Gary Michael Duschl has Guinness World Records 2021 all wrapped up - with gum wrappers that is.
The 70-year-old from Virginia Beach, Virginia USA has entered this year’s book after creating the world’s longest gum wrapper chain, a feat he began back in 1965.
Back in the 60s, the trend of making gum wrapper chains was quite popular which is how Gary first became inspired to start.
“In the 60’s gum wrapper chains were a fad. Girls and boys would make a chain the length matching their boyfriend or girlfriend's height. My wife is 5 foot 3 inches tall. Averaging the length of my chain per day equates to me making a chain her height every single day for the last 55 years!”
After being fully measured, Gary’s record-breaking chain came in at a mind-boggling 32,555.68 m (106,810 ft) long. That’s 40 times longer than the Burj Khalifa is tall!
The whopping wrapper chain is stored in his home using special bins which keeps the wrappers safe and protected.
One of the first questions Gary usually gets asked is if he’s consumed every single piece of gum that’s been in the wrappers he’s used – and the answer is no!
“I would have had to chew a stick of gum about every ten minutes, day and night, for the last 55 years in order to do that. In the early years, all the students in school saved their wrappers for me, ” Gary explained.
In fact, Gary learned how to fold the paper to make a gum wrapper chain from one of his students.
It’s a very specific technique which involves each wrapper being ripped in two, then each link being folded 6 times, and then inserted into each other.
His everlasting gum wrapper chain in quite eye-catching, as it consists of many different wrapper colours and different gum brands.
He doesn’t have a preference though, and uses all forms of Wrigley, Juicy Fruit, Doublemint, Spearmint, Winterfresh and Big Red.
When Gary’s friends and family learned of his achievement, they were all very proud as they had been witnessing his hard work for quite some time.
“My family was well aware of my hobby and my quest to break an established world record. Now that I have, I carry a small piece of chain for show and I hand out a special business card when people ask me about my record. I think they are even more amazed when they check out my website.”
After having collected wrappers and adding to his chain for so many years, Gary understands exactly what it takes to break a Guinness World Records title, especially one that requires patience!
“People, such as myself, with no outstanding or special abilities would have to rely strictly on hard work, determination and sacrifice. Believe me though it is well worth the effort if you succeed.”