The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt Ever

It was an absolutely hectic week, where my sleep hours were, quite literally, from 3 AM to 9 AM. Now, I understand that many people get that much sleep every night and are completely fine. But I am not one of those people. And this week was in the summer. So, why would I ever willingly choose to forego sleep?

The answer as to why lies in G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S! “What?” you ask. “What is Gisdfaifajkdf?”

This was actually my mom’s response to the acronym. Multiple times. But I digress.

Well, G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. stands for the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen. And it indeed lives up to its name. It holds five Guinness World Records, and after each year, often breaks more. Created by Supernatural actor, Misha Collins, this hunt includes participants from all over the world who are put into 15-person teams to vie for the grand prize: a trip somewhere–this year it was a trip to Costa Rica–with Misha Collins (who also runs a charity called Random Acts), all expenses paid. It runs annually. This year, it ran from August 1 to August 8, and was one of the most fun-packed weeks I’ve ever had.

The competition itself had a list of items that we had to complete to gain points, and the most creative and excellent submissions would gain us the most points. Many of the items also included donating to charities or carrying out a random act of kindness, and our team claimed many of those. Here’s some of the ones I completed:

Screenshot 2015-10-01 21.32.04

We did so many activities that week that I almost don’t know where to start. But I’ll start with the first one: Death’s funeral. The idea itself was very interesting, because not only was this just an imaginative item, but it also called on important ideas in philosophy: what does it actually mean to die, and what would happen if death would cease to exist? We interpreted it like this:


Partyin’ Around Death

Basically, since Death is dead, no one can die, so we obviously partied–around Death’s body of course. I understand that what we did is a bit out-there, but this competition pushed us to test our limits and test our own knowledge. By the way, I’m the one in the coffin, dressed up as Death. And my brother’s the one who hand-crafted the scythe, so kudos to his creativity for that! Also, we stole that coffin. Don’t believe me? Here’s proof (sort of):


Just kidding! We borrowed it from a friend. (And it’s not a real coffin, although we did have that option.)

Another item we completed involved dressing up as well; I had to dress up as a famous inanimate object. Needless to say, I fell into this item with as much vigor as Death’s funeral, and I’m quite happy with the result. (Note: If you haven’t seen Tom Hank’s Castaway, then you may not understand the reference.)


Cosplay of Wilson the Volleyball and Chuck Noland, Tom Hank’s character

Look, I’m Wilson! I created that volleyball entirely out of cardboard. I had to cut pieces in specific shapes to get the sphere I wanted (and it took a lot of measuring and using a lot of box cutters, mainly with friends in the early hours of morn.) I poster-printed the handprint, painted it red, and taped it on. And I got a friend to be Chuck Noland, Tom Hank’s character in the movie. It took days, but I had a blast putting it all together!

This brings me to an item that took the entire week to put together, specifically because of the time-sensitivity involved in creating it. Since this hunt was during the summer, I was not at Rutgers but at home. I needed to find a company or place that was nearby and would allow me to 3D-print inexpensively, and what I found was that Rutgers HackRSpace allows you to 3D-print something small for free, as long as you have the correct file-type! The item for the hunt was to create a 3D representation of the fourth dimension, and I did just that.

Through research, I learned that fourth dimensional beings would appear as floating blobs of flesh to us, so this is what Dinomite, the gishwhes 2015 mascot, would look like to us if he was a fourth dimensional being:

Pretty cool, huh? It took a while to print, but it was worth it.

Another item was to yarnbomb something that shouldn’t be yarnbombed. So here’s what we did:


We yarnbombed our high school mascot!

Don’t worry, though! We got permission from the high school and took it right down as soon as we finished. Destruction of property is a crime, folks. This took us at least a half hour to do, since we used up five rolls of yarn (1180 yards!!!), and five minutes to cut down. It sort of reminds me of life careers in general; they can take an entire lifetime to make, but literally seconds to break, so it pays to be careful.

And ah, how could I forget? Here’s a portrait of a celebrity we made entirely of salt and pepper. Can you guess who it is? (Note: the answer’s in the caption!)


Robert Downey Jr. made entirely of salt and pepper.

These are only some of the items we completed. These meant the most to me, but if you’re curious enough to look through some of the rest, feel free to sift through the gallery below. (Hint: click on the images for their descriptions; they’ll bring you to a slideshow on the same page.) And I would definitely recommend that anyone join in on this craziness. Life’s too short to spend it just carrying out daily routines; why not do something in which you create and learn to push yourself a little further?

Note: we are not affiliated with any of the links in this post.


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