'World's Largest Potato' to Undergo DNA Testing to Prove It's Real

Late last year, a New Zealand couple revealed that they had grown what is possibly the world's largest potato. Now, in order to claim the title, officials are requesting that the potato undergo DNA testing to confirm its authenticity.

As several media outlets reported in November 2021, Colin and Donna Craig-Brown of Wellington, New Zealand were weeding their garden when they found a large, unusual object just under the soil.

At first, the pair was unsure of what they had found—but after Colin bravely tasted the mass, he realized it was none other than a giant potato.

Weighing an astonishing 7.9 kilograms (17.4 pounds), the dog-sized tuber, which they named "Dug," far exceeds the current record holder for World's Heaviest Potato—a 5 kg British spud reported in 2011.

Dug—also referred to by several outlets as "Doug"—is poised to take the title, but officials from Guinness World Records have yet to confirm its record-breaking status. In fact, in order to authenticate the world record, officials have reportedly asked the Craig-Browns to send a sample of their potato to Scotland for DNA testing.

In testing the potato, officials will be able to ensure it wasn't genetically modified—and that it is, indeed, a potato. However, as Colin Craig-Brown explained, per The Sunday Times, the organization's apparent lack of trust has resulted in frustration for the couple.

"They've asked for a sample to do a DNA analysis of him. It needs to be sent to Scotland to have it done, even though we've had experts and agronomists and field scientists look at him and verify him, they still need this special treatment that can only be done in Scotland," he said.

"Do they think I genetically modified it? It's been a rollercoaster of emotion," he continued. "While it's extremely deflating, I want to prove them wrong. We will do everything they ask of us."

A spokesperson from the Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) confirmed to The Sunday Times that a representative from Guinness World Records had contacted them about DNA testing. However, they said they have yet to receive the potato sample.

Newsweek reached out to Guinness World Records for comment.

As the lengthy certification process continues, the Craig-Browns have grown concerned about the potato's wellbeing. Per NZ news site Stuff, Dug has started growing mold and begun to dry out, thus losing some of its weight.

"He was getting smaller and smaller every day. He was losing juices through his stab wounds where he was impaled by the garden fork," said Colin Craig-Brown to the outlet. To halt any further decay, the potato is currently being stored in a freezer.

Once the record has been verified, Craig-Brown hopes to put the spud to good use: in a batch of homemade vodka.

As he joked to Stuff: "Even if you're a silly potato, your life could be something."

Potatoes
A New Zealand couple grew what is likely the world's heaviest potato—but they will need to send a sample of the spud for DNA testing in order to verify the record. The potato, nicknamed "Dug," allegedly weighs around 17 pounds. branex/iStock / Getty Images Plus