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Square Watermelon: A Popular Trend in Japan

In the Name of Novelty

When and Why Did Japan Start Growing Square Watermelons?

Japan is very large and has a big population to match. Due to so many people inhabiting Japan, that leaves for small spaces. Japanese people are accustomed to living in small spaces. In 2001, Japanese farmers started growing square watermelons to save space in not only the refrigerator at home, but to also make it more economical when shipping. This square melon has also become a pricey novelty, selling anywhere between $80 to $200 or more. Wouldn't it be a ice-breaker to bring a square watermelon to a barbecue party?

How are Watermelons Grown in the Shape of a Square?

Watermelons are put into a mold once they reach a certain size. This mold is usually made from a hard acrylic or fiberglass material. These materials are transparent and allow the watermelon to still receive the sunlight. As the watermelon continues to grow, it takes the shape of the mold that is encased around it.

Sometimes, the cases can break and have to be replaced, even before the watermelon is ripe. This can prove to be a costly repair if it tends to happen more so than not.

Below you will find a link from Instructables.com showing exact measurements for making your own cases to grow your own square watermelons.


Why is Watermelon so Healthy?

Watermelon has many vitamins and nutrients packed into its saturated pink meaty goodness.

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A (carotenoids form)
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B6
  • Magnesium
  • Copper
  • Biotin
  • Potassium
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Lycopene
  • Cucurbitacin E
  • Triterpene, an anti-inflammatory phytonutrient
  • Citrulline, an amino acid

Where to Find Information on Calories for Watermelon

Calorie King

Peer Trainer

Spark People

Fun Facts

  • The official name for watermelon is Citrullus Lanatus and is of the botanical family Curcurbitaceae.
  • Cousins to the watermelon include cucumbers, pumpkins and squash.
  • Watermelons were used as canteens.
  • The USA is ranked #5 in the production worldwide of watermelons.
  • 44 out of the 50 states grow watermelons.
  • Leading states for growing watermelons in the USA are Arizona, Georgia, Texas, California, and Florida.

Square Watermelons Grown in Japan

Most Square Watermelons Don't Reach Ripeness

According to this video, they say that most of the square watermelons that are grown in Japan, do not reach full ripeness. This means most of them, if not all, are not edible and serve primarily as a novelty item to display instead of to eat.

Do You Know Your Watermelon History?

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Where did watermelon originate?
    • Africa
    • America
  2. How long ago is the first recorded watermelon harvest?
    • 5,000 years ago
    • 10,000 years ago
  3. Who is the world's number one producer of watermelons?
    • China
    • Japan
  4. What is the percentage of water content in a watermelon?
    • 92 percent
    • 80 percent

Answer Key

  1. Africa
  2. 5,000 years ago
  3. China
  4. 92 percent

To Be Square or Not to Be Square?

So, whether you are intrigued by the square watermelon or not, it is definitely getting the limelight. Watermelon will be around as an all-american favorite fruit. For the sake of novelty, square watermelons are being grown as fast as they are being bought. The main thing before purchasing, is to be sure to inquire if you can eat the square fruit or not. Some may be edible and some may not, due to the growing process. Being a fully informed customer is the way to go, otherwise you might have a very expensive square fruit paper weight. Stay square!


go away on April 21, 2017:

go away

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on September 30, 2014:

Very interesting. Got to hand it to the Japanese, they think of everything first.

minababe on September 30, 2014:

Hubs like this are why I love Japanese culture so much. Only in Japan would they come up with something this clever, innovative and--dare I say it--funny. As cute as these watermelons are, though, the pricing is a bit ridiculous, especially considering that most aren't actually edible.