They're all still falling down
April 13, 2016 3:44 PM   Subscribe

Aaron's Inc has set a new Guinness World Record for most humans & mattresses successfully toppled in dominoes style, at 1200 people/mattresses, knocking out the previous record of 1150 set by German company Höffner Möbelgesellschaft GmbH & Co. KG back in 2012. (previously)

Here's a site with all the previous record attempts.
(shameful admission: I had found and listed a bunch of those videos here before I came across that site!)

videos missing from that site:
256 people attempt in Beijing in 2010, by Shenzhen Aidi Furniture and the North College of Beijing University of Chemical Technology
604 people attempt in Salt Lake City, UT in 2010, by Eisenhower Jr High School

There were next to no information about the Belgium attempt in 2011.
The attempt in Gründau-Lieblos, Germany in 2012 also didn't have any news, except for these photos I found.
posted by numaner (20 comments total)
 
This made me smile hugely.

For one, is it hilarious to watch people falling gently onto mattresses while falling on other people falling gently onto mattresses or what?

For another, Aaron's donated all 1200 new mattresses to Sasha Bruce Youthwork, Wanda Alston Foundation homeless shelters for LGBTQ youth, and A Wider Circle furnishings, all organizations focused on ending poverty and providing shelter and dignity to homeless people and families.

If you can make human beings smile before, during and after breaking world records, you're at least trying and that's doing something right in my book!
posted by Mike Mongo at 4:01 PM on April 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


This is a bizarrely specific thing to do. How does this become a THING?
posted by jeather at 4:02 PM on April 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


I imagine some one tried to use mattresses as dominoes (probaby bored employees in a matttress warehouse) but they couldn't get the mattresses to stay up by themselves. So they rounded up some folks to hold them...
posted by zinon at 4:13 PM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]



This is a bizarrely specific thing to do. How does this become a THING?


because my world record for my favorite past time is still considered a ..ummmm
posted by shockingbluamp at 4:17 PM on April 13, 2016


I think this replaced the earlier version which involved people and plywood boards. (Full disclosure: I was part of the record attempt.) Gotta say we didn't get far but we did set the record for most broken shins.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:18 PM on April 13, 2016


So, I participated in one of these as a crew member for a morning show on the deck of the Intrepid. It was a pretty long call - show up early, block it all out, load all the mattresses up on deck with a crane, mark it, execute it the next morning and then knock it all down, with a small break in the middle of the night.

In order to ensure how precise everything was, I had a plot with measurements and the exact winding path around the ship. I and my partner spent the next ten plus hours with a jig we made, a few rolls of black gaff tape and a tape measure, crawling the entire deck of the Intrepid stern to bow and back again several times on our hands and knees, measuring and marking each base corner of every mattress. We finished at about 2am or so, at which point neither of us could walk all that well.

We came back at 6am to tidy everything up and get ready for the 9am broadcast, still having trouble walking. Luckily we nailed it in one take, and by "luckily" I mean it was due purely to our desire to not wake up the designer at 1am to get confirmation that we could fudge one mark by a foot that one particular tight turn came off without a hitch.

My favorite part was when the director of the museum (for the Intrepid is a museum first and a decommissioned ship next) told me that every single thing that came onto the ship had to leave it, including the hundreds and hundreds of marks we had put down. So, while my crewmates loaded out all the mattresses, we once again traversed the length of the ship multiple times (this time both crawling and bent over) picking up everything and then rewalking it again to confirm.

Long story short, we broke the record....which was then immediately broken Very soon after. The record we had set didn't even last as long as the bruises on my knees.

Excellent post, but I'm not hitting any of those links.
posted by nevercalm at 5:11 PM on April 13, 2016 [26 favorites]


I can't explain it, but to be honest the very first thing that popped into my mind when I clicked on the video and realized what I was watching, was: hell is other people
posted by the bricabrac man at 5:14 PM on April 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


USA! USA! USA!
posted by TheShadowKnows at 5:15 PM on April 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


I very recently got a great deal on a 'new' mattress online and have not yet received it. Now I have a sneaking suspicion why it was such a great deal. (Or would the mattresses used for this stunt be selling at a premium?)

Bonus joke for 'what happened to all those mattresses': "Hey, babe, you wanna come up to my place to see my World Record Breaker?"
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:20 PM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


So will they be selling all those mattresses as used now?
posted by srboisvert at 5:40 PM on April 13, 2016


I love the chain of domino-humans pulling up their phones.
posted by tickingclock at 6:20 PM on April 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


In 100 years viewers will be able to date videos as "post 2010" by the number of participants holding up a smartphone.
posted by telstar at 6:27 PM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


This seems short-sighted to me. I mean, if this was 1200 people, couldn't a new group just break the record with 1201 people? Frankly, this just seems like a stopgap measure. It would make more sense to destroy all of earth's mattresses, so no one can come close to this again.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:23 PM on April 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


1. The people on the turns have the worst position
2. Is there some kind of judging criteria for human error/cheating, say if someone anticipates the mattress hitting them instead of letting it hit them, or if someone actually deliberately falls back on their own instead of letting the mattress knock them over? Or does it even matter?
posted by chococat at 8:13 PM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this seems really easy to cheat at - say you're number 1104 and the mattress in front of you kind of grazes your knee but doesn't, by itself, knock you over - are you going to be asshole who stays standing up? So I'm guessing it doesn't matter and it's just a goofy record for "most humans and mattresses in a large space". Which makes it sound like I didn't like it - not true! It's silly fun.
posted by echo target at 8:46 PM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


nevercalm, thank you so much for your work, that video was great! I'm not even sorry the record was broken so fast, it was one of the more entertaining videos out of all of them. That poor camera man lugging that huge camera and running along all 380 people was a trooper!

Is there some kind of judging criteria for human error/cheating

From what I read the rules are that each person has to stay connected (mostly touching) to their mattress, and has to be knocked down by the previous mattress falling on them. I think some of the attempts in that list were not verified by Guinness because the video could show that some people started falling before getting hit; that 41 persons attempt at the top seems like it didn't "set" the record, and Guinness only considered the 80 persons one the first official record. I imagine there were people that flinched when the mattress were coming at them and fell backwards out of instinct. In the video for the 1001 persons attempt in Shanghai, an organizer interviewed was very appreciative that the volunteers followed the rules and "didn't move when a mattress was falling on them".

Who knew there were such drama in the world of people mattress dominoes!
posted by numaner at 9:17 PM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


...the entire deck of the Intrepid stern to bow and back again several times on our hands and knees..

So just a regular old FOD walkdown?
posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:25 PM on April 13, 2016


I've just had to email my friend who was one of the previous world record holders with the bad news...
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 1:47 AM on April 14, 2016


The publicity value of these events seem to be rather small indeed, I never knew of Höffner's world record, although their advertisement is all over the place here in Berlin.

Some commenters may have missed it, the mattresses of this event will be donated, so yeah, this was a good thing.

(And what an impressive collection of beer tummies - they might have set a new record there, too)
posted by ojemine at 3:39 AM on April 14, 2016


/So just a regular old FOD walkdown?

Nope, doesn't seem to be, I didn't see anyone crawling.
posted by nevercalm at 5:04 AM on April 14, 2016


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