After 20 years, no one knows how a pumpkin got impaled on Cornell's 173-foot spire

On the October 8, 1997 students and faculty at Cornell University noticed an unusual addition to the tip of McGraw Tower: a pumpkin. To this day, no one knows who put it there, or how they were able to do it.

From Atlas Obscura:

“One day, there was this thing at the top of the tower,” remembers Oliver Habicht, at the time a recent graduate working for the university IT department. It was way up at the top, impaled on the spire. It was round, and about the size of a beach ball. Was it… was it a pumpkin?

It was. Someone, somehow, had apparently carried the gourd up hundreds of steps. They had snuck it silently through the tower’s bell cage—a structure criss-crossed with cables that, if tripped, would have let out an immediate BONG—and gotten it up to the top of the very steep roof, all without being noticed. Not only that, but they had affixed it well enough that it stayed put until springtime, enmeshing itself in campus culture and becoming its own type of steady, albeit slowly rotting, beacon.

[via Clive Thompson]

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