DNA Test Finds 'World's Largest Potato' Isn't A Potato At All

Colin and Donna Craig-Brown discovered what they believed was a 17.2 pound potato in their garden last summer.

A large potato among the potatoes
Photo: Getty Images

That sound you just heard might've been Peter Glazebrook's sigh of relief. The Nottinghamshire vegetable grower has held the Guinness Record for the World's Largest Potato for over a decade, and it looks like his name will stay in the record books a little longer.

Earlier this year, New Zealanders Colin and Donna Craig-Brown were asked to submit a piece of their potential title-worthy potato to researchers at Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) for DNA testing and genetic analysis. They dragged a massive 17.2 pound potato out of their garden last summer, but Guinness wanted to investigate further before certifying Dug the Potato — yes, the Craig-Browns named it — as the World's Largest.

As it turns out, Dug isn't a potato at all. According to the Associated Press, Guinness sent the couple a pretty devastating email a few days ago. "Sadly the specimen is not a potato, and is in fact that tuber of a type of gourd," they wrote. "For this reason we do unfortunately have to disqualify the application."

Colin Craig-Brown says there's nothing they can do, other than accept the results. "What can you say?" he told the AP. "We can't say we don't believe you, because we gave them the DNA stuff."

In an interview with Stuff.co.nz, Craig-Brown said that he was still trying to determine how Dug grew to that scale-tipping size. He's started to wonder whether the "not-the-biggest-potato," as he referred to Dug, could've been the result of crossbreeding between a gourd and a cucumber.

What he can't figure out is why Dug both looked and tasted like a potato. (Yes, he ate a sample slice of Dug several months ago.) "If it quacks like a duck, swims like a duck and has feathers on it, then it must be a duck," he said. "But nah, this one turned out to be a turkey."

That "turkey" means that Glazebrook can keep his potato record, adding it to his list of Guinness-certified achievements. According to The Guardian, the 76-year-old has held over 15 produce-related world records, including for carrots, cauliflower, onions, and tomatoes. (He previously grew pumpkins as well, but gave that up because the most giant of giant pumpkins can be "too difficult to manage.")

Craig-Brown says that his almost-record has inspired him to try to grow a legitimate Dug — an actual monster potato — after unearthing this one purely by accident. Although he told Stuff he was "disappointed" that Dug was disqualified, he seems to have made peace with the results of the DNA analysis, relenting, "I could have been awarded a world record for something that wasn't."

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