Square or cube watermelons are watermelons grown into the shape of a cube. Cube watermelons are commonly sold in Japan, where they are essentially ornamental and are often very expensive, with prices as high as US$200.
Purpose and uses
Cube watermelons were intended to fit more compactly in fridges and be able to be cut more easily (without rolling). They were invented by graphic designer Tomoyuki Ono in 1978. He presented the watermelons in a gallery in Ginza, Tokyo. He also applied for and received a patent in the United States.
The melons are grown in boxes and take the shape of the container, and tend to appeal to wealthy or fashionable consumers. In 2001, square watermelons sold for ¥10,000 in Japan (about US$83), two to three times the price of regular watermelons in Japanese stores. In the United States in 2014, some sold for $200.
Although cube melons were originally created with practicality in mind, the cost is prohibitive. The cube shape of the watermelon can only be achieved at the expense of its contents. To retain the proper shape, cube melons must be harvested before they are ripe, rendering them inedible.
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