In the U.S., it’s tradition to carve our pumpkins using infuriatingly flimsy knives with bright-orange plastic handles. At worst, we might poke a couple eye-holes in our gourds and pass them off as jack-o’-lanterns; at best, we’re able to sculpt incredibly intricate “Trumpkins” and set them on fire from the inside out. Either way, there’s one group of Americans who put everyone else’s pumpkin carving skills to shame: rocket scientists.
That’s right, over the weekend a bunch of geniuses at NASA flexed their gourd-sculpting skills at the Jet Propulsion Lab’s annual pumpkin-carving competition—and the results were, dare we say, out of this world (sorry, please keep reading….).
Though one might think NASA scientists have more important things to worry about than hosting a spooky science fair, as it turns out, they don’t. According to Wired, the yearly competition isn’t actually judged, and participants only have an hour to build some seriously impressive creations, turning their plain, orange pumpkins into fully-functional carousels, charcoal grills, and robots.
A full archive is available on the Jet Propulsion Lab’s Flickr page, but NASA engineer Aaron Yazzie also shared some of the highlights on Twitter last week: