Why Bananas And Watermelons Are Technically Berries

Everything you know to be true is false. Up is down. The sun is rising in the west and setting in the north. Black is yellow and you're color blind. Bananas and watermelons are berries — technically. Well it's a bit complicated.

Berries are defined by Healthline as a fruit subcategory, where the fruit meets two criteria: it holds seeds and is of a flowering plant. Colloquially, people think of berries as mostly any sweet, small, juicy fruit that works decently well in a jam or preserve and has seeds, but this is too general and neglects to acknowledge the scientific standards of proper taxonomy. Even the colloquial definition of fruit and vegetable is known to be skewed from the scientific classifications — think tomatoes and avocados, which are both fruits. (Fun fact: According to The New York Botanical Garden, there's no strict botanical definition for "vegetable.")

Botanically, the definition of a berry is, "a fruit derived from a single ovary of an individual flower," per Britannica. This means that the berry classification includes everything from blueberries and cranberries to grapes and eggplants to grapefruit and kumquats. Actually, strawberries and blackberries do not fit the botanical definition of berry as they develop from flowers with multiple ovaries and thus are technically classified as "aggregate fruits."

Why bananas and watermelons are considered berries

So although they are not thought of as berries, bananas technically fit within the botanical definition of berry. They develop from a single ovary, they have a fleshy middle, and contain one or more seeds (banana seeds are just really small, the tiny black seeds are hard to see when you're munching away at them).

Watermelons are the same. They fit all of the requirements to be classified as berries and are even, in fact, in another subgroup of berries called pepos, according to Food & Wine. Pepos have characteristically tough rinds, flat seeds, and pulpy flesh, which means that not only are watermelons technically berries, so are other pepos such as melons, cucumbers, and squash.

It's a lot to take in so make sure to calm down first. When you are ready, go have a look in your refrigerator, apologize for mislabeling your bananas and berate a strawberry for taking a title that was not rightfully its.