As The CW’s Supernatural prepares to enter its 11th season, one of its stars is gearing up to snag yet another Guinness World Record. Misha Collins’ GISHWHES – the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen – has already broken eight records over the years, and with participants from 100 countries around the world taking part, Collins is ready for more fun and even greater challenges this time around.
“Its name itself is full of hubris. It implies a level of gravity to be the greatest of anything in the world,” Collins told EW during a recent interview. “But we’ve set that out as the aspiration at the beginning and we achieved that the first year when we broke the Guinness World Record for the largest scavenger hunt. It has grown every year since then, with more and more people participating. I am always setting the bar a little bit higher for myself to try to make it bigger and weirder than it was the year before.”
Inspired by an annual scavenger hunt he took part in during his time at the University of Chicago, Collins’ GISHWHES has certainly taken on a life of its own and grown into a “bizarre passion” for the actor.
“A lot of people write me letters saying that had absolutely transformative experiences participating in GISHWHES,” Collins said. “They decided to quit their job and go back to art school because of the week they spent doing it or that they met their very best friend participating in GISHWHES or that they had suffered social anxiety prior to the event and it got them to break out of their shell and do things they never thought possible. There’s so many testimonials like that make it feel so gratifying for me.”
Whether participants are asked to snap a photo with a Stormtrooper or try to persuade NASA to name yet another mountain on Mars after the hunt (yes, that happened), Collins said everyone is encouraged to do something outside of their comfort zone in order to see how far they can “push themselves.”
Collins recalled a past list activity in which participants had to collect an item to help furnish the home of an injured veteran who had recently returned home from Afghanistan. According to the actor, surprising the family was “so cool” as the GISHWHES community was able to do something “lovely” for the family.
Partnering up with Collins’ nonprofit Random Acts – GISHWHES is the largest single contributor to the organization – Collins teased that he hopes to break a few Guinness World records that are not only fun, but also do some good as well.
With help from co-stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, along with Ben Edlund, Felicia Day, William Shatner, and Orlando Jones, author John Green, several NASA scientists – and a few other surprise guests – the weeklong scavenger hunt kicks off Aug. 1.
Fans have until Sunday to register, and this year’s winners will head off for an adventure in Costa Rica with Collins and officially walk away with the coveted title of “Grand Masters of GISHWHES.”