Local mango in Guinness World Record attempt
| Siti Hajar |
HOPES ring high for a local couple who stumbled upon a delicious discovery in their family backyard recently in what could perhaps be the world’s heaviest mango. The countdown to verify the find has begun.
Hailing from the oil district of Belait, Stephen Chin and Florence were yesterday seen on the grounds of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) surrounded by excited academics and students alike who were intrigued by the size of the local fruit that weighed at an astounding 3.7348 kilogrammes, slightly heavier than the weight of an average newborn baby.
Engaging UBD, they said, is one of the per-requisites set by the Guinness Book of World Records (GBWR) as a means to prove the entry’s credibility perusing a scientific weighing scale for accuracy.
Among those witnessing the verification process was Professor Dato Mohamed Abdul Majid, Dean of the Faculty of Science, UBD, who highlighted the possibilities of the GBWR requiring more substantiation but is optimistic that, “Since we are an academic institution with calibrated equipment, this should be a strong enough evidence.”
The duo has contacted GBWR via e-mail and has been given a ‘claim number’ as reference. They were told that the approximate waiting time will be between three and four weeks. After which, they will know whether their entry will make fruit history.
In an interview, the couple explained that the mango came from a five-year-old tree that started bearing its first fruits last August without the aid of any special fertilisers. They then noticed the sizeable mango, which was hanging low, and decided to protect it with a pillowcase from scavenging squirrels.
The seed, they said, came from Florence’s parents who have been growing equally ‘big’ mangoes over the past years but was taken aback by the size of this particular produce.
“In actual fact, I thought it was at normal weight and size – that there was nothing special about it until Sunday morning when we were getting ready to eat it. I went on the Internet and saw that the world record was at 3.453 kilogrammes held by another couple in the Philippines in 2009.
“I then weighed our mango and noticed that it was much heavier by 0.281 kilogrammes and started to get excited,” he said.
The mango, meanwhile, had reduced in weight from 3.798 kilogrammes when they went to a department store to utilise the produce scale prior to the UBD appointment. It was explained that this phenomenon is due to the ripening of the fruit.
Though shorter in length at nine inches (three inches shorter than the current record holder) and its width at about the same size at seven inches, the Bruneian mango surpasses the Philippines mango in terms of circumference at 58.5 centimetres versus 49.53 centimetres.
“We hope that Brunei will at least have something in terms of world record holding,” said Stephen whilst elaborating that their GBWR dreams will not just be based on scientific fact but also luck.
“With the support and help from UBD, hopefully all will go well,” he added.
In an update last night, Stephen Chin and Florence said that they were sharing the mango with family and friends and described the fruit as being “sweet and juicy”.