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Is this the world’s heaviest potato? New Zealand couple accidentally grow a titanic tuber


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(CNN) — A couple in New Zealand may have grown the world’s largest potato without even trying.

Colin and Donna Craig-Brown, from Ngāhinapōuri in the country’s Waikato region, found the tuber growing in their garden when they were getting ready for the spring planting season.

“It was literally one of nature’s pleasant surprises,” Colin Craig-Brown told CNN affiliate Radio New Zealand. “Had no idea it was growing there, and I don’t know how long he was there, because I was walking over the top of him all last cucumber season.”

The spud, named “Doug” by the couple, may be the largest in the world, weighing in at a whopping 7.9 kilograms (17.4 pounds). The current record is held by British vegetable grower Peter Glazebrook, who registered a potato weighing 4.98 kilograms (just under 10 pounds) in 2011.

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Although the Craig-Browns are still waiting for an update from the Guinness Book of World Records, Doug has already lost a kilogram in the freezer, where he is staying for the meantime.

“He’s happy in the freezer,” Craig-Brown told Radio New Zealand’s Jesse Mulligan. “Pull him out every now and then chuck him in the sunshine and let him see the outside world.”

However, Doug’s existence itself was initially a bit of a shock, as the couple didn’t set out to grow a giant potato at all — and his appearance is also rather peculiar, with Craig-Brown describing him as a “nasty-looking thing.”

“I didn’t know what he was till I jammed the garden fork into him and dragged him out of the ground and gave him a bit of a scratch and a poke and tasted him,” Craig-Brown said.

The interest in Doug has been huge and somewhat unexpected, leading to a “crazy” week for the Craig-Browns.

“Once we’d dug him up and everybody had a look and a poke and a fiddle and a squeeze and all that sort of thing, we showed him around and put him on Facebook, it just went a little bit silly,” Craig-Brown said. “They call it viral.”

Once Doug’s celebrity dies down, the plan is to turn him into some vodka, in a move Colin says is a “fitting departure.”

“We’ll have a wake for him and we’ll all toast Doug with the vodka that I’m going to make out of him,” he said.