Looking at the detailed sculptures in the photos below, You’d be tempted to think they are made of wax, but believe it or not, they’re actually gourds! Enterprising Chinese farmers are able to grow these veggies into any shape they want. The most popular one is Chairman Mao, but there are many others as well – Buddha, Jesus, Santa Claus, babies, old men, monks, dragons, and pretty much anything else that attracts people’s attention.
You might think there’s some complex bioengineering or agricultural science going on behind these gourd-sculptures, but in reality, they’re just grown in simple plastic molds. It all started when a man named Xie Lyu Zhi visited the Thousand Year Temple in Sichuan Province. He claims that during the visit, a Buddhist monk told him about a dream he had about a gourd shaped like a deity.