17½lb mega-spud is grown in New Zealand and could be biggest ever

Is this the biggest potato ever? 17½lb mega-spud is grown in New Zealand (and owners say they will turn it into VODKA instead of making monster mash)

  • Monster spud has unofficial weight of 17½lb (7.9kg) which would break records
  • Colin and Donna Craig-Brown initially thought that Doug was a fungal growth
  • The couple are waiting for confirmation that Doug is the world’s largest potato
  • Mr Craig-Brown, a home brewer, said he is keen to turn Doug into potato vodka. 

A New Zealand couple are waiting to hear if a mammoth 17½lb potato they dug up has been recognised as the biggest in the world.

Colin and Donna Craig-Brown were weeding their garden at their small farm near Hamilton when his hoe struck something huge just beneath the soil’s surface.

As the couple knelt down and began digging around the object, Mr Craig-Brown wondered if it was some kind of strange fungal growth like a giant puffball. 

But after prying it out with his garden fork, he scratched away a bit of the skin and tasted it and realised it was a potato.

They are now waiting for confirmation that ‘Doug’ is the world’s largest potato. Mr Craig-Brown, who is a home brewer, said he is keen to turn it into potato vodka.

Colin Craig-Brown found Doug and initially though the spud was a strange fungal growth 

‘We couldn’t believe it,’ Mrs Craig-Brown said. ‘It was just huge.’

When the couple lugged the mutant-looking potato into their garage and put it on an old set of scales, it weighed in at a remarkable 17½lb (7.9kg). That is equal to a couple of sacks of regular potatoes or a small dog.

In the weeks since their unusual find on August 30, the couple’s ugly potato has become something of a celebrity around their small farm.

They have even built a small cart to tow Doug around.

Doug the spud is so large that the couple have resorted to pulling it around on a wheeled cart

The comically large potato weighs in unofficially at around 17½lb (7.9kg), some distance ahead of the 11lb (5kg) record set in Britain in 2011

‘We put a hat on him. We put him on Facebook, taking him for a walk, giving him some sunshine,’ Mr Craig-Brown said. ‘It’s all a bit of fun. It’s amazing what entertains people.’

A more official weigh-in at a local farming store put Doug at 17½lb (7.9kg).

The current Guinness World Records entry for the heaviest potato is a 2011 monster from Britain that weighed in at just under 11lb (5kg). The couple say they have applied to have Doug recognised and are waiting to hear back.

The potato outweighs a sack of regularly-sized spuds and could smash records if recognised

Mr Craig-Brown told reporters that Doug the spud is ‘one of nature’s little pleasant surprises’

Mr Craig-Brown said he does not have any secret gardening tips. Usually they throw a bunch of cow manure and straw on to their garden and see what happens.

He said they had been growing cucumbers in that area of their garden before the weeds took over and had not planted any potatoes. Doug must have been self-sown and quite possibly growing for a couple of years or more.

‘It’s a mystery to me,’ Mr Craig-Brown said. ‘It’s one of nature’s little pleasant surprises.’

Doug is the size of a small dog and the couple have noted that ‘it is not easy to look after’

But Doug has not proved easy to look after. As the couple showed the potato off, it began drying out and losing weight. Mould started growing from its wounds.

So Mr Craig-Brown cleaned up Doug as best he could and put the potato in the freezer, where it remains.

But the couple may not be done with Doug yet. Mr Craig-Brown, who is a home brewer, said he is keen to turn Doug into potato vodka.

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