Here's what 5 popular fruits and vegetables looked like before people domesticated them

Watermelons paintingChristie’sAn extract from ‘Watermelons, peaches, pears and other fruit in a landscape’ by Giovanni Stanchi

The INSIDER Summary:

• Fruits and vegetables used to look really, really different.
• They have been genetically modified over hundreds of years.

• Here’s what watermelons, bananas, eggplants, carrots, and corn used to look like.

Watermelons didn’t always look like watermelons.

Human beings started domesticating crops about 10,000 years ago. Since them, we’ve developed farming techniques that breed and genetically modify food to taste better, be more nutritious, live in different environments, and look way, way different.

We don’t have older versions of bananas and watermelons growing today, or photographs from thousands or hundreds of years ago. So how do we know they used to look so weird? From old paintings! Giovanni Stanchi’s painting from the 17th century, in particular, give a lot of clues.

Here’s what a few of the most well-known crops looked like before and after generations of agricultural modification.

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