The World's Largest Paper Ball

At IMTS 2018 in Chicago, North Carolina-based InspectionXpert, a company that specializes in inspection planning software, announced that the company had been acquired by U.K.-based global tech company Ideagen for $7 million.

Admittedly, that wasn't what made me stop at the booth. Rather, it was the massive paper ball that looked like it was poised to crush the poor guys working the booth at any moment.

It turns out that this PR stunt still has some legs, as it just set the Guinness World Record for the World's Largest Paper Ball. What’s interesting is that this incredible waste of paper was created to show how paper creates a lot of waste, since InspectionXpert is a paperless solution. Staff at InspectionXpert created the giant ball to bolster its message of reducing paper and inefficiency in the manufacturing inspection process.

The previous record was set by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency in St. Paul in August 2014. Their paper ball weighed 426 lbs., was made from recycled paper and was 10.27 feet in diameter.

The new record holder is made from cardboard, paper and paper cord. It weighs 576 lbs., it's only 9'8.6" tall, but is 33' around. The ball was confirmed as the world's largest after a stringent review period.

The giant paper ball didn’t use any tape or glue, only paper products that were sourced from local schools. The internal structure was made of honeycomb cardboard while the outside of the ball was covered with a net made from brown paper cord. According to the company, the ball was recycled after the weighing, which just seems like a missed opportunity. People travel across the world to see things like the World’s Largest Paper Ball — might’ve even had a write up in Atlas Obscura.

InspectionXpert founder Jeff Cope said, “We wanted to do something ridiculous to highlight how preposterous paper is in 2018 when there are more efficient solutions.” Well, Jeff, you nailed it.

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