12 Interesting Watermelon Facts for Kids 2022
Watermelons are one of the most delicious fruits on the planet. They are refreshing and hydrating, and it might interest you to know that there’s more to the average watermelon than what meets the eye!
In this article, we’ll walk you through a list of interesting facts about watermelons that you probably didn’t know about before.
Let’s take a closer look.
Fun Watermelon Facts for Kids
1. Watermelons are actually berries and not melons.
Even though the word melon makes up half of this fruit’s name, watermelons belong to the berry family and not melons. Watermelons belong to the berry family because they meet all the botanical requirements for a fruit to be considered a berry. Just like bananas, watermelon develops from a single ovary and a single flower. It’s important to note that watermelon belongs to a berry subgroup called pepos. These berries have a tough and hard outer covering, seeds that are flat, and mushy, pulpy flesh.
2. The whole fruit is edible.
One of the most interesting features of the watermelon is the fact that you can eat the entire fruit, not just the fleshy insides! People in many parts of the world consume watermelon rind in various ways, such as by pickling it or adding it as an ingredient in a stir-fried dish. Watermelon rind contains various health benefits, including reducing and lowering blood pressure, improving gut health, and lowering cholesterol. Watermelon rinds also help bring down blood sugar levels. If you want to lose weight, the rind is a wonderful food to eat because it is full of fiber, which means that you’ll be full for much longer and won’t feel like snacking in between meals.
3. Watermelon is a good fruit to eat after exercising.
The average watermelon is made up of 92% water, which means that it is the perfect fruit to eat after working out. A famous study conducted on watermelons showed that after the participants ate watermelon, they felt less soreness in their muscles. Watermelon can help restore the energy lost during a workout. It also helps rehydrate the body and replenish potassium, which is an electrolyte that you lose when you sweat. Watermelons also provide people with carbohydrates and energy, which means that instead of eating a piece of bread after working out, you should eat a bowl of watermelon instead.
4. Watermelons have an interesting history.
The watermelon is one of the world’s most widely enjoyed fruits, but the first watermelons in recorded history weren’t as delicious as they are today. They used to have yellow-white flesh and took a lot of effort to break open. They also tasted bitter and unpleasant. However, as farmers throughout history learned more about this fruit, they were able to breed it and make it sweeter and more appealing to the masses. The earliest watermelon seeds were discovered over 4,000 years ago in Libya. As time went by, the cultivation and growth of this fruit spread to other countries. It reached India by the 7th century and China by the 10th century. By the time the 17th century rolled around, watermelon was widely planted in Europe.
5. Watermelon needs to be grown in a tropical climate.
Since watermelon is generally associated with the warmer months of the year, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that this fruit needs a tropical climate to grow. The average watermelon needs around 25℃ to grow properly. When watermelons are cultivated on a large scale, gardeners usually plant the seeds in pots. The pots are then covered and eventually transferred to a different type of soil called loam. It is worth noting that freshly cultivated watermelons are sometimes prone to diseases that affect plants, like mosaic virus and powdery mildew.
6. Watermelons are considered to be vegetables.
While watermelons are typically considered to be fruits, they are also considered to be vegetables by some people. This is because they are often grown and cultivated like vegetables, especially when farmers and gardeners use vegetable production methods. Additionally, watermelons belong to the cucumber family, which is also known as Cucurbitaceae. This family contains other gourds, like zucchini, bitter melon, and squash. Ultimately, the classification of fruits and vegetables in botany can be a little gray at times, which is why main fruits and vegetables often get lumped together!
7. Oklahoma’s state vegetable is watermelon.
As we mentioned earlier, watermelon is a fruit that is sometimes classified as a vegetable. In Oklahoma, watermelon is considered to be a vegetable, and in 2007 was made the state’s official vegetable! State Senator Don Barrington and State Representative Joe Dorman sponsored House Bill 1669 and introduced the bill to the Oklahoma House of Representatives! Once the bill was sanctioned, it became the state’s official vegetable. Don Barrington is a huge lover of watermelons, and many believe that he hoped to boost this fruit’s reputation and make it more popular.
8. Watermelons were introduced to America by enslaved Africans.
By the 16th century, the cultivation of watermelons had spread to other countries. This meant that it had reached continents like Europe and Asia, but it hadn’t spread to America yet. At the time, enslaved Africans and European colonists had started to travel to America to colonize and purchase land. America was often referred to as the New World at the time. When the colonists and enslaved people reached the New World, they introduced the inhabitants of the island to watermelon, and by the time the late 16th century rolled around, it was being grown in Florida. The cultivation of watermelons spread to other parts of the country, and it was grown in states like Massachusetts by the mid-17th century.
9. Watermelons are often grown in unique shapes in Japan.
An interesting fact about watermelons is that Japanese farmers have figured out a way to grow these fruits into unique and different shapes. These shapes include cubes and hearts! The way that these farmers manipulate the shapes of the watermelon is by growing them with braces. The braces that they use are shaped like boxes, meaning that as the watermelon grows and fills the brace, it retains its shape. It’s worth noting that even though these novelty watermelons look aesthetically pleasing, they are not usually edible because they aren’t ripe. However, they are still quite popular and are sometimes sold for $100 or more.
10. Watermelons have various health benefits.
Aside from helping with hydration and containing large amounts of fiber in its rind, watermelon offers many other health benefits. Watermelons have been shown to reduce cancer in some individuals, thanks to the fact that they contain lycopene. Studies have shown that the antioxidant lycopene has been incredibly effective against certain cancers, like the stomach, prostate, and lung. Watermelon also reduces inflammation in the body and prevents your eyes from degenerating.
11. Seedless watermelons are not modified in labs.
Contrary to popular belief, watermelons that don’t contain seeds are not modified in a laboratory. Some people think that those watermelons were genetically engineered to grow without seeds. However, it’s important to know that seedless watermelons are actually a type of watermelon found in various parts of the world.
12. There are over 1000 varieties of watermelon.
Even though there are more than a thousand varieties of watermelon, vendors and researchers alike have grouped this fruit into a few categories to make distinguishing between them a lot easier. These categories include seedless, yellow, or orange watermelon, seeded, and mini watermelon. Research has shown that the most popular type of watermelon is the Crimson Sweet. It is widely known for its sweet, juicy, red flesh.
Watermelons are one of the best fruits to eat on this earth, but we might be a little biased. They have a fascinating history and have been around for thousands of years! In this article, we walked you through a list of interesting facts about watermelons that might have surprised you. The next time you eat a watermelon, you’ll probably know more about it than the person sitting next to you!