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Video still of the da Vinci Xi robot performing surgery on a grapeYouTube/Edward Hospital

New meme alert: Did you know they did surgery on a grape?

This actually happened...

Ashitha Nagesh
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It’s freezing cold, we have less than a month to go until Christmas, and the days are so short that 4pm feels like bedtime.

Yep - we’re almost at the end of the year, which means it’s time to let out all of our pent-up weirdness (as if we haven't been doing that for the past 11 months anyway...)

And nothing’s more absurd than the latest meme: ‘they did surgery on a grape’.

If you haven’t seen it, the meme basically consists of people repeating “they did surgery on a grape” on Twitter, Photoshopping grape-surgery-related images, or wishing the grape a speedy recovery from its surgery.

An early example of the genre

And now here’s the grape outside the hospital

NGL, we’d watch this show

And there’s been a lot of meme cross-over…

Coma guy wants to know if they did surgery on a grape

Looks like this post is no longer available from its original source. It might've been taken down or had its privacy settings changed."

Trump wants us to know that they did surgery on a grape

Parents: is your teenager doing surgery on a grape?

Frankly, it’s all got a little out of hand...

Looks like this post is no longer available from its original source. It might've been taken down or had its privacy settings changed."

So Australian writer David Hughes has summed it up in this series of tweets

But the meme hasn’t come completely out of nowhere. Believe it or not, surgeons have successfully performed surgery on a grape - by gently peeling off its skin, and then stitching it back on.

Might look a little random, but the operation was first carried out to demonstrate the incredible precision of a new type of surgical robot called the ‘da Vinci Xi’.

The machine was first seen in this video from 2010, where surgeons in the US state of Illinois successfully peeled a grape’s skin off - and then again in this video from 2014, where you can see the machine stitch a peeled grape back together.

Then, there was this video tweeted out by a hospital in Australia back in May - which has, in the past two days, been flooded with grape-related responses.

Dr Declan Murphy, an oncologist from Melbourne who was the grape surgeon in the video, tells BBC Three that they filmed the grape operation for an Australian children's show, to "introduce kids to surgical technology". This particular grape, he says, was called "Grapey McGrapeface".

"Then all of a sudden, months after the original tweet, my Twitter feed went crazy!" he says. "I don't know which influencer picked it up, but they clearly have a massive network."

The robot, he says, is now "put to good use on humans with cancer".

Each machine costs about £1.5 million - which is why there are currently only 10 of them in the whole of the UK. But as you can see from this BBC News report from April this year, it means doctors can perform extremely precise surgery on - for example - someone’s oesophagus, by controlling the robot from within the operating room.

So when you think about it, being able to perform surgery on something as small as a grape is a revolutionary thing in the world of medical science.

Although the image of a grape going under the knife is still pretty funny.