J Pumpkin Invest, December 2003, Volume 105, Number 12, 1751-1759
Copyright ©2003 by the American Society for Pumpkin Research


Brief and SCARY Communication

Evidence that Cucurbita maxima (the Common Pumpkin) Possesses the Essence of Life

Wendy Chao1,2,3,4, Alexander Scott1,2, and the D’Amore Laboratory3,4

1These authors contributed equal and opposite forces to this work
2Alexander Scott Design, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
3Schepens Eye Research Institute, Boston, Massachusetts 02114
4Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115

Address correspondence to: Wendy Chao, Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Schepens Eye Research Institute, 20 Staniford Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02114, USA. Phone: (617) 912-2557; Fax: (617) 912-0128; E-Mail: wendychao(a)post.harvard.edu.

Received for the pumpkin carving contest October 30, 2003, and awarded Most Scientific and Scariest Pumpkin, October 31, 2003.


The structure of the human frame, and indeed, any animal endued with life, has long been the focus of scientific research. Whence does the principle of life proceed? To examine the causes of life, one must first have recourse to death (Frankenstein et al., 1818). However, re-examination of Frankenstein’s work suggests that this may not be sufficient; rather, Cucurbita maxima, or the common pumpkin, actually provided “the essence” of life to his lifeless creature. We find evidence that the “life” produced by Frankenstein et al. was an artifact of pumpkin seed contamination. Furthermore, re-examination of Frankenstein’s early data reveals images of pumpkins coinciding with those of his Monster. Interestingly, Frankenstein’s early studies were published in obscure journals under the pseudonyms “Pumpkinstein and Pumpkenstein.” Finally, using the methods described in (Frankenstein et al. 1818) and a freshly harvested pumpkin, we show that Cucurbita maxima possesses a detectable “life force” similar to that of a living human.

FIGURE 1. Evidence of pumpkin seed contamination in the Frankenstein laboratory.

A) Pumpkin seeds found scattered over Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory benches. Frankenstein had a history of laboratory safety violations.

B) Bags of pumpkin seeds found in laboratory biohazard bins

[View larger version of this image (70K JPG file)]

FIGURE 2. Images from previous work* by Frankenstein, showing the presence of pumpkins in images of The Monster.

A-C) Pumpkins colocalize with images of Frankenstein’s Monster.

D) An unmistakable outline of a pumpkin appears in this phase-contrast image of The Monster.

*Images used with permission from Nature Pumpkin, Pumpkin Cell, and Pumpkin Science.


[View larger version of this image (125K JPG file)]


Figure 3. Detection of “Life Force” within pumpkins.

A) Schematic diagram of Life Force Detection Apparatus

B) The amount of “Life force” over time of treated pumpkins (pink) compared with living humans (blue) and a no-pumpkin control (yellow). Mean ± SEM, p<0.0000001.

[View larger version of this image (80K JPG file)]


IT'S ALIVE!!!!!!