We here at Mad Scientist Journal love pumpkin pie this time of year, but never thought much about the history of that noble orange orb.
It turns out that pumpkins are a result of a genetic mash-up. While they’ve been around for a long time, what we call pumpkins today are the result of the natural intermixing of pollen from two different types of squash. And since that point, they’ve been their own type of gourd. The details of the plant genetics behind it are super interesting, and you can read more about them here.
But this also begs the question: then why are there so many different types of pumpkins? When we were growing up, it seemed like everyone only had the smooth, orange pumpkins that you carved for Halloween. But now, there’s a huge variety to choose from, from tiny little pumpkins to gigantic ones to ones with bumps all over!
Whether you like to carve them up for Halloween or eat them in your pie (spoiler alert: it probably IS actually pumpkin in your pumpkin pie), now you know a whole lot more about pumpkins, just in time to impress friends and families at the holidays!