumpkin capital of the world. Over 100 thousand tons of pumpkins are processed there each year. (Picture 50 million pies stretched across the U.S more than 32 times!) 

3. People used to believe that pumpkins had the ability to remove freckles and cure snake bites.

4. Pumpkins are grown on all but one continent (Antarctica).

5. The largest pumpkin pie ever was made in New Bremen, Ohio in 2010. It weighed 3,699 pounds and had a diameter of 20 feet. 

6. In 1584, when French explorer Jacques Cartier was in the St. Lawrence region, he reported that he found “gros melons.” “Pompions” was the English translation, which eventually evolved into “pumpkin.”

7. Pumpkin carving originated in Ireland. The Irish used to carve turnips and potatoes until they immigrated to America and discovered pumpkins.

8. Native Americans used to use pumpkin seeds for food and medicine. Strips of pumpkins were also dried and made into mats.

9. Pumpkins are a part of the gourd family–the same one cucumbers, honeydew melons, cantaloupe, watermelons and zucchini belong to!

10. The heaviest pumpkin recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records weighed 2,032 pounds. Tim Mathison presented the gargantuan pumpkin on Oct. 12, 2013 at Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Park in Napa, California.

This article was originally published on Oct 30, 2014