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It is always interesting to listen to people debate the relative merit of various natural occurrences or human achievements. There is just something in the human spirit that seeks to know what the best of this or the worst of that might be, and the interest in record-breaking feats remains as strong as ever. While some of these feats might seem more relevant to life than others, even the most seemingly trivial accomplishment can often draw widespread attention. Such has been the case in recent years when it comes to determining the largest rubber band chain in the world.
Of course, the reality of such records is that they can become so nuanced in detail that they remain open to continued argument and debate. In the case of rubber band chains, these nuances exist in the form of such questions as whether the chain was formed by a single individual or as part of a group effort. Thanks to Guinness World Records – the group that has been verifying and tracking such concerns for fifty-five straight years – we are able to know the answer to both questions.
By a group
The largest rubber band chain created by a group effort is the result of the work of an assemblage of elementary school children from the Gettysburg school in Clovis, California. They occupied themselves over a period of time with the task of tying together hundreds of thousands of rubber bands as part of their quest to achieve world-record status. After measuring the resulting chain, they reported to Guinness a length that was in excess of nineteen miles long. Guinness verified the results, and the record has thus far remained unbroken.
As impressive as that record is, however, it almost pales in comparison to the efforts of one single girl in Chesterfield Township, Michigan. In early 2010, Allison Coach revealed her record-setting chain of more than twenty thousand rubber bands which have a total connected length of nearly seven thousand feet – or one and a third miles long. Coach, only eleven years old, had intentionally set out to break the previous record of five thousand one hundred and seventy feet because she thought it would be a fun thing to do. Guinness has confirmed her claims, and recognized her as having set a new world record. How long it will remain so, nobody can say.
There have been, since both records were set, many claims circulating the internet from individuals and groups who say that they have broken one or both of these records and now have the largest rubber band chain in the world. Without the recognized authority of Guinness World Records verifying their claims, however, it is safe to say that these boasts are just that – boasts. It is all but certain that were anyone to actually achieve their goal of surpassing either of these efforts, Guinness would be contacted and the results would be publicly verified for the entire world to see. Until that time, the records will continue to be held by these schoolchildren.