You may have heard of underwater basket weaving but how about underwater pumpkin carving?
   Well, it exists and it has become a tradition in Key West.  Where else but the Conch Republic – which is home to a number of wild and zany people, places and things.

A yellowtail snapper waits for scraps as Donna Beckmann creates her entry at the Underwater Pumpkin Carving
   Contestants in the annual competition don their wetsuits, then drop down to a depth of about 30 feet, where they try to carve the most intricate jack-o-lanterns possible for fun, notoriety and prizes.

   Experts in the field say it can take up to two hours hours to carve a pumpkin underwater.
   Apparently, of the most difficult parts is holding and the pumpkin down as they are extremely buoyant. However,  once divers manage to wrestle their pumpkins to the bottom, hack off the top with their dive knives and  release the air bubbles, the pumpkins are easier to sink and carve..
   Yes, it’s a bit messy as the innards get floating about, but the goop makes for some unusual food for the finned audience on site.

  There are so-called “buddy teams” in the Key West competition and the top three  that create pumpkins worthy of praise from the judges can win prizes including a dive trip for two and fashionable swag.
  If you are a diver and want to try your hand at this, the folks at Maui Dreams Dive Company have developed a list of tips to make you look like a total expert.
   This year the competition is set  for October 14th at Amy Slate’s Amoray Dive Resort, in beautiful Key Largo. The Florida Keys News has more information.