Watermelons could have killed you 6,000 years ago: study

August 15, 2022

Experts studied ancient seeds and a genomic analysis showed that the watermelons many years ago were pungent and bitter

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Slices of watermelon.—Unsplash


A new study published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution has revealed that watermelons from 6,000 years ago could have killed a person who ate them.

These melons tasted quite bitter, and our ancestors got rid of the red flesh to only consume the seeds of the fruit.

Experts studied ancient seeds, and a genomic analysis showed that the watermelons many years ago were pungent and bitter.

Oscar Pérez Escobar toldThe Timesthat it was not just "unpleasant to eat" but a person could actually lose their life to the melon.

Analysis of the seeds showed that the specific watermelon species was from West Africa.

Scientists believe that the bitter taste of the fruit must have changed after it was domesticated. During this process, plants and fruits can lose some of their traits.

In the future, with climate change causing heatwaves and wildfires, the fate of the crops will be negatively affected.

Escobar said that watermelons were important to economies as they are amultimillion-dollar crop.


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