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November 19th, 2012
08:16 AM ET

The science behind punkin chunkin – Discovery's Kari Byron explains

Who doesn't want to fling a pumpkin in to the sky at an absurd speed? The Science Channel, well aware of this past-time, is ringing in Thanksgiving with a two-hour special called "Punkin Chunkin" based on the annual competition where over 100 engineering teams work to hurl a pumpkin as far as possible.

Kari Byron, co-host of the Discovery Channel's "Mythbusters," will host the pumpkins special and explains on “Early Start” precisely what our fascination is with punkin chunkin.

The rules are simple, Byron explains.

"You need to throw a pumpkin as far as you can with purely mechanical means,” Byron says. “But when you give a challenge like this to backyard engineers and crazy, guerilla scientists, they’re gonna come up with some wild means of throwing a pumpkin.”

“This is not child’s play, this is not just a hobby, this is a lifestyle,” for pumpkin chunkin competitors who invest major time, money and energy preparing, she says. “They really, really go for broke.”

"Punkin Chunkin" airs Thanksgiving night, Nov. 22nd at 8pm Eastern and Pacific on Discovery's Science Channel.