GISHWHES: Epic Scavenger Hunt Underway

The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen (or GISHWHES) is the brainchild of Misha Collins, best known as the actor playing Castiel on the television show Supernatural. Or maybe you saw him on that SyFy original movie about Stonehenge. Or perhaps his tweets, which are definitely some of the more entertaining for a celebrity. And if you had a 300,000 “minions” hanging on your every word, what would you do with that awesome power? Obviously the answer is “break the Guinness World Record for ‘largest game of digital scavenger hunt.'”

GISHWHES kicked off on Saturday night, and there are a little over 600 teams, consisting of 10 people each. For the most part the team members don’t know each other, and they’re spread out all over the world. Which is handy, since scavenger hunt items require pictures or video taken in locations from Barcelona to South Korea, from the Dead Sea to the Yangtze. And the items range from the relatively simple (“an arousing photograph of toe cleavage”) to the probably impossible (“a tent pitched in the middle of the back yard of the White House”). All entries have to be original and unique (nothing found on the Internet) and the organizers swear they can spot a photoshop job a mile away.

You can view the entire list of items here, but here are some of the more geeky/interesting ones, along with point values:

  • Display an artifact from the Ottoman Empire in a Pizza Hut in Bulgaria. (17 points)
  • Paint a librarian’s face with ash from Eyjafjallajokull. (27 points)
  • A hooters waitress reading a copy of Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique.” (41 points)
  • What do the lips of a Justin Bieber doll look like under a microscope? (58 points)
  • A judge at the bench in a Darth Vader mask. (36 points)
  • An ER doctor in an ER performing an emergency tracheotomy on a tickle-me-Elmo doll. (39 points)
  • Action figures/superheroes set up to resemble “The Last Supper.” (18 points)
  • Find the 48th Mersenne prime. (78 points)
  • Show an actual Nobel Prize winner telling the joke, “Why did the chicken cross the road? …To get to the other side.” His or her Nobel Prize must be visible. (55 points)
  • A one-minute unedited speed play of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy played by 4 characters with costume changes. We must hear the line “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” And we must see the audience. (26 points)
  • One person is holding an iPhone; the other is holding an Android. They are engaged in a heated debate about which phone is better. They are speaking in the nearly extinct language of Gottscheerish. (40 points)
  • Video the reaction of an MIT undergrad when you ask them, “MIT is often considered the Harvard of Massachusetts. How does that make you feel?” (7 points)

The prize for the winning team is a trip to Rome and dinner with Misha. It’s too late to sign up for the hunt, but if you’re dying to contribute (who doesn’t want to photograph themselves walking around Peru dressed as a penguin?), this [GAS] writer may know someone who’s participating. Or you could just take to Twitter and offer your services, as I imagine there are some teams desperately seeking assistance, particularly if you’re the Duke of Luxemburg, or an actor on a CW show with access to a Justin Bieber tshirt.