Minnesota agency nets world record with giant paper ball

Giant ball of paper
Now a world record holder, this giant ball of paper was on display in August during the State Fair.
Jennifer Simonson / MPR News file

Minnesota's resume of 50-plus world records is enjoying an environmentally-friendly boost.

The state Pollution Control Agency just received word that it now holds the Guinness World Records title for largest paper ball, according to a news release. The official size of the ball — which used no glue, tape or adhesive — was 9-feet, 7-inches tall and 32.2 feet in circumference. The ball weighed 426 pounds.

The enormous wad of paper was on display at the Eco Experience building during the 2014 State Fair. Its creators hoped to highlight the value of recycling by building a visual representation of how much paper Minnesotans throw away in 30 seconds.

"We really wanted to bring attention to the economic and environmental value of recycling," Wayne Gjerde, the agency's recycling market development coordinator.

However, the ball's existence was short-lived. Constructed by volunteers in fewer than two days, the sphere is no more.

"We recycled it," MPCA staffer Jeanne Giernet said.

A few other notable Guinness World Records set in Minnesota or by Minnesotans include:

Largest gathering of zombies. October 2014 event featured 15,458 participants in Minneapolis;

Largest gathering of people dressed as "Wizard of Oz" characters. June 2014 event featured 1,093 participants in Grand Rapids, Minnesota;

Most people popping bubble wrap. May 2014 activity by Twin Lakes Elementary School in Elk River, Minnesota, featured 942 participants;

Largest hamburger. A 1-ton cheeseburger served up in 2012 at the Black Bear Casino Resort near Carlton, Minnesota;

Highest pizza toss. Joe Carlucci earned this record for his April 2006 effort at the Mall of America;

Largest ball of sisal twine built by a single person. Rolled by Francis A. Johnson and on display in Darwin, Minnesota.

Watch the construction of the world's largest paper ball