giant pumpkin from Portugal
When it comes to gigantic pumpkins, Rui Pedro Santos is something of a legend. This photograph, from 2020, shows a pumpkin that didn't burst, ending up going on to win that year's gigantic pumpkin competition, with 610 kgs. In terms of the recent pumpkin that burst, this one was a tiddler. Image: reproduced from Instagram

Gigantic pumpkin bursts in heat … before giant vegetable competition

Imagine the anguish: grower José Rui Santos of Paderne had been watching a gigantic pumpkin grow everyday, ahead of the village’s ‘giant vegetable contest’, to be held in September. He was almost certain of carrying away the top prize … and then the massive thing went and burst – sweltering heat being blamed as the cause. At 730 kilos when it started splitting apart, José Rui estimated that by the time the competition came round, it could have reached 900 kilos … but for this pesky summer heat. Burst and oozing as it is, the massive vegetable “can now no longer participate” in Paderne’s vegetable competition.