From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
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A Splunkin is a jack-o-lantern enemy in New Super Mario Bros. They walk left and right in World 8 courses and some of the earlier Ghost Houses. If Mario jumps upon a Splunkin once, it will crack a bit and will increase its speed. Another hit will make it explode, defeating it and earning points. However, a Ground Pound will kill one instantly. The Splunkin is a relatively small and harmless enemy, though they are sometimes found in larger groups. Their name is a pun on the word "Spelunking".
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