The 19th edition of the world’s largest scavenger hunt
The University of Chicago News Office
May 3, 2005 Press Contact: Julia Morse
(773) 702-8359

The 19th edition of the world’s largest scavenger hunt

[] Two students (above) pose in front of a working nuclear breeder reactor built in a shed, earning 3,954 points for their team in the Scavenger Hunt of 1999.


At the strike of midnight on Thursday, May 5th, University of Chicago students begin the 19th annual Scavenger Hunt. Teams of students have until Sunday, May 8th to collect the strange and arbitrary items on the Scav Hunt list, which will be released at midnight. The list will be posted online at

In previous years, Scav Hunts have included such highlights as:

  • A stratigraphic column of Chicago made out of Jell-o (45 points)
  • A Steve Bartman trading card (19 points)
  • A graduate thesis written on napkins from a dining hall, signed off on by a thesis committee (20 points)
  • A perfume expert from each team will be blindfolded and asked to identify the scents of up to 21 different perfumes and colognes (40 points for first, 30 points for second)
  • Four team-members must build a Lincoln Log cabin, homey, rustic, yet safe and trendy. Sounds easy, right? They’ll be cuffed, blindfolded, and ear-muffed (40 points)
  • A Willie Nelson doll from Super Bowl XXXVIII (38 points)
  • Create the Collected Works of the University of Chicago Bathroom Graffiti (organized by theme, but attributed to location) (102 points)
  • A one ruble coin with a picture of Mendeleev (15 points)
  • Modify your dashboard with Obama-meter, denoting just where on the PolitiSpectrum the candidate is at any given time (25 points)

The team that racks up the most points wins. On Judgment Day, teams will also participate in the Scavolympics. Last year’s event included a piercing race –in which at least seven team members, their piercings connected with dental floss, ran across the Midway Plaisance.

Please see for a glimpse of past Scavenger Hunts.
Last modified at 12:05 PM CST on Thursday, May 05, 2005.

University of Chicago News Office
5801 South Ellis Avenue - Room 200
Chicago, Illinois 60637-1473
(773) 702-8360
Fax: (773) 702-8324
Contact Us