At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
If Disney's Cinderella is to be believed, pumpkins make excellent carriages – as long as you have a Fairy Godmother (and don't stay out past midnight).
It turns out that pumpkins can also be used for transportation in real life – though not as carriages, but as boats. Last month, on the morning of August 27, a Nebraska man named Duane Hansen set off from the Bellevue Marina, sailing down the Missouri River in a hollowed-out 846-pound (384-kg) pumpkin.
Hansen – who made the trip on the day after his 60th birthday – had to remain vigilant at all times to keep the pumpkin upright and avoid getting swamped. He navigated around rocks, shallow sand bars, the wakes of other boats, and other obstacles. With family members and city officials following along to document the journey and provide assistance if needed, Hansen paddled for around 38 miles (61 km). Nearly 12 hours after setting off, he disembarked in Nebraska City.
Bobbing around in the SS Berta:
- Hansen is confident that his journey will earn him a coveted spot in Guinness World Records for "longest journey by pumpkin boat," though his application is still being processed.
- If successful, he'll be ousting the former record holder, Rick Swenson, who sailed 25.5 miles (41.04 km) down the Red River in 2016.
- Hansen's "boat," dubbed the S.S. Berta, has a circumference of 146 inches (370.8 cm). He spent over a decade (and thousands of dollars) trying to grow the perfect pumpkin to break the record. .