I feel like some kind of Luddite when I read a story like this. It’s unnatural! From The Great Pumpkin: Backyard Botanists Shoot for 1-Ton Mark:
Such dedication produces pumpkins that can measure 15 feet to 16 feet around. Twenty years ago, a 500-pound pumpkin was considered a monumental feat. Now, giants regularly tip the scales at 1,200 pounds to 1,400 pounds, bringing within sight the previously incomprehensible: a 1-ton pumpkin.
Howard Dill, a farmer in Nova Scotia, Canada, ushered in the age of the behemoths in the late 1970s by perfecting the genetics of a seed he patented as the Dill Atlantic Giant. Mr. Dill’s seed gave anyone a shot at growing a jumbo, throwing open the door to backyard enthusiasts from California to Ohio to as far abroad as Australia. Growers in the northern half of the U.S. have the best success, because cooler summers extend the growing season through September, giving the pumpkins more time to reach their humongous size.