Sunday 21 January 2018

Watch: Watermelon Boy is the first viral sensation of 2016 by eating whole fruit (skin included)

Watermelon is the first viral hero of 2016
Watermelon is the first viral hero of 2016

Sasha Brady

An Australian boy has been hailed as the first viral sensation of 2016 after he was filmed eating an entire watermelon - including the rind - at a cricket match in Melbourne.

Mitchell Schibeci, dubbed "watermelon boy", said he devised the stunt to get his face on the game's big screen.

Commentators at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) were shocked to see him chomping into the fruit, skin and all, at Saturday's game.

"That's... I've never seen that before in my life," one commentator said; the other added, "That is unbelievable."

The hashtag #watermelonboy became the number one trending topic in Australia, and number five worldwide.

Mitchell (10) told the BBC that eating the whole watermelon was tougher than expected.

"It was a lot more hard work than I thought it would be... I just kept on eating and eating it," he said.

Mitchell said he had been eating watermelon rind since the age of two.

"I've been doing it for a long time - I just like the taste of it," he said.

The clip of Mitchell tucking into the watermelon was picked up as ESPN's Play of the Day, but he hasn't let the attention go to his head.

"I'm not really a hero, I'm just a normal average kid," Mitchell told the BBC.

Mitchell is the son of Melbourne's SEN 1116 radio host and sports reporter Tony Schibeci, who revealed the Boy's identity to all the world Saturday.

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