The 2013 (or 2014, depending on who you ask; there were apparently some issues with the 2013 list causing YOLOCALYPSE) University of Chicago Scavenger hunt is either in full swing or panic mode (again, depending on who you ask). And this is something that everyone should know about.
Here’s a summary for those of you who didn’t choose which college to go to based on criteria like “Where will I have the chance to participate in the world’s largest scavenger hunt?”, or “Which schools have the most self-effacing advertising material?” or even more sensible concerns like “Which top-tier university will understand my violent reaction to any interaction with the physical world (i.e. sports or engineering?)” or “Which applications have the most off-the-wall essay questions?”
The University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt (mostly referred to as Scav Hunt, or Scav) is the biggest scavenger hunt in the world. Or, more precisely, the “biggest scavenger hunt in the world”, according to Guinness, was an item in last year’s Scav Hunt. Scav happens every year, in the week leading up to mother’s day. The stated purpose is to help Chicago students achieve enlightenment through microcosms of utter chaos. (Seriously, it’s in the bylaws.) There are generally about 300 items, a road trip (this year to New Orleans!), a party on the quads, and countless absurd and wonderful things to perform, make, fake believably, or at least make a judge laugh about. My favorite item I had anything to do with: a tie between a half-pony half-monkey monster and using a katamari to clean up the team area after judgement. (I got rolled up, because I am very small.) (My teammates were singing the song.) (My least favorite: plastinate a tilapia.) (SOMETIMES THE SMELL STILL HAUNTS ME.) In my opinion, the item on this year’s list with the most potential for awesome is making UFOs on the quad (bonus points for stumping your own teammates). Probably the most famous scav item, though, is the following:
A breeder reactor built in a shed, and the boy scout badge to prove credit was given where boy scout credit was due. (500 points).
It was completed, and thus Scav 1999 went down in history as at least the second time there was a sustained nuclear reaction in an uncontrolled environment on the University of Chicago’s campus. (The first time, of course, involved Enrico Fermi and a squash court.)
And, because I couldn’t let another Scav pass by without doing SOMETHING crazy, here’s a photo of me helping make a pinata. That explodes on cue. (My friend Ryo did the exploding, I was in charge of pinata-fying it.) It was a triumph, and the videos might be publicly posted after judgement.