NASA's Pumpkin Carving Contest Produced Awe-Inspiring Jack-O'-Lanterns

Every year, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has a pumpkin carving contest. The staff has to carve and build their pumpkin(s) -- sculpt and engineer them -- in a set amount of time. The results put pretty much every other pumpkin in the country to shame. The carving skills, creativity, and weirdness are next level. 

The JPL shared the creations online, and they're awe-inspiring. Judging this contest looks basically impossible because there are loads of outstanding jack-o-somethings. Nonetheless, there were two champions this year. One was the "Apollo Lunar Jack-o'-Lander," which floats down to the moon's surface with faux smoke, a video monitor, and audio of the actual landing. The other was "Lucy's Chocolate Factory," which recreates the "Job Switching" episode from I Love Lucy with a working, candy-toting conveyor belt. 

In addition to the JPL's video, you can get a closer look at many of the pumpkins thanks to mechanical engineer Aaron Yazzie's Twitter feed, which shares close-ups almost every year. The entries below include wonderful conspiracy theory-themed pumpkins of faking the moon landing in front of a green screen and a "storm Area 51" meme entry complete with Naruto running. 

See even more of them on Yazzie's Twitter feed or take a look at contest entries from previous years.

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. He ran out of time and his pumpkin this year is a pumpkin with a long stem. No theme. Follow him @dlukenelson.