It's Great Pumpkin season. Take a look at some of the most gigantic squash on record

·3 min read

It's time for great pumpkins. And we're not just talking about your favorite Charlie Brown special.

Competitive farmers worldwide are growing massive squash – with some giant pumpkins weighing more than small cars.

Although the fate of this enormous fruit may not include transforming into Cinderella's magical carriage before midnight or even a spooky doorstep-size jack-o'-lantern on Halloween, their growth is astonishing. According to ABC News, giant pumpkins grow at a rate about 100 times faster than typical pumpkins. In just a single day, they can gain an average of 20 to 40 pounds and as much as 60 pounds under peak conditions.

Here's a look at some of the biggest, record-breaking and most awe-inspiring pumpkins from across the country and around the globe.

World record in October 2021: 2,703 pounds

A giant pumpkin is on display at the pumpkin exhibition at the Bluehende Barock in Ludwigsburg, Tuesday, Sept.28, 2021. The pumpkin of the Italian pumpkin grower Stefano Cutrupi from Radda in Chianti in Tuscany has set the record of 1226 kilograms at the Italian pumpkin weighing championships, according to the organizers.
A giant pumpkin is on display at the pumpkin exhibition at the Bluehende Barock in Ludwigsburg, Tuesday, Sept.28, 2021. The pumpkin of the Italian pumpkin grower Stefano Cutrupi from Radda in Chianti in Tuscany has set the record of 1226 kilograms at the Italian pumpkin weighing championships, according to the organizers.

As of October 2021, the world record for largest giant pumpkin stands at 2,703 pounds. The massive squash was grown by Stefano Cutrupi in the Italian region of Tuscany.

Cutrupi earned the crown at this year's European Pumpkin Weighing Championship in Ludwigsburg, Germany.

Largest pumpkin in California: More than 2,000 pounds

Leonardo Urena of Napa, Calif., reacts after learning his pumpkin weighed in at 2,175 lbs., a new California weight record on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in Half Moon Bay, Calif.
Leonardo Urena of Napa, Calif., reacts after learning his pumpkin weighed in at 2,175 lbs., a new California weight record on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in Half Moon Bay, Calif.

The largest pumpkin in the state of California weighs just over 2,000 pounds. The Guardian reported this year's prize winner was grown by Leonardo Urena, who also earned first place in 2019, with a state record-breaking 2,175-pound pumpkin.

Urena said he talks to his plants to encourage them to grow. “I go in the tent and I hug my pumpkin and say: 'OK, my little turtle. Keep growing',” Urena told the Guardian. “I know you are going to get to scale and everyone will be clapping at you.”

Nearly 1-ton pumpkin at North Carolina State Fair

Earlier this month, a news release from the North Carolina State Fair said Chris Rodebaugh of Lewisburg, West Virginia, set a record with a 1,965.5-pound pumpkin.

According to The News & Observer of Raleigh, the fair's giant pumpkin competition has been recognized by the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth, which works to establish fairness standards and regulations for competitions worldwide. This recognition allowed entries from outside North Carolina – meaning Rodebaugh's pumpkin wasn't considered a state record but was the heaviest ever seen at the event.

Pumpkin Spice 2021:Starbucks PSL, Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew are back with new Apple Crisp Macchiato

Halloween treat:Beaver family bobs for baby pumpkins at Tacoma, Washington zoo

910-pound 'pumpkin boat'

Farmer converts giant pumpkin into a boat, floats across pond
Farmer converts giant pumpkin into a boat, floats across pond

Ever seen a pumpkin float? In 2019, after a Tennessee farmer grew a nearly 1,000-pound squash, he dug out the seeds and climbed in.

Weighing 910 pounds, Justin Ownby's pumpkin broke his then-personal record. He celebrated by transforming the giant pumpkin into a boat.

More: This farmer grew a 910-pound pumpkin and turned it into a boat. Watch him paddle it across a pond

2,433.9lb-pound pumpkin in the UK

In 2018, twin brothers Ian and Stuart Paton broke their own record for the U.K.'s heaviest pumpkin with a prize-winning 2,433.9-pound squash, BBC News reported.

At the time, their giant pumpkin weighed just under the world record – which was then 2,624.6 pounds, set in 2016.

Ian Paton described pumpkin growing as "awesome," telling the BBC, "The first pumpkin we grew was 54lb, now we watch them grow at 60lb a day."

2,624.6-pound pumpkin in Germany broke world record in 2016

Belgian Mathias Willemijns poses with his atlantic giant pumpkin prior the weight-off at the Giant Pumpkin European Championship in  Ludwigsburg, southwestern Germany, on October 9, 2016.
Belgian Mathias Willemijns poses with his atlantic giant pumpkin prior the weight-off at the Giant Pumpkin European Championship in Ludwigsburg, southwestern Germany, on October 9, 2016.

The aforementioned 2,624.6-pound pumpkin was grown by Belgian farmer Mathias Willemijns in 2016. It was weighed at a Giant Pumpkin European Championship in Germany. At the time (before this year's 2,703-pound pumpkin), the weight of Willemijns' pumpkin held the world record.

Contributing: The Associated Press, Adrianna Rodriguez

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Record-breaking squash: Giant pumpkins can weigh more than small cars

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