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The entries for NASA's Halloween pumpkin competition are sensational


Having spent their lifetime and billions of dollars on firing humans into darkness and taking photos of dirt on Mars, the bods at NASA have finally pooled their resources together to create something actually worthwhile: pumpkins.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory ‘JBL’ wing of NASA have an annual pumpkin carving competition, where they put all of the taxpayer’s hard earned cash into making some hi-tech jack-o-lanterns, and, let’s be honest, they are much better than yours. Look.


A whirling bells-and-whistles 80th birthday cake of an entry. Trying to work out what's going on here - the middle tier is the sun(?), the top tier is a space rocket crashing into a planet, and the bottom tier is some sort of prison cell with rocket bolts on it. Bit hard to decipher, all in all.

This one's actually wicked. Lil jelly babies getting sucked through a funnel and then spat out of a pumpkin black hole. If I had one criticism, it would be: too much cotton wool, obscuring the magic of science.

This is a satirical pumpkin set-up. As you can see, two pumpkins representing Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are about to be killed by a flaming 'giant meteor' pumpkin.

This is an impressive design but it's a bit gimmicky. What does PAC-MAN have to do with space? Nothing. Let's keep things more thematically related shall we? 


'Starshade' is NASA's device for blocking starlight like a lens hood around telescopes so they can observe light coming from expolanets orbiting those stars and take pictures of them. So naturally, it's depicted here as a giant buzzsaw ripping a pumpkin to shreds.

The Juno space probe orbiting Jupiter, with two weird pumpkin hands underneath for some reason.

No idea what's going on here, looks cool though.

This fairground ride one is where it's at, although the trick-or-treat decoration beneath feels a bit cheap. Tacky, almost. Too much branding, too corporate, unnecessary. It should be all about the pumpkins.

This is a pig pumpkin roasting on a pumpkin BBQ. You know, to celebrate Hallowe'en. Obviously.


NASA here, giving credence to Stranger Things' alternate-dimension the Upside Down with this entry.

NASA here, giving credence to UFOs. This one is a feat of technical brilliance, although if we're being contest bastards, I would say the 'pumpkin' seems like it might not actually be made of pumpkin at all, and it's simply a great tableau.

This one's a bit rubbish, more Mars dirt. Boring.

This has got a cool telescope X fairy lights exterior, then a scale model of the universe inside, as if you were looking through the telescopic. Clever, that.

This one's dumb.

Aaron's right: this is the best. It floats and it has nice calligraphy on it. The two best qualities in the known universe. That is, until NASA stop dicking around with pumpkins and know more universes.



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