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Why Do People Thump Watermelons?

Watermelons sit in a pile at a grocery store.
Pressmaster/Shutterstock.com

Perhaps nothing screams summer more than a watermelon, but if you’ve ever seen someone shopping for one, you might have one main question: what’s with the thumping?

When some people shop for melons, they pick them up, hold them near their ear, and then thump them with a finger. It’s an odd, but common sight, but does it have a purpose?

Well, as it turns out, watermelon thumping is actually a good way to find the ripest one. After you thump the rind, if you hear a muffled, hollow noise, that melon is ripe and ready to eat. If, however, you hear more of a ping, that melon needs more time.

Of course, these sounds aren’t the only thing you should pay attention to when it comes to choosing a watermelon. You’ll also want to check the color on the side or bottom where it was laying on the ground. If it’s ripe, it’ll have a cream, gold, or orange tint. You can also smell the stem end, which should have a subtle sweet scent.

But if you plan to feast on watermelon this summer, don’t forget to thump!

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Assignments Editor at LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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