Engineers model extreme growth in fruits
Linus was right after all. Not only does the Great Pumpkin exist, but scientists have figured out how he manages to get so big.
In a sort of self-perpetuating cycle, the bigger a gourd gets the more physical stress it experiences — thus triggering giant pumpkins to grow even more.
“Their weight generates tension, which pulls cells apart and accelerates growth,” says David Hu, a mechanical engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta whose team has submitted a paper to a peer-reviewed journal.