Annual UCSD Watermelon Drop goes splat on Friday, June 5
Published - 06/02/15 - 03:31 PM | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The annual Watermelon Drop event is UC San Diego’s oldest tradition and will take place Friday, when the “Watermelon Queen” races up seven stories of Urey Hall and drops the sacrificial fruit into history. This year’s “Watermelon Queen” is Sabrina Gonzalez, a freshman ecology major.

Sponsored by Revelle College, the event will begin at noon with a kick-off from the UC San Diego Pep Band. The goal is to break the 1974 splat record of 167 feet, 4 inches.

Following the splat, Revelle College will offer attendees treats including cake and of course, watermelon. This event has had an attendance of over 500 in the past and is free and open to the public. Optimal viewing is from the sidewalk in front of Urey Hall. The drop will be on east side of building along ridge walk.

This campus ritual started in 1965 when physics professor Bob Swanson asked this question on an exam: “What would be the terminal velocity of a watermelon dropped from the seventh floor of Urey Hall and how far would it splat?” The first year’s splat measured 91 feet.

The terminal velocity of watermelon when it hits the ground is about 112 miles per hour. Each year, a pageant is held by Revelle College to elect a “Watermelon Queen” who has the honor of dropping the watermelon. Elizabeth Huller was the first “Watermelon Queen” in 1965. Since then, the title has been bestowed on multiple students, both men and women.

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