With temperatures reaching nearly 100 degrees in Billings on Wednesday, it is a perfect time to celebrate National Watermelon Day and enjoy a refreshing slice!

National Today says this tasty fruit started in Ancient Egypt over 5,000 years ago along the Nile Valley. Archeologists even found watermelon seeds in the tomb of King Tutankhamen. Paintings of watermelon have been found on some Egyptian inscriptions. 

The sweet melon we enjoy today has significantly changed over the last 1000 years due to genetic mutations. Origins of watermelon ancestors are from Africa, where the fruit began to expand to places like Europe and the Mediterranean.

The United States has more than 300 variations of watermelon that come in all different shapes and sizes. The most common watermelon colors on the outside of watermelon are typically dark green on the outside with yellow stripes. But other variations can be red or white on the inside. 

Contrary to popular belief, all parts of the watermelon, including the rind, can be digested. They are also packed with lots of healthy nutrients too. The heaviest recorded watermelon in the Guinness Book of World Records was in 2013 at 350 pounds and grown by Chris Kent in Tennesse. Watermelons can even help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer thanks to the antioxidants lycopene. And as most people know, watermelons are 92% water, making them a perfect hydrating treat. 

There are several ways to celebrate National Watermelon Day; here are a few ideas.

Visit your local grocery store and pick up a watermelon – you can either cut it up and enjoy it or use it to make a watermelon smoothie or cocktail. Have a picnic and host watermelon eating or seed spitting competitions. Or you can carve watermelons with the whole family!

However you celebrate, make sure to enjoy the refreshing melon that is loved by many worldwide.