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Did You See the Watermelon Drop at UCSD in La Jolla

The event started at noon.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

The end of the school year tradition at UC San Diego in which students drop a watermelon from the seventh floor of a campus building is scheduled for today.

The noon event comes 40 years after the record was set for farthest splatter of debris, which was 167 feet, 4 inches, set in 1974.

The drop began nine years earlier, when a physics professor asked his students for the terminal velocity of a watermelon dropped from such a height, and how far pieces of the fruit would be scattered.

It turned out that the terminal velocity -- the speed at which a falling object is no longer accelerating -- was about 112 mph. The splatter that first year spread 91 feet.

The school's "Watermelon Queen" will race up to the seventh floor of Urey Hall and push the gourd over the side to see if the record will finally be broken. The UCSD pep band will provide music, and cake and watermelon will be served.

—City News Service

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