PHOTO: This World Record Potato Is Bigger Than a Thanksgiving Turkey

by Matthew Memrick
(Photo by Danil Shamkin/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A New Zealand couple’s 17-pound world record potato is larger than most Thanksgiving turkeys.

I mean, look at this spud beast.

On Aug. 30, the Craig-Brown duo from Hamilton tended their garden, and Colin struck something significant with his weeding hoe. According to The New York Post, the couple dropped to the ground and dug up a colossal tater they now call Doug.

This ugly “Doug” spud puts an English eight-pounder found in 2011 to shame. Peter Glazebrook grew an eight-pound, 4-four ounce one at the time. Guinness Book of World Record folks didn’t have to go far to measure it. 

Now they will have to get on a plane.

Couple’s Potato Glory

As the couple pulled the mighty potato out of the ground, Colin thought he saw some fungus on it. But when he peeled off a little skin from another spot, he identified “Doug.” They named it “Doug” because it’s a wordplay on taking the potato out of the ground.

The shocked couple examined it further. The potato is maybe, 40 medium-sized russet ones out of this one. 

The ugly spud grew in an area of the garden where they had not planted potatoes for years. 

“It’s a mystery to me,” Colin said. “It’s one of nature’s little pleasant surprises.”

The couple’s potato has made them local celebrities, and Colin has carted the beast around in a wagon for neighbors to see. Dressing “Doug” with a hat and taking him on a walk has also figured into the couple’s plans. Donna Craig-Brown said she was “amazed at what entertains people.”

After getting “Doug” weighed at the local farming store (it’s 17.4 pounds) and finding out about the 2011 spud record, the couple has put the potato in a freezer while they way to hear from the record folks. 

They do this now because all the couple’s fun led to “Doug” drying out a little and getting some mold. Colin said the potato was “getting a bit pongy.”

Alas, Doug’s tour is taking its toll, with the titanic tater slowly drying out and beginning to form mold. “He was getting a bit pongy,” Colin said of its odor.

The potato’s fate may be for some fine spirits. The couple said one amateur distiller wants to make potato vodka out of “Doug.” 

Large Colorado Potato Was A Hoax

According to the website Country Life, one man’s tater image was the talk of farmers everywhere.

In 1895, Loveland (Colo.) Reporter newspaper publisher W. L. Thorndyke got a hold of farmer Joseph Swan and wanted to promote local farming efforts. With photographer Adam Talbot, Thorndyke blew up the size of the potato and put words around “Maggie Murphy,” an 86-pound, 10-ounce potato. Reportedly, the “potato” grew 26,000 pounds in one year on his single-acre arm.

Eventually, Thorndyke revealed the hoax.