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Chimera Apple
September 30, 2009 9:32 PM   Subscribe

Million to one apple is half red, half green. "Fruit grower Ken Morrish was left stunned when he found a golden delicious apple on his tree split exactly half green, half red down the middle."

Favorite Quote: "If there was a whole branch of apples with the same colouring then fruit experts would get even more excited."
posted by HotPants (52 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
CountyFairFilter
posted by you just lost the game at 9:35 PM on September 30, 2009


I'm probably too skeptical for my own good, but the apple in that link doesn't look real to me. I think this is a photo-shop hoax.
posted by marsha56 at 9:37 PM on September 30, 2009


And you know who ate that fancy apple?
posted by Iron Rat at 9:40 PM on September 30, 2009


Imagine what those crazy Japanese farmers would do if they could actually grow these repeatedly.
posted by GuyZero at 9:44 PM on September 30, 2009


If I had grown that apple, I would have waited one more day for it to get really ripe and nice before I picked it and took pictures of it and became world famous.

And a goddamn squirrel would have eaten it during the night instead.
posted by yhbc at 9:44 PM on September 30, 2009 [8 favorites]


These Guys might also enjoy a bite.
posted by martens at 9:46 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Someone could probably write a pretty good post on plant chimerism sometime. Lots of good material out there on it. It's an interesting subject.
posted by empyrean at 9:47 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


And you know who ate that fancy apple?

No, but I know who wanted to.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 9:58 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Even cooler, marmoset monkey twins are sometimes chimeric, and may actually impregnate females with their brother's sperm.
One of the most surprising results of the study is that over half of male marmosets have chimeric sperm. Dr. Ross and her colleagues discovered cases in which the DNA of male marmosets turned up in babies supposedly fathered by their fraternal twins. In other words, the sperm came from one male, but it had the DNA of the male’s brother. A paternity test would show that the baby’s genetic father was actually its uncle.
posted by bergeycm at 9:59 PM on September 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


I'm probably too skeptical for my own good, but the apple in that link doesn't look real to me. I think this is a photo-shop hoax.

The photo is credited to ARCHANT, a news organization. Although, admittedly, the Telegraph's standards are always that high. That aside, what a cool apple. But I wonder how rare it really is, even if the odds are one in a million+ (like the article says) there must be millions, perhaps tens or hundreds of millions of apples produced annually worldwide. Obviously, reports of such things are rare but how many chimera apples are just sitting there undiscovered on the ground about to be eaten by yhbc's squirrel? Sadly, the world may never know.
posted by IvoShandor at 10:02 PM on September 30, 2009


Imagine what those crazy Japanese cartoonists could do if they got a hold of chimeric monkey sperm.
posted by rokusan at 10:02 PM on September 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


This makes me fell better about my recessive traits.
posted by ...possums at 10:04 PM on September 30, 2009


*feel
posted by ...possums at 10:05 PM on September 30, 2009


God help us all
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:07 PM on September 30, 2009


This is the type of thing that starts wars.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:11 PM on September 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'd eat that apple with this lobster.
posted by jamaro at 10:21 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh dear god, I want that apple.
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:23 PM on September 30, 2009


Given all the apples in the world, a million-to-one odds doesn't seem that bad.
posted by wobh at 10:25 PM on September 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Unfortunately, it and another apple that was half-red on the opposite side killed each other. So much hate...
posted by dirigibleman at 10:26 PM on September 30, 2009 [12 favorites]


Mr. F, in a brief Shit My Husband Says moment: "That's bullshit."
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 10:28 PM on September 30, 2009


OMGITSTHESINGULARITYOMGOMGOMG!!11!
posted by sexyrobot at 10:29 PM on September 30, 2009


And you know who ate that fancy apple?

No, but I know who wanted to.


This one would've but he flipped a coin and it came up tails.
posted by codswallop at 10:35 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


It must have originated on Cheron, though the half red/half green ones are supposed to be much better than this half green/half red one.

More seriously, I would love to have the seeds from that apple.
posted by eye of newt at 10:48 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


FUJIS AND GRANNY SMITHS, LIVING TOGETHER - MASS HYSTERIA!
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:57 PM on September 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Hm, the sun just became black as sackcloth of hair.
posted by jouke at 11:49 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Did any one else catch the other stories in the Popular Today sidebar?

Wisconsin Tourism Federation Changes Name.. no more WTF?
Fact: Flirting With Pretty Women Is Good For Men's Health
Tyrannosaurus Rex killed by a sore throat
Woody Allen: 'I’ve Given Up'
Adolf Hitler alive: weird conspiracy theories
World's Tallest Horse: 20.2 hands tall [PIC]

And the naysayers claim the death of journalism as we know it is at hand...
posted by mosk at 12:00 AM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I enjoyed the link to upsidedowndogs.com.
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:10 AM on October 1, 2009


This is how Adam and Eve got in trouble. Read your Bible, people.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:10 AM on October 1, 2009


Yeah, "a million to one" is usually hyperbole, but here it's sort of yawn-inducing understatement. By my reckoning there were about 300 billion apples produced in 1997. (44.7 million metric tons / 150 grams per each).
posted by aubilenon at 12:24 AM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hail Eris! Or not.
posted by zoinks at 12:25 AM on October 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Oh no, look out Snow White!
posted by supercrayon at 1:21 AM on October 1, 2009


This is how Adam and Eve got in trouble. Read your Bible, people.

twern't an apple in the bible. it just says "fruit". prolly a pomegranite...
posted by billybobtoo at 2:56 AM on October 1, 2009


I'm probably too skeptical for my own good, but the apple in that link doesn't look real to me. I think this is a photo-shop hoax.

Yeah, everyone knows that apples are always exactly the same size and colour.
posted by rory at 3:02 AM on October 1, 2009


I'm thinking this and this had something to do with it.
posted by HuronBob at 3:07 AM on October 1, 2009


That comment of mine seems a little too snarky on its own, so to flesh it out: our expectations have all been far too conditioned by what we see on supermarket shelves. I grew up with apple trees in my backyard, and have seen plenty of weird and wonderful-looking specimens. Not one like this, but plenty of others that would never make it to the supermarkets of today. Hooray for organic veg box deliveries and their endless potential for misshapen vegetable entertainment!
posted by rory at 3:12 AM on October 1, 2009


rory, I think the skepticism isn't due to a belief that there aren't mutant misshapen apples - it's that this one isn't misshapen enough. Don't non-misshapen apples have a five-way symmetry or something? The perfect half and half is what looks suspicious.
posted by XMLicious at 4:27 AM on October 1, 2009


The truly amazing part of this story is that a retired painter and decorator can afford a home in the south of England.
posted by Abiezer at 5:34 AM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Damn liebruls and their historical revisionism. Everyone knows Adam and Eve found an apple in the garden that taught them evolution. Pomegranates weren't even invented yet, and you'd need knowledge to know the damn thing was even a fruit in the first place. QED.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:54 AM on October 1, 2009


You know these two assholes would have fought over it.
posted by digsrus at 6:20 AM on October 1, 2009


prolly a pomegranite...

Ah, so it was a stone fruit instead.
posted by bibliowench at 6:31 AM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Καλλίστῃ
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:36 AM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Everyone knows million to one chances turn up nine times out of ten.
posted by rusty at 6:43 AM on October 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure if this is common knowledge or not, but one thing that I didn't know until recently is that apples are extreme heterozygotes, which means that: Seeds from an apple will not produce trees of the same variety. Therefore, most apple trees are grown from buds. Growers cut the buds from a healthy tree that has produced the kind of fruit desired and graft them to rootstocks. A rootstock is a root or a root plus a stem (see Grafting). The resulting trees will bear apples of the same variety as those of the tree from which the buds were cut. Apple growers use the rootstocks of trees selected for such characteristics as resistance to pests, tolerance of cold and other environmental factors, and ability to produce dwarf trees. By choosing different rootstocks, growers can vary the height of the tree from 3 to 30 feet (0.9 to 9 meters). (Worldbook online).

I learned this only after reading Botany of Desire by Michael Polan. This means that there are nearly infinite numbers of apples that can exist in the world, but the ones that we commonly see in our grocers are all clones from particuarly successful brands discovered many years ago. It seems, in fact, that left to their own natural devices, most apples are almost inedible because they're too small and too tart.

Maybe this is common knowledge to most people, but I was really impressed by it. As a kid I always thought that there were specific types of apple trees you could plant that would produce a certain type of fruit, if I even considered the idea at all.
posted by codacorolla at 8:20 AM on October 1, 2009 [7 favorites]


Growers cut the buds from a healthy tree that has produced the kind of fruit desired and graft them to rootstocks.

For those of you who do not spend every weekend in a garden supply store, it's very easy to buy a tree these days that produces 2-4 different kinds of apples. It's just several different varieties grafted onto a single root. You can also buy stone fruit trees that produce different kinds of closely related fruits, like peaches and plums.
posted by GuyZero at 9:33 AM on October 1, 2009


I once accidentally grew gourds that ooked like this, only without the stitches.
posted by Ouisch at 10:52 AM on October 1, 2009


Imagine what those crazy Japanese cartoonists could do if they got a hold of chimeric monkey sperm.

I think they called that Gotenks.
posted by HotPants at 11:06 AM on October 1, 2009


I wonder if it would be possible to have this half-and-half thing happen at the equator of the apple rather than at a meridian (i.e., north-south vs east-west). Is there some symmetrical property in the growth of an apple that would preclude it?
posted by joaquim at 11:35 AM on October 1, 2009


mutant carrot
posted by Pallas Athena at 12:47 PM on October 1, 2009


More pics at the Beeb.
posted by rory at 1:15 PM on October 1, 2009


Codacorolla, lots of the 'crab apple' trees that are common in the British countryside have grown from discarded (eating) apple cores. There is a 'true' crab apple as well. They are horrible raw, but you can make them into delicious things.
posted by Helga-woo at 2:04 PM on October 1, 2009


I find myself wanting to know who the "experts" were who calculated the million-to-one odds.
posted by Wordwoman at 6:51 PM on October 1, 2009


An article from 1998 on apples by Michael Pollan covers some of the same things as his chapter on apples in Botany of Desire.
American settlers played a crucial part in the apple's progress. Since their chief interest was hard cider, they didn't bother much with grafts, planting apples instead from seed. Because of the vagaries of apple genetics, most seedling trees produce inedible fruit, good for little but cider. Yet if you plant enough of them, as Johnny Appleseed set about doing, you're bound to get a few exceptional ones. And that Americans did.
Most of the great American varieties—the Newtown Pippin, Rhode Island Greening, Jonathan, Baldwin and Red Delicious—were chance seedlings found in cider orchards in the 18th and 19th centuries.
posted by AceRock at 7:37 AM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


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