Man marks 60th birthday boating in 846 lb. pumpkin

Strange News

(NewsNation) — Duane Hansen may have squashed the record for floating in a pumpkin boat.

The Nebraska native grew an 846-pound pumpkin, named Berta, to celebrate his 60th birthday. He’s paddled 38 miles down the Missouri River from Bellevue, Nebraska to Nebraska City. Now, he’s hoping the Guinness World Records will verify him for taking the “longest journey by pumpkin boat.”

Hansen said this operation has been no small feat; he’s been trying to grow a pumpkin this large for five years. Surprisingly, the 846-pound pumpkin he grew only took two months.

“This pumpkin was actually pollinated June 23. I plucked it off the vine Aug. 25, I believe,” he said. “It’s a complicated operation, but that’s what took me so long to learn how to get things to grow that fast. Towards the end there, it was averaging about 15 pounds a day.”

Berta isn’t Hansen’s first large pumpkin. He said he’s had others that were between 400-500 pounds, but Berta was the first one big enough to go down the river.

Hansen said his boating journey was not without challenges.

“It was pretty tough, actually, a little tougher than I thought it’d be. The pumpkin is really tippy, you’ve got to pay attention every second of the time,” he recalled. “I wasn’t sure I was going to make it quite a while, actually.”

Hansen said he would’ve continued his paddling journey, but he started to lose daylight.

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