This story was first published on July 23, 2012
Circulating message claims that a Chinese farmer has managed to grow pears shaped like baby Buddha figures. The message includes a photograph of the unusually shaped pears still on the tree.
The photograph is genuine and the pears are real. News reports from 2009 indicate that Chinese farmer Gao Xianzhang uses special moulds to force his pears to grow into their unique baby shapes.
CHINESE FARMER GROWS BUDDHA-SHAPED PEARS
Gao Xianzhang has managed to create what some would call the holiest fruits ever, pears shaped like Buddha.
Gao has been working on his pear-growing technique for six years and this season he managed to grow 10,000 Buddha-shaped baby pears.
Each fruit is grown in an intricate Buddha mould and ends up looking like a juicy figurine. The ingenious farmer says the locals in his home village of Hexia, northern China, have been buying his Buddha pears as soon as he picks them from the trees. Most of them think they are cute and that they bring good luck. ♥
This message, which circulates via social media posts and email, features a photograph depicting pears shaped like babies or small Buddha figures.
According to the text of the message, the pears are grown by a Chinese farmer using a special technique that he perfected over several years. Some commentators have suggested that the photograph has been digitally manipulated to make normal pears appear to be baby or Buddha shaped. However, the image is genuine and the claims in the message are factual, although not particularly recent.
News reports about the pears and their grower were first published back in 2009. A September 2009 Reuters report about the pears explains:
Farmer Hao Xianzhang, who owns an orchard in northern Hebei province, is turning fiction into fact by attaching baby-shaped fiberglass and plastic moulds to young pears for six months.
“People called me crazy. They said I was whimsical and it was impossible to grow baby-shaped fruits. They told me to stop wasting my time and money,” said Hao, who has sold nearly all the 18,000 pears he has cultivated for a hefty 50 yuan ($7) a piece.
The idea to shape pears first struck Hao some six years ago, when he saw jelly molded into different forms at a supermarket.
And another September 2009 report in the UK’s Daily Mail notes:
A Chinese farmer has invented baby-shaped pears – and he is planning to export his novel idea over here.
Plucky farmer Gao Xianzhang has created 10,000 of the mini marvels this season and he plans to take the fruits of his labour to the UK and Europe.
Britain could soon see the arrival of the pears, which are shaped like mini buddhas.
Gao spent six years perfecting the intricate baby-shaped pears, carefully crafting each one which grows inside an individual mould.
According to reports, the farmer has received interest from around the world for his uniquely shaped fruit.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!