Just How Big Is the World's Largest Onion? A Guinness Record Breaker

A U.K. man has likely broken the record for growing the world's largest onion. Read all about his long journey to growing this massive veggie!


Sep. 19 2023, Updated 4:08 p.m. ET

Grower Gareth Griffin poses with his world record breaking heaviest onion
Source: Getty Images

Grower Gareth Griffin poses for a photograph with his world record breaking heaviest onion, entered in the giant vegetable competition on the first day of the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show held at Newby Hall country house, near Ripon, northern England, on Sept. 15, 2023.

If you've ever attended a state or county fair, you may have seen contests rewarding those with the best or biggest in produce. While not everyone can grow record-breaking vegetables, a Guernsey, U.K. man may finally break into the Guinness Book with the world's largest onion.

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Gareth Griffin had been growing massive onions since the world championships in 2011, according to the BBC. Now, although his accomplishment isn't yet verified by Guinness World Records, Griffin's impressive gardening skills are undeniable. Find out how he grew the prized produce and how much it weighs.

Officials weighing world's largest onion
Source: Getty Images

Gareth Griffin's onion weighed 19.7 pounds at the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show.

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U.K. gardener Gareth Griffin has been trying to grow the world's largest onion since 2014.

According to the BBC, Griffin's notable onion weighed in at a whopping 19.7 pounds, or 8.9 kilograms. The event was the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show, which took place in northern England. The onion smashed the previous record for the world's largest onion, which was 18.68 pounds.

Griffin told the BBC that he gained his initial interest in growing extra-large produce from his father, who also had a green thumb for raising large onions. He's been pursuing the goal of growing the world's largest onion since 2014—which happens to be the year when Tony Glover's onion beat his for the record. Griffin said, "I nearly got it in 2014 but was a couple of ounces off the record."

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Griffin described how he managed to grow such a colossal onion to the BBC. He used a polytunnel, which had extra lighting as well as an automatic irrigation system, which fortunately enabled him to be able to go on vacation without risking the growth of his prized onion. Griffin also credited good seeds as part of the secret to his success.

Grower Gareth Griffin poses with his world record breaking heaviest onion
Source: Getty Images
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He didn't take any chances with his onion while transporting it to the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show. As Griffin explained to the BBC, he transported the onion by ferry in his motorhome, protecting it well for the journey. "It was well cushioned in a box and I didn't let it out of my sight."

Griffin's onion broke the record for the world's largest onion.

Online, Tony Glover still is listed as the Guinness World Record holder for the largest onion, but once officials can verify Griffin's onion, he'll take the top honor. Glover's onion has held the title since September 2014.

As for whether you'd want to eat Griffin's massive onion, he said to the BBC that it would be "very mild in taste" and "perfectly edible."

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UPI reported that the Guinness World Record officials must review and verify the status of Griffin's nearly 20-pound onion. The prize-winning onion is on display alongside other enormous vegetables like cabbage, cucumbers, and carrots.

People wishing to be considered for a Guinness World Record must submit an application, and organizers then conduct checks to verify the accuracy of the claim. There's no payment offered for record-breakers, so it appears to be more about status than any tangible reward.

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