56-leaf clover and cheaper Yubari melons in Japan

56-leaf clover found in JapanA Japanese farmer has ‘found’ a 56-leaf clover on May 10. The discovery wasn’t mere luck though; Shigeo Obara from Hanamaki, Iwate, has been conducting research on clovers for over 50 years.

Obara will apply for a new Guinness World Record for the most leaves on a clover stem, currently held by none other than Obara himself since 2002. He also made headlines last year with a 21-leaf clover which he didn’t apply for a record.

Meanwhile, a pair of Yubari melons were auctioned for 500,000 yen (US$5,200) at Sapporo Central Wholesale Market… seems expensive, but it’s far below the record 2.5 million yen fetched in 2008 or the previous record of 2 million yen in 2007.

Yubari melons are popular summer gifts in Japan; buyers would flock to the market for the prestige of winning the very first melons of the year.

Yubari official Kaoru Hirano seems happy with the deflated price though, saying that the previous records were giving misconception that the Yubari melons were too expensive for average folks.

[clover image from Kyodo][melon news via MSNBC]

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