Supernatural’s Misha Collins spends most of the year fighting demons (and sometimes angels) in a trench coat. And when Supernatural returns for it’s tenth season, Collins promises that between trying to find Dean and solving the problem of his own fading grace, Castiel will once again have his hands full. But until then, the 39-year-old actor is keeping busy by breaking world records alongside Orlando Jones and William Shatner. But why?
Well, because he can. August 2-9 will mark the fourth annual GISHWHES, the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen, which Collins launched after being inspired by an annual scavenger hunt he participated in when he was an undergraduate at the University of Chicago. “It used to be a very academically rigorous and a very socially dismal place,” Collins says. “The only social interaction we had was in the basement of the library where there was a little coffee shop. We didn’t even have a student center. There was a study commissioned at the University of Chicago of the top 300 universities, and we ranked 300 out of 300 for social life. [We were] the very, very worst—under the Naval Academy, I might add. [But] we had this one bright spot on the calendar, which was a campus-wide scavenger hunt. Everyone basically stopped going to classes and stopped doing anything and just participated in the scavenger hunt for four days. And it was just so much fun.”
So a few years ago, when Collins made the mistake of promising his Supernatural fans he’d do something “fun” online, he found himself backed into a corner. His solution? A quick and easy scavenger hunt… that turned into a whole lot more. “It turned out to be immensely fun for me and the 300 people that participated in it, so I thought, ‘I’m going to try this again. I’m going to try to make it bigger,’” Collins says. “And so the next year, I named it GISHWES—Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen—and because I’d given it that name, I was bound and determined to get a Guinness World Record for having the largest scavenger hunt, which we succeeded in doing. We had like 6,000 participants and then we’ve broken, I don’t know, four or five additional Guinness World Records in the ensuing few years doing all manner of strange things. I think we’re going to try to break three more Guinness World Records this year.”
To participate in GISHWES, fans register online. When the hunt starts, participants will get their first glimpse at the growing list of crazy activities Collins has been compiling on his iPhone, which they are then tasked with completing. For example: “There’s definitely going to be some item or items related to Orlando Jones and William Shatner, who are both participating in the hunt this year,” Collins promises of the new to-do list. “I am going to mess with them.” Other than that, he says there will be something with acorns, and hopefully something related to the NSA or CIA, so long as it won’t land him in jail. After getting a tweet from NASA last year asking participants to stop, Collins has high expectations.
At the end of it all, the winner of this year’s GISHWES will win a trip to Croatia with Collins, complete with ride on a pirate ship. Registration for this year’s hunt ends Sunday, July 27.