split image of farmers holding the heaviest-mango-and-peter glazbrook holding the heaviest eggplant

For over 10,000 years humans have been selectively breeding crops for specific traits such as size, taste and productivity.

As a result, our fruits in the 21st century are now fatter than ever.

Here are five which have grown to ungourdly proportions (yes, gourds are fruits, not vegetables).

Heaviest strawberry

Weighing in at 289 g (10.19 oz), the world’s heaviest strawberry is over 20 times heavier than an average garden strawberry. It was grown by Chahi Ariel (Israel) in 2021.

The superlative strawberry is of the Ilan variety, which is known for producing large fruits. The record-breaking specimen is the result of multiple smaller strawberries fusing together to form a single large one.

"During this strawberry season in late January and early February it was particularly cold," explained Dr. Nir Dai, a researcher who bred the original Ilan strawberries and acted as a witness during the weigh-in.

"The strawberry developed slowly for more than 45 days from flowering which caused its large size at full ripening stage.”

It broke the previous record of 250 g (8.82 oz), achieved by Koji Nakao (Japan) in 2015.

Peter Glazebrook holding up heaviest eggplant

Heaviest eggplant/aubergine 

This girthy eggplant grew in the garden of Peter Glazebrook (UK) and was recognized at the 2021 CANNA UK National Giant Vegetables Championships to be the heaviest in history.

At 3.12 kg (6 lb 14 oz), it weighed 60 g (3 oz) more than the previous record holder.

You may be surprised at the inclusion of an eggplant in this list, but as they contain seeds and grow from a flowering plant, eggplants are technically a fruit.

Not only are they a fruit, eggplants are botanically classified as berries, whilst strawberries and raspberries are not. This is because eggplants meet the criteria of developing from a single flower with one ovary, in addition to having a soft outer skin and a fleshy core that holds the seeds.

Colombian farmers holding heaviest mango

Heaviest mango 

Heavier than an average newborn baby, this smooth mango was grown in Guyatá, Colombia, by farmers Germán Orlando Novoa Barrera and Reina Maria Marroquín.

It was weighed in July 2020 to be 4.25 kg (9.36 lb), breaking the previous record of 3.43 kg (7.57 lb), which had been held for over 10 years by a mango found in the Philippines.

The weight of an average mango is just 150 - 200 g (5 – 7 oz).

"The land that is cultivated with love produces great fruits” - Germán Orlando Novoa Barrera

Chris Kent with heaviest watermelon on floor

Heaviest watermelon 

Chris Kent (USA) loves massive melons. After first breaking the record for the world’s heaviest watermelon in 2010, Chris grew an even bigger one in 2013 to set a record which still stands today.

At 159 kg (350.5 lb), the weighty watermelon was over 15 times heavier than an average one and 19.2 kg (42.5 lbs) heavier than the previous record.

Chris grew the watermelon with his very own seeds taken from past grows – the 291 Kent crossed with the 274 Kent.

Record-setting seeds such as these can be sold for high prices, with small packs of just three or four fetching up to $40.


Heaviest pumpkin 

Although you would be forgiven for thinking otherwise, watermelons aren’t the world’s largest fruit.

That record title belongs to another fruit which is often mistaken as a vegetable - the Atlantic giant pumpkin, an orange fruit of the squash Cucurbita maxima, native to North America.

The heaviest pumpkin of all was weighed to be 1,226 kg (2,702 lb 13.9 oz), grown by Stefano Cutrupi (Italy) in 2021.

That’s heavier than a Nissan Micra car and almost double the weight of the heaviest man ever.

Whilst the other record-breaking fruits we’ve mentioned have weighed between 10 to 20 times more than their average-sized versions, Stefano’s pumpkin weighed over 100 times more than an ordinary one.

The plump pumpkin had a width of 3.56 m (11 ft 8 in) and a circumference of 5.42 m (17 ft 9 in), which is the largest size ever recorded in competition.

The record for the world’s heaviest pumpkin has been hotly contested and changed hands many times over the past few decades. The record weight continues to climb, indicating that there are still improvements to be made in giant pumpkin growing.

In the very first edition of Guinness Book of World Records in 1955, a UK record of 41.7 kg (92 lb) was listed for a pumpkin grown in Port Talbot, Glamorgan in 1930.

By the end of the century, the world record stood at 513 kg (1,131 lbs) and it has now ballooned to the current figure after being broken almost every year since.

It raises the question; how heavy can a pumpkin possibly get? David Hu, a mechanical engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology, calculated that a geometrically-perfect pumpkin could potentially reach up to 20,000 lb (9,071 kg), although in reality it is unlikely to ever happen.

Many more garden giants feature in Guinness World Records 2023, out later this year. Pre-order your copy today!
Garden Giants 2023 book spread