International Scavenger Hunt Breaks Records

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For the past three years “Supernatural” star Misha Collins has organized a week-long scavenger hunt named “The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen” or GISHWHES for short. While the scavenger hunt itself often breaks a world record usually one of the items makes an attempt at breaking a world record and so far has succeed at breaking each one.

The 2013 GISHWHES ran from August 11-18. It made an attempt at two different world records and succeeded. Participants helped create the largest online photo album of hugs and the longest safety-pin chain the world has ever seen.

The way you get involved with GISHWHES is pretty simple. Participants register online by paying a minimum of $10. After registering participants can then join a team that has already been organized– presumably with their friends– or choose to be randomly assigned to a team–I choose this option. Once registration is complete the waiting begins.

There is about a week difference between when registration closes and when GISHWHES begins. Within this time the people running GISHWHES makes sure that each team consists of fifteen people. Existing teams that aren’t large enough are combined with others or have individual registrations added. Once the teams have been created participants are told who is on their team and can contact them and start preparing for the item list release.

My team included mostly members from around the United States, but we did have members from Australia and New Zealand. Communication was a little odd with the time difference but once we set up our accounts it became easier. All submissions needed to be made via imgur and videos via YouTube.

We mainly used our facebook group to discuss the competition which meant receive alerts night and day. Every morning I’d wake up to at least ten new notifications and go to bed having to cut a conversation short. I now understand why some people take the week off work to participate in Gishwhes. It is not for the faint of heart.

Once the 156 item list was released the madness commenced. Teams scrambled to figure out who could accomplish which items and how to finish them throughout the week.

Odd requests started flowing online.

“Anybody have some scuba gear I can borrow? Like, the full thing, flippers, mask, tank and all. I need to dance in it. It’s a GISHWHES thing.” – Maia

“If you see me in a weird robot type costume today, ignore it please. Just act like its all normal. Thanks” – Peggy

People certainly started to notice but they would most liked to help out. Some decided not to participate and made certain items unattainable. One such item had to do with the space station.

“153 IMAGE: Get Alexander Misurkin, Pavel Vinogradov, Chris Cassidy, Fyodor Yurchikhin, Karen Nyberg or Luca Parmitano to take a photo of themselves holding up a sign that says, “Hey (INSERT ANY USERNAME FROM YOUR TEAM)! GISHWHES does space too!” or a similar slogan. As a side note, the preceding individuals are all currently on the International Space Station orbiting planet Earth. 334 POINTS”

While it was disappointing that no team could accomplish this feat it was fun to see the acknowledgement from the space station. Another item that no team could accomplish was 133.

133 IMAGE: (Screencap) Get Jared Padalecki (@jarpad) to compliment Misha Collins (@mishacollins) on twitter. The post must include a Username from your team. 201 POINTS

Jared Padalecki, Co-star of “Supernatural” didn’t seem too keen on the idea of complimenting Misha.

Not all items were twitter based most were either 1 do something odd or 2 do something nice.

19 IMAGE: Krista Keith. Attend a ballet class or “spinning” cycling class wearing full scuba gear: flippers, mask, tanks and all. 70 POINTS

25 VIDEO: Do a stealth act of kindness for someone in public or at work like leaving a flower on their windshield, or a “kindness note” at their desk, etc. Film them discovering it. 32 POINTS

One item I chose was host a japanese tea ceremony in an elevator to put passangers “at ease.” I was luck considering I had a tea set and a kimono. I kidnapped a friend and took off for the local mall which I knew had an elevator. Once I arrived I forgot that the elevator was glass which meant as we were setting up we quickly grabbed the attention of the few people still walking around as well as a security guard. The guard actually turned out to be pretty nice. We explained that why we were in the elevator and he agree to let us finish taking the picture before he politely told us to leave.

Gishwhes does not give all the items out at once. There are a few mystery items that get released throughout the week. One of the mystery items this year was changing a life. GISHWHES partnered with Misha Collins’ charity Random Acts to buy gifts and support a specific wounded soldier and his family or send his kids a bright post card or send a solder overseas a care package.

Another mystery item was release via video by Misha’s son West. This mystery item was to make bear or dinosaur clothes out of kale and wear it.

There are lots of photos floating around now that GISHWHES is over. See some of the ones my team created in this photo gallery. With all the submissions it will take 1-2 months before the GISHWHES winners are announced. Participating in Gishwhes is a lot of fun everyone should create a team next year.

Janus Ajax is one of CW50′s summer interns.  I’m a wandering spirit and my favorite tea flavor is rooibos. Follow me on twitter @JanusAjax or find me on tumblr at JanusAjax.tumblr.com and have a very nice day … unless you’d rather not. No pressure. 

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