Why Are Square Watermelons So Expensive?

Japan is home to some very expensive fruits. One type of melon, the Yubari King Melon, comes with a price tag of $22,500 while a single White Jewel Strawberry can fetch $10 (via A Day of Zen). But one of the most unusual and striking-looking fruits both in Japan and across the globe is the square watermelon. Square watermelons can go for up to $200 each, reports CTV News, but according to A Day of Zen the cost is typically around $65. And for a price tag that steep, you'd likely expect something very special about these unusual watermelons.

The truth is, however, that square watermelons are just like regular watermelons, apart from their shape. According to a man who spoke to CTV News, square watermelons have the same color flesh, seeds, and the same flavor as normal watermelons. But that doesn't stop people from indulging their whimsy by purchasing a square watermelon from time to time.

This is how the square watermelons are grown

With so few differences, you might wonder just how it is farmers can grow a fruit with such a perfect and precise shape. It all comes down to growing the melons under special circumstances by using square-shaped molds. But just because farmers have a mold does not mean that things will go exactly as planned. In fact, the uncertainty and extra labor associated with this growing process is actually what drives the price up (via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).

When the watermelons grow in these square molds, the fruit often does not really respond to the mold, which means fewer are successfully made — and that the price for the in-demand watermelons can easily be driven up when there are not enough to meet demand.

If you really wanted to see the process unfold, you could try to place your own homegrown watermelon inside a strong mold. It would be a fun experience to watch one grow in your own garden. Plus, you'd never have to worry about the melon rolling away when you tried to cut into it.