From Amanda Mochan in South Korea
On Thursday, February 23 I was in Pyeongchang, South Korea for a record attempt for the largest human blood drop. The attempt was jointly coordinated by the Korean Red Cross and the student union of Baekseok University.
In order to create the blood drop, university students dressed in matching red jackets, hats, and gloves, and stood in the shape of a drop. The attempt was part of the orientation activities for the incoming class of freshman, who are working with the Korean Red Cross in order to promote World Blood Donor Day in June. The Republic of Korea will be hosting the global event in 2012.
The previous record for the largest human blood drop was 1,728 people, set by The National Blood Plan of The Argentine Health Ministry in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in November 2011. In 2011, Argentina was the global host of World Blood Donor Day.
Upon arrival in Pyeongchang, I walked through the record details with the event organizers. The two most important aspects of the record were the counting method and the aerial imagery necessary in order to confirm that the true shape of a blood drop was achieved. To count the participants, the Red Cross used an RFID barcode scanner.
Every participant was issued a badge, which was read by the RFID system once they entered the attempt area. The area was private and enclosed, and non-participants were not able to enter. Once participants entered, they were directed to a pre-assigned location to stand for the duration of the attempt. Participants had to stay in formation for a minimum of ten minutes. When the timer started, a small helicopter hovered overhead and took live video and still photographs. In addition, photographers were located on the 28 th floor of a nearby hotel.
After the ten minutes were up and I had confirmed that the blood drop met all of the required guidelines, I was happy to announce a new Guinness World Records achievement, with a total of 3,006 participants.