A couple from New Zealand was recently heartbroken after Guinness World Records announced that the potato, they grew was not actually a potato – it was a gourd. You read that right! It all began when in 2021 a man named Colin Craig-Brown first unearthed the giant vegetable from his garden. He and his wife Donna believed it to be a giant “ugly” potato that weighed almost 8 kgs. They also named it “Dug”. According to the couple, the vegetable “looked and tasted” like potato. They then submitted an application with the Guinness World Records to set record of growing the world’s heaviest potato.
However, months after completing all the paperwork and submitting pictures of the vegetable, the couple received an email from Guinness World Records stating that the vegetable they grew was a tuber of a gourd in the family Cucurbitaceae. “Dear Colin, sadly the specimen is not a potato and is in fact the tuber of a type of gourd. For this reason, we do unfortunately have to disqualify the application,” the email read, as per a report in The Wall Street Journal. These results were based on scientific studies conducted on the vegetable.
According to Dr Samantha Baldwin, from New Zealand’s Plant and Food Research, who conducted a test on the DNA samples, the vegetable was “not behaving” like a potato. Reports further stated that the DNA samples of the tuber was also sent to Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) in Scotland. There it was found that the vegetable’s genetic sequencing closely matched those of gourds.
Meanwhile, for the unversed, the existing record of “world’s heaviest potato” belongs to one that was grown in Britain in 2011. This potato weighed in under 5kgs.