32 Refreshing Facts About Watermelon

Watermelon is both a fruit and a vegetable.

If you want to eat fruit on a hot summer day, watermelons may be one of the first things on your mind.

Throughout summer, you'll find watermelon added to drinks and served as dessert at barbecues across the country.

Whether you think of watermelon as a fruit or a vegetable, you're correct.

Here are some tasty facts about this colorful, juicy treat.


The scientific name for a watermelon is "Citrullus Lanatus".

As its name states, 92% of watermelon consists of water.

Wild watermelons are native to South Africa.

You can eat all parts of the watermelon including the rind and seeds.
In China, the rinds are often stir-fried or stewed, while in the American South, cooks like to pickle them. And, across the Middle East and Asia, the seeds are dried and roasted (similar to pumpkin seeds) to make a light, crunchy snack.

Watermelon is a relative of pumpkins and cucumbers.

Seedless watermelons are not genetically modified but are a hybrid species.
Seedless watermelons, in essence, are the result of human intervention in the natural processes of plant breeding. They are, therefore, a hybrid variety. This means that they don't occur in the wild or as a natural mutation; rather, they are carefully cultivated by crossing specific types of watermelon plants.

A watermelon is one of the only foods to be classified as both a fruit and a vegetable.

Thanks to their sweet taste, watermelons are commonly considered a fruit. And they do grow like fruit, originating from flowers that have been pollinated by bees, and, from a botanical perspective, they're fruits because they contain seeds.

But many gardeners think of them as vegetables, since they grow them in their gardens alongside other summer veggies like peas and corn.

Technically, watermelon is classified as part of a botanical family of gourds that includes other culinary vegetables like cucumber, squash, and pumpkin.

Related: Is A Tomato A Fruit Or A Vegetable?

Archaeological evidence shows the Egyptians were cultivating watermelon more than 5,000 years ago.
Watermelon appears in ancient Egyptian painted limestone reliefs dating from ancient Egypt; its seeds and leaves have been found in Egyptian tombs.

There are more than 1,200 varieties of different watermelons.

Over 300 types of watermelons are grown in the U.S., although only about 50 varieties are grown for grocery stores.

A watermelon's flesh is not always red alternatively can be orange, green, yellow or white.
The most popular kinds are known for their green rind and red flesh, but watermelons come in an array of sizes, colors, and flavors.

Watermelons tend to be grouped into four main categories: seeded (or picnic), seedless, icebox (also known as mini, or personal size) and yellow/orange.

Watermelon is grown in over 96 countries worldwide and there are 1.3 million hectares.

It takes about 3 months for a watermelon to fully mature, but it depends on the variety; some watermelons need 4 months to ripen.

The heaviest watermelon weighs 159 kg (350.5 lb) and was grown by Chris Kent (USA) of Sevierville, Tennessee, USA, as verified by the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth on 4 October 2013.

China is by far the world's largest producer of watermelon, followed by Turkey and Iran.

Watermelon only began growing in China in the 10th century and Europe in the 13th century.

The novelty of a cubed watermelon began in Japan where they would grow them in glass boxed to hold their shape.

One cup of diced watermelon (152g) provides 46 calories, 0.9g of protein, 11.5g of carbohydrates, and 0.2g of fat.

Watermelon does not contain any bad fat or cholesterol.

Watermelon has 6g of sugar in 100g.
It is roughly 92% water and 6% sugar, with various healthy nutrients that can positively impact your health, such as preventing cardiovascular disease.

Watermelon is rich in many vitamins.
Watermelon is high in vitamins A and C, potassium, magnesium and antioxidants. Its seeds have magnesium, iron, healthy fats and zinc.
Enjoy watermelon slices daily.

Watermelon has a greater concentrated source of lycopene in comparison to tomatoes.
Watermelons are the best source of lycopene, an antioxidant that's been shown to reduce the risk for several types of cancers, cardiovascular disease, and macular degeneration.

Also read: 24 Tomato Facts For Kids That'll Surprise You

Watermelon juice may relieve muscle tension.
A small study suggests that drinking 500 ml, about 16 ounces, of watermelon juice after an intense workout may reduce muscle soreness. Watermelon is rich in an amino acid called l-Citrulline, which has been know to help with muscle soreness.

The unusually sweet Bradford—created by Nathaniel Napoleon Bradford in Sumter County, South Carolina, in the 1840s—was one of the most sought-after varieties of watermelon the South has ever seen.

In Egypt and Israel it is common for watermelon to be served with feta cheese.

In ancient Egypt, watermelons were placed in burial tombs to nourish the soul after they had passed.

Early explorers used watermelons similar to a drink bottle to hold fluids.

August 3 is National Watermelon Day in the United States; July is National Watermelon Month.

In the United States amongst different melons, watermelon is the most consumed.

In 2007, the Oklahoma State Senate honored its then-14th biggest crop by voting 44–2 to make it the state vegetable.

Chinese offer watermelons as gifts to a hostess.
As unusual as it might sound to Westerners, and while large fruit never took off as a present in the United States, watermelons are actually a welcomed and traditional gift for hosts and hostesses in China.

Mental Floss / WhatAboutWatermelon / WorldAtlas / Diabetic Me / Guinness World Records / Watermelon Times / Farming Thing / USDA / Reader's Digest / Live Science / Watermelon
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