May 30, 2003
The Great Exploding Watermelon

A tale from the past, simple, to get me back writing...

Ellen loves watermelon. No, that doesn't do it justice. Ellen cherishes watermelon. Nope, still not enough. Try this: my wife loves watermelon more than the pope loves God. Yeah, ok, that'll do. She's pretty good at telling a ripe one from one that could still use a few days on the vine. Unfortunately we both discovered that she's not so good at spotting overripe ones.

*GASP!!!* "OH MY GOD!!!"

Ok, this can only mean one of two things... either Ellen has found a kitten crawling around in the produce section, or...

"Watermelons are on sale!!!"

Yup. If my wife looked at me the way she looked at these giant green ovoids, sitting in a cardboard tub on the gritty-white tile of the grocery store floor, I'd be in the emergency room trying to explain just how I got teeth marks... well, never mind. I always wondered where Japanese animators came up with that deliriously happy face they give their characters when they see the true love of their life. The first time Ellen saw watermelon for less than $2.00 each, I found out.

(If you don't know what I'm talking about, click here then click here.)

Off she scampered, scattering unsuspecting shoppers in her wake, to stand in front of the bin chewing on her knuckles in excitement. "Wow!" she exclaimed in a breathy voice, "look at them all!"

"They look like rejects from Invasion of the Bodysnatchers. Like the pods could only grab dwarves or something."

"Oh shut up. *Heavenly sigh.* Which one... which one..."

Gathering at its most primal, that's what I was watching. Men hunt for things, we walk around with a clear picture of what we want, spot it, grab it, and head out the door. Good for shirts, bad for fruit. Women, well, Ellen anyway, can sit for what seems like hours pouring over one nearly identical fruit after another. After another. After another.

I'd long since moved on to the beer isle (I hunt for my own stuff, thank you) when she waddled around the corner with her selected prize slung in her arms. A just about perfectly round watermelon, about two, two and a half times as big as a bowling ball and nearly as heavy, a striped black-green croquet ball for giants.

"That's kind of a weird color," I said judiciously.

"Isn't it cool?"

One does not contradict the Empress, especially about fruit, so I let it slide. After all, the last time I picked up fruit it was only good for half a day. I mean, how was I to know syrup at the bottom of a strawberry container wasn't a good sign?

She was so proud of it that when we got home it was put in a place of honor on the dining room table. I had to eat around it. However, since we were running late that day, Ellen didn't actually have time to carve it up before bed time. It would get to spend the night overlooking the living room, like some giant green eyeball.

3 a.m. Can't sleep. Never play video games after 9 p.m., otherwise you end up dodging missiles in your helicopter only to be punched awake with a muzzy, "stop flying through the valley you retard, go to sleep." Apparently I tend to act out my dreams a little more forcefully than I realize. Well, nothing for it now, grab your book and head for the couch.

As I turned on the lamp in the living room I noticed the light gave the watermelon an almost malevolent look, all shadows and black-green stripes. What’s worse, the longer I looked at it, the more I became convinced it had moved. Ok, no more playing video games after 9 p.m. and no more mint chocolate chip ice cream with beer. I settled down with my back to it because it kept freaking me out.


I looked around. What the hell was that? Couldn't have been the cats. When they want to make noise at night it usually involves something along the lines of a cavalry charge combined with a marching band. Besides I could see most of them, one was even busily trying to demonstrate that cat ass was the best sleep aid in the world. I tossed that one down and started reading again.


Ok, this is just weird. Sounds like someone thumping a basketball. Waitaminute. I turned and looked at the watermelon. Swear to God it looked back at me.

It's 3 a.m., you can't sleep, and you're staring at a watermelon. A goddamned bowling ball fruit. No, it hasn't moved again. It's a watermelon. It doesn't have legs.

Minutes seemed to go by. Nothing happened. So I went and turned back to my book, more than a little freaked out.


Ok enough's enough. This time it was loud enough to wake me up from my snooze. More, I knew, I knew where it was coming from.

But there in the middle of the night, with a police siren echoing faintly in the background, I had to be careful. Didn't want to spook it. I quietly rolled out of the couch, stood up, and walked softly toward what had become my very own green fruity raven.


Ah-ha! I had caught it! I confidently walked up to the thing, now more curious than anything else. I even saw it tip a little with each ping. It really had moved! Ha-ha-HA! Everything was under control, mystery solved, no worries, no crazies. Then, as I touched it, it gave one last defiant PING!!!

And exploded.

Well, not exploded as in "KABOOM", more like a fissure opened up in its side and with a fwoosh a jet of watermelon juice shot out with enough force to splash against the wall it was sitting beside. When you're confronted with something so surprising, so completely out of your realm of expectation, the darnedest things go through your mind. For a second or two as I watched it spray its sugary wrath against the walls I could only think of one thing, "Oh my God. I've killed Ellen's watermelon."

I quickly came to my wits and grabbed the fizzing thing, ran around the counter, and dumped it (gently!) into the sink. I watched in a kind of horror as it actually began to deflate a little, like some sad vegetable monster from a 50's horror flick. The cats slowly gathered around doing their "curiosity bob", apparently intrigued that what was once merely a strangely shaped rock had suddenly become a fizzy smelly not-quite-food thing. As I turned off the light I could hear someone, probably Ted (the cat-shaped goat), licking at the juice as it trickled Hitchcock-like down the drain.

"Scooottt?" Every man knows this tone. Only a woman can put a six-word sentence into a single pitched word. "Why is the watermelon in the sink?"

Morning. I had survived the attack of the Really Weird Watermelon. Now I had to survive the wrath of Watermelon Woman.

"It blew up."

"What?!? What are you talking about?"

"No, really, it blew up... fwoosh! Started spraying juice all over the place like some sort of green fire hose."

She'd already got out the knife and started cutting. We could tell immediately that something was wrong... no watermelon either of us had ever seen was that red on the inside. Looked more like red velvet cake than fruit. What's more, it was still fizzing a little, like someone had poured half a Sprite into it. It smelled like the inside of a freshly opened soda bottle. Ellen didn't even try to eat it.

Of course, as with all triumphant rescues, there's always some chink, some flaw in your cunning plan.

"Look at these walls! Why didn't you clean this up last night?"

Posted by scott at May 30, 2003 08:21 PM

eMail this entry!

Reminds me of my mother.

Only instead of an exploding watermelon, it was a rotted pecan. And she actually did try to eat it, even after the thing degenerated into a pile of black ooze before her eyes.

After throwing up several times, all she could work up in her defense was, "I didn't want it to go to waste..."

Posted by: Tatterdemalian on May 31, 2003 07:04 AM

I don't like watermelon. Not even the Life Savers flavor of it. I used to like watermelon, but something happened that I know I have blanked out.

Posted by: Laurence Simon on May 31, 2003 09:40 AM

I did so need a good laugh! Thanks, but I think you will be in trouble for that waddle remark!

Posted by: Pat on May 31, 2003 01:49 PM

It is nice to know I'm not seeing things. I just had a watermelon explode as I started carving it. As soon as the knife cracked the skin the darn thing split open with enough force to spray watermelon flesh all over me and my kitchen, ceiling included. Thank goodness I foung this message board otherwise I might be looking into some psycho-therapy for myself. I never even heard of such a thing before today.

Posted by: Ed on July 26, 2003 08:56 PM

You should have eaten the watermelon! It was fermented. This happens pretty frequently, especially when the fruit has been sitting in hot weather. The pressure of the fermentation process is what causes it to explode.

Posted by: Georgia on August 13, 2003 05:57 AM

My own exploding watermelon story....(and punkin)

Posted by: Steve Hasenfus on August 31, 2003 08:56 PM

My own exploding watermelon story....(and punkin)

Posted by: Steve Hasenfus on August 31, 2003 08:56 PM

I had a watermelon explode all over my kitchen last Sunday night. It was horrible. My daugther was attempting to help me clean it up, my granddaugther was taking pictures, and my grandson was explaining the scientific reason for the explosion (something to do with gases and pressure building up). No one I have told this story to has ever heard of such a thing. I thought maybe I was in the twilite zone until we found your story on the internet.

Posted by: Jan Pollard on September 24, 2003 02:50 PM

A watermelon exploded in my kitchen last night. It shot a nearly clear liquid 14 feet across the floor. Today I am cleaning under the dishwasher. This melon appeared fine when I moved it to mop the night before. The melon split open on one end. We were watching TV when it happened but didn't hear anything. We noticed the odor and started looking around. It was quite a sight to see. The entire kitchen floor was covered in about 1/2 inch of the liquid and seeds. YUK.

Posted by: Lynn Demuynck on October 11, 2003 11:49 PM

This is freaking hysterical! I read this from work and I laughed my ass off! Great story!

Posted by: Waysted Girl on January 28, 2004 02:23 PM

I'm happy in this day and age to be able to type "exploding watermelons" in a google search and feel reassured that I wasn't burglarized. Boy was this a sight to see. I had just come from from a long dinner with a friend and as soon as I walked into my dark kitchen I found the bottom of my shoes stuck to the floor. I turned on the lights and saw the watermelon I had left out for the past three days all over my kitchen counters, floors and cabinets. I thought to myself, what a pathetic burglar, of all the things he could take in my house, he threw that silly watermelon on my kitchen counter, made a mess and walked away. Thanks to your story, I didn't call the police. Its really fascinating how this whole fermentation thing happens, none of my friends will believe me.

Posted by: Ryan Khordipour on August 30, 2004 01:05 AM

funny story... i had a similar experiance with a bottle of orange juice that had been sitting in my locker, when i opened it, it was like someone shot an air rifle full of rubbing alchohol in my face....smelled pretty bad too

Posted by: Chris on May 20, 2005 10:58 PM

You know those stories about cars that had a decomposing body in the trunk and the used car guys can never get the smell out? They have it easy. Try a watermelon the size of a small footlocker in the (carpeted!) trunk of a dark colored car, forgotten for three weeks of vacation in the middle of August in the mid-west. Corpse would be a step up. Unwilling to reconstruct the crime scene, I will never know if it actually exploded...however, the sedan from hell did die of unrelated (?-they were in the other end but who knows what psychic damage was wrought) injuries not long after.

Posted by: Betsy on July 30, 2005 12:20 PM

There was a concrete painted watermelon in my grandparents back yard.

Posted by: amber on October 22, 2005 11:37 AM

HAhahhahahahha. Tis undoubtedly the best story I've heard in quite some time. Oh, the joy that we glean from the unexpected phenomenons of life. ^_^

Posted by: Laurin on January 11, 2007 12:20 PM

The resolution sounds like something from "Things My Girlfriend And I Have Argued About".

Posted by: DensityDuck on August 28, 2007 07:59 PM

My watermelon exploded today... no pings as far as I know. No warning. More violent explosion then yours through. These things should be banned or terrorists will use them :)

Posted by: Tom on October 3, 2007 02:43 PM

I had a watermelon explode today as well. I was curious about it and my husband suggested to look on the internet. Sure enough here you were! I thought maybe someone was trying to mess with me or maybe even poisen me(or anyone buying the watermelon)ie:Tylenol ring a bell? .......
Anyway it still smells good what is left of it but if this is caused by fermentation (mine was bubbling prior to exploding)maybe we shouldn't eat it? Just curious? I love watermelon too and don't want to throw one out unecessarily.
Any advice?

Posted by: Lynne on June 16, 2008 08:05 PM

I also have an exploding watermelon report! This time from Sweden, and the melon was from Brazil. The stench it left was unbearable. Didn't know about this phenomenon until today. Very interesting!

Posted by: Mike on October 10, 2008 03:32 PM

totally had a cantaloupe explode in my kitchen this early morning. Turned on the lights to a complete mess. Glad Im not going crazy!

Posted by: ks on August 3, 2010 04:32 PM

We barely escaped a massive watermelon blast! My nephew noticed that a watermelon we'd bought a few days earlier was foaming all over. Too busy cooking dinner I just put it in the sink where it continued to foam and crackle, but at least it wasn't making a mess on the floor. Awhile later I looked it up on the net and found out "she was fix'n to blow!" We immediately poked it with a knife and a gush of smelly yucky watermelon FUNK escaped and stunk up the whole kitchen! Never would have seen that mess coming! What luck my nephew did!

Posted by: Missy on August 20, 2010 09:33 PM

This just happened to me. A quiet Sunday morning and then it sounded like a loud light bulb exploded. The melon was pink inside instead of red and it was making a fizzle sound.

Posted by: Jamie Hublar on August 22, 2010 10:04 AM

I had a watermelon explode with a very loud noise and spraying all over my carpet. I had never heard of such a thing before and I honestly thought I was being bewitched or poisoned. Thanks for your post

Posted by: Amos on October 18, 2010 03:27 AM

> . >;;;
We had a watermellon explode in our kitchen recently. Only we didn't know..until we smelled the smell and couldn't figure out where it was comming from.
Took us a entire day of cleaning the kitchen to find it.
> w

Posted by: Scarlett on April 29, 2011 06:52 AM

We had a watermelon explode while we were away. I forgot to bring it for our trip and one week later, when we got back there was a stench like you wouldn't believe and the mess,... Now I know we should have eaten it.

Posted by: D. Bertrand on July 29, 2011 08:56 PM

We had a watermelon explode while we were away. I forgot to bring it for our trip and one week later, when we got back there was a stench like you wouldn't believe and the mess,... Now I know we should have eaten it.

Posted by: D. Bertrand on July 29, 2011 08:56 PM

We had a watermelon explode while we were away. I forgot to bring it for our trip and one week later, when we got back there was a stench like you wouldn't believe and the mess,... Now I know we should have eaten it.

Posted by: D. Bertrand on July 29, 2011 08:56 PM
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