This is a shot of a pair of Yubari King melons (a cantaloupe cultivar) that sold for a staggering 3.2 million yen (~$29,300) at auction in Japan. Why? Apparently Yubari melons are a status symbol in the country, and buying the most perfect melons lets everyone else know you're top dog. Still, $30,000? I didn't even pay that much for my boob job. "They do look like they were put on upside down." I went with the lowest bidder.
As with any other luxury product, there is an element of quality control with sellers seeking out melons with a perfectly spherical shape and a smooth rind with an even pattern. A t-shaped stalk is left on the fruit for presentation purposes and it is usually packaged in an ornate box.
For reference, my local supermarket was charging $1.99/pound for watermelons over the weekend, and I had to step out of the checkout line to go back and pick a smaller one so I didn't overdraft my bank account. How's that for a status symbol? "Not very good." No it is not.
Thanks to v, who agrees no cantaloupe should cost more than a nice used car.