You know how people always call their problems “challenges”, because that way they sound less daunting? These people obviously never took part in a hunTU event. huntWHAT?
The hunTU is a kind of scavenger hunt, organised by a few students from the Technical University (TU) in Vienna. The idea is simple: You form a team and from the moment you (and all the other participating teams) get the item list, you have 3.141 days to collect/make/do as many things as possibly possible. For every item, you earn a certain amount of points. The team with the most points wins. This year is hunTU’s sixth anniversary.
To get an idea of what items are on that list:
- The team as Tetris stones
- Bacon roses
- Three Chinese people with a contra bass
- A dorm room completely wrapped in aluminium foil
- A map of Vienna from before 1939
- A sphinx cut out of celery
Photo credit: Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/hunTU.at/photos_streamYet, the event isn’t all fun. The participants literally go to extremes to get ahead of the competition. One team had a scout posting in the assembly room, where all items and actions get ranked by an unbiased jury, to see how the other teams are doing and what they would “get away with”. And participating means no sleep for days on end.
This year’s teams will first get their hands on the item list on 9 May. Common practice is to then run through it, rearrange the items by the number of points they bring in and see who already got, say, a telephone book from Tokia lying around at home. Or all Bravo Hits CD’s. Or the “holy grail”.
Winning the hunTU is mainly about prestige, as there really is no prize at the end of the run. Yet, no prize seems to – in no way – mean no participation. Here’s a few reasons why:
- It’s a great excuse to go totally crazy, and have fun with your friends while you have days off school anyways. What better way to stay off the streets by recreating the Mount Rushmore with play dough, right?
- You can be sure you’ll measure your skills of organisation and improvisation against those of your enem-oops-fellow teams
- You’ll gain experience in applied logistics (we’re talking TU here)
Photo credit: Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/hunTU.at/photos_streamAlso, going a little, or way too, over the top is in line with hunTU expectations. One of last year’s teams, the Army Ants, had their own t-shirt design, which in-explicitly asked for “Bonuspunkte”. But that seems reasonably normal compared to the teams that set aside a budget over the year. Or the team that actually has a van to get all their crazy stuff to TU. With last year’s assignments – a tire and a real window, to name a few – that sure came in handy.
Up for the challenge? Even if you are not a TU student, you can sign up with a team of 4 to 8 people until 5 May, 23:59. Or if you consider it a little safer – just check out last year’s pictures here.