Science

This clementine has a tiny but perfect bonus fruit in the middle

A Reddit user unpeeled his snack to discover a bonus clementine in the middle – two days running.

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A picture of a tiny clementine which was encased in a regular-sized fruit has gone viral.

Reddit user IAmCrawfy2018 posted the picture showing his morning snack – the main fruit and a bonus six-segment mini clementine.

He told the Press Association that he picked up the clementine at his work, which has fruit delivered.

Todays clementine had an almost perfect mini clementine inside… from mildlyinteresting

“Sometimes you get those little extra bits in lots of orange type (fruits) but I’d never seen one so perfect.”

He ate the whole thing “baby first”.

“The taste was all good and the mini one tasted the same as the main one.”

Carlos Magdalena, scientific and botanical research horticulturist at Kew Gardens, agreed it looked “perfect”.

“I haven’t seen one so perfect,” he said. “This one is perfection. It has all the segments, it’s really interesting.”

Talking about the flavour, he added: “They both develop in the same way, the variety will be the same and the flavour will be the same.”

Harry Delaney, RHS master of horticulture at Reaseheath College in Cheshire, said: “It’s quite an interesting phenomenon.

“My experience leads me to say it’s developed in early cell division, at the very early microscopic stage. Then one has been stronger and has consumed the other one as the cells divide and multiply.”

A miniature clementine in a bigger clementine
Reddit user IAmCrawfy2018 experienced a clementine-inside-a-clementine two days running (IamCrawfy2018)

IamCrawfy2018, a scientist from the south of England, returned to Reddit the following day with another picture of his daily snack exclaiming “Zomg what is going on with these clementines??”

It too had a tiny fruit inside, although much smaller than the original mini version.

Delaney added that one other explanation was that the fruit had so much auxin – the hormone produced on fertilisation – that it went above and beyond what was needed thereby making another fruit.

Other explanations include environmental factors, for instance insect activity, cold weather and changing light.

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