Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chinese Exploding Watermelons (weird science alert)

So, farmers in China were looking for a way to make watermelons grow faster... They found Forchlorfenuron, a chemical that's approved for kiwi fruit and grapes. This did not go well.

  From the Guardian article:
The report said the farmers sprayed the fruit too late in the season and during wet conditions, which caused the melons to explode like "landmines". After losing three hectares (eight acres), Liu said he was unable to sleep because he could not shake the image of the fruit bursting. "On 7 May, I came out and counted 80 [burst watermelons] but by the afternoon it was 100," he said. "Two days later I didn't bother to count any more." About 20 farmers and 45 hectares around Danyang were affected. The fruit could not be sold and was instead fed to fish and pigs.

Wow, exploding fruit causing PTSD in Chinese farmers.

And people wonder why I stopped reading fiction.
(although I've started again, actually)