What is potentially the world's largest potato is to be given a DNA test to determine if it's actually a potato.
Colin and Donna Craig-Brown – a couple from near Hamilton, New Zealand – found an absolute unit of a potato (please note that for ease, we are calling it a potato rather than "alleged potato") in their vegetable garden last August. The potato, which they have named Dug, weighed a whopping 7.8 kilograms (17.2 pounds), making it a contender for the largest spud in the world.
“We unearthed this hunk of tuber, and we thought to ourselves, ‘what is this? Was it some sort of a strange fungal growth?’” Colin told the Washington Post, when the potato made international news. They described how they kept digging, only to find more and more potato, before they finally dug the beast of a potato out.
The potato survived the first round of testing, which involved Colin eating a chunk and declaring "honey, it’s a bloody potato!”
The couple submitted the potato to the Guinness Book of World Records. Dug should easily beat the current world record of 4.98 kilograms (10.98 pounds), a baby potato in comparison – if, that is, Dug is actually a potato. The couple has now been told that the Guinness Book of World Records wants to verify that it is what they think it is via a DNA test before they can give Dug the record.
“Do they think I genetically modified it?" Colin said of the request. "It’s been a rollercoaster of emotion," adding that “while it’s extremely deflating, I want to prove them wrong. We will do everything they ask of us.”
The couple is concerned that Dug may lose weight as it waits for the record to be confirmed, and dries out and goes moldy. As they await the confirmation, they have moved Dug to a freezer to try and slow this process down.