Nebraska Man Makes World’s Longest Journey by Pumpkin Boat

Late last month, Nebraska resident Duane Hansen celebrated his 60th birthday by setting sail in an 846-pound pumpkin and traveling 38 miles down the Missouri River.

Hansen spent years on the project, eventually naming his prize pumpkin Berta, he told News Channel Nebraska’s Dan Swanson. He was inspired to break the record after attending a three-day pumpkin growing seminar in Portland, Oregon, five years ago, when he met a woman who at the time held the record he sought.

“I asked her a lot of questions and that’s when I decided I wanted to do this,” he tells News Channel Nebraska.

Hansen hopped inside and took off for the day-long journey, with family members and friends cheering him on from along the banks. Throughout the next 12 hours, he fought to stay afloat as an array of obstacles—including rocks, sand bars and waves—threatened to tip him over. “You’ve got to be on top of it the whole time,” he tells News Channel Nebraska.

To comply with the Guinness World Records’ rules, Hansen had asked non-family members to witness the event. Attendees included Bellevue City officials, who took photos and videos along the way to provide evidence.

Hansen’s record isn’t official quite yet. Kylie Galloway, a spokesperson for Guinness World Records, tells CNN that the organization has received his application and is currently in the process of reviewing it.