A man in Bretten, Germany, called police in a panic Thursday to report something disturbing he'd found in his backyard. It was oblong, matte black, and a little more than a foot long; from what he could gather, it looked like a bomb. The cops showed up and managed to diffuse the situation pretty quickly—turns out that instead of phoning in an explosive, the man had actually alerted them to the presence of a monstrously large zucchini.
According to the Associated Press, undetonated explosives left over from World War II turn up all over Deutschland, so you can't blame the guy for freaking out. But it is worth noting that a WWII-era bomb looks like this:
Whereas a zucchini, as we all know, looks like this:
Not to be confused with a cucumber, which looks like this:
Or their oblong counterpart, the eggplant, which in its versatile emoji rendering, looks like this:
Anyway, the zucchini in question was apparently no ordinary vegetable. It was black, not green, 16 inches long, and weighed a whopping 11 pounds—about as heavy as a bowling ball, or perhaps an overfed raccoon. According to police, the thing "really did look like a bomb."
Unlike a regular zucchini that would have spent two months growing on a vine in full view, the zucch nuke reportedly just miraculously appeared in the guy's backyard one day, causing more concern.
Police told Deutsche Welle that they suspect "an unknown person—concerned with independently disposing of the product—might have thrown the zucchini over the garden hedge," and into the man's yard. It doesn't appear they're too concerned with tracking down the culprit.
While this was a false alarm, World War II–era bombs do have a way of winding up in pretty strange places, like a backyard shed in western Idaho. And though the German who reported his gargantuan zucchini might be the only person to mistake a vegetable for a bomb, he's certainly not the first to confuse an explosive with something totally innocuous.
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