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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

UCSD holds annual watermelon drop

The 49th annual watermelon drop, a pre-finals tradition at UC San Diego, is scheduled to take place Friday.
UCSD holds annual watermelon drop

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Students at UCSD blew off some pre-finals stress Friday at the school's 49th annual watermelon drop.

The melon was dropped from the top of the seven-floor campus building in an attempt to break the record splat of 167 feet, 4 inches, which was set in 1974.

This year's melon reached a maximum of 67 feet, 11 inches.

The ritual started in 1965 when physics professor Bob Swanson asked in 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 debris scattered 91 feet, according to UCSD. It was determined the terminal velocity -- the final speed of a moving object before it stops -- of watermelon when it hits the ground is about 112 miles per hour.

Last year's splat of 133 feet, 7 inches, was the second longest in the nearly half-century of the event.

Revelle College, which organizes the event, also hosts a pageant to name a "Watermelon Queen," who got to drop the melon.