47th Annual Giant Watermelon Drop Held At UCSD

Debris Splatter At Friday Event Measured At 60 Feet, 2 Inches

Debris splatter was measured Friday at 60 feet, 2 inches -- far short of the record -- at the Giant Watermelon Drop, one of the oldest traditions at UC San Diego.

The 47th annual drop drew about 200 people to UCSD's Urey Hall, where the watermelon was chucked from the top of the seven-floor building. Attendees also enjoyed music and a barbecue.

The event began in 1965, when a physics professor asked students to find out the terminal velocity -- the constant speed of a falling object once gravity and drag cancel each other out -- of a watermelon, and how far the pieces would scatter.

The terminal velocity turned out to be 112 mph.

The record splat was 167 feet, 4 inches, set in 1974. This year's result was 4 inches shorter than the distance from a pitcher's mound to home plate.

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