Since the days of Yoshi's Island (that's mid-90's to non-gamers), Mario's dinosaur pal, Yoshi, has been snacking on a variety of canteloupe-size fruit--most of which I am completely unfamiliar with. One, called simply "melon," looks like a canteloupe but always has a branch still attached. Another is the durian, the stinky spiky Thai treat often called the "king of fruits." They even have a watermelon, but in the Mario games, it's totally round and about the size of a cantaloupe. Weird. I filed this information away in the back of my mind along with a series of other video game mysteries I assumed I'd never solve. I mean, have the Japanese never met a watermelon? They're oval-shaped! Was there some design reason that they made the watermelons of the Mario universe round? Or were they even watermelons at all? I thought I'd never know.
But then I went into Wal-Mart today, and lo and behold: a round watermelon! Apparently, they're grown in Guatemala.
For comparison, here's a picture of a giant watermelon in Super Mario Sunshine (they're not normally so huge, but this was the only picture I could find):
And here's the Wal-Mart Guatemelon:
As you can see, it's pretty small, in addition to being round. I tried some Google searches to see what's going on with the Japanese and all their weird fruit. Apparently, smaller watermelons have been popular for years in Japan because the large ones are too big to fit in Japanese refrigerators. But they didn't stop there! Check out the space-saving cube- and pyramid-shaped watermelons!