Daniel Susco
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Relax and Watch These Pumpkins Crush Junk Cars

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Here’s a Halloween riddle for you: What happens when someone drops a giant pumpkin onto a car?

Answer: It gets squashed.


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The above video came from Alpine Township, Michigan. However, the Ed Dunneback & Girls Fruit Farm is hardly the only place redefining the phrase “I really love Smashing Pumpkins.” In Damariscotta, Maine, dropping a giant pumpkin onto a car is a yearly tradition as part of its Pumpkinfest.

What about rollover protection?

In case you were wondering if this is a failure on the part of the car’s rollover protection, and whether you should write to your local congressman to pen a book with the title “Unsafe Under Any Squash,” that isn’t it. Engineers design car roofs to support the car’s weight should you accidentally roll over. However, when that pumpkin hits the car, it does so with far greater force than the car’s weight.

For example, using some general numbers from the pumpkin drops, we can generally estimate that a 1,500-pound pumpkin (which isn’t even the largest they dropped) falling 180 feet (like at the Maine festival) would hit the car with over 800,000 pounds of force.

The moral of the story, we guess, is don’t drive under falling pumpkins.


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Brief history

Weirdly, I had trouble finding record of people crushing junk cars with pumpkins outside of the last dozen years or so. We do know that these giant pumpkins, of the “Atlantic Giant” variety, first came about in the 1970s and ’80s. We also know that the first 1,000-pound pumpkin on record grew in 1996. It’s possible we only started dropping pumpkins on cars when we could ensure a really satisfying impact, and since the Guinness Book of World records listed the heaviest pumpkin in 2014 at 2,323.7 pounds, it’s safe to say we have reached that point.

In any case, enjoy watching these cathartic videos, and Happy Halloween!

News Sources: MLive, LancasterOnline, Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta, Georgia State University, New York Botanical Garden, Guinness Book of World Records

Daniel Susco is a native of the Dayton-Cincinnati area, and has written on a multitude of subjects. He can discuss Shakespeare, expound on Classical Mythology, and even make witty jokes about Pliny the Elder (More like “Pliny the Rounder,” right?). In his free time, Daniel enjoys reading, cooking, woodworking, and long walks on the beach (just kidding – sunburn is no joke). See more articles by Daniel.