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Students to attempt record-breaking crab walk

Image by Ian Anderson, courtesy of Resident Student Association

On Sunday, Northeastern’s Resident Student Association will host a potentially history-making event in which students will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most people crab walking simultaneously.

To make history, at least 280 students will have to crab walk on Sunday. The crab-walking event will start at noon on Centennial Common. Students interested in participating must first register through the myNEU portal by noon Friday or at the event itself on Sunday. Participants will receive a free T-shirt.

Jessica Goodman, RSA’s co-vice president of programming and collaboration, said the current record was set in Japan in 2013, when 279 members of the Amitie Sports Club crab walked together in honor of the nonprofit organization’s 10th anniversary.

“We hope the event will bring the campus together and create a greater sense of Northeastern spirit,” Goodman said.

To make it official, a Guinness World Record representative will be on site.


For those unfamiliar, crab walking is a form of upside down, backward crawling wherein one moves on their hands and feet with hips off the ground and chest toward the sky.

According to Guinness World Record guidelines, the crab walk must begin with participants seated on the ground, with hands and feet shoulder-width apart. The actual crab walking must last for at least two consecutive minutes.

Other crab walking records are already on the books. Just this year, for example, Austin Keller of Iowa broke the record for fastest human 20-meter crab walk with a time of 6.11 seconds.

Sunday’s event isn’t about speed, though. Participants can go at their own pace.

Goodman said RSA members had discussed attempting some sort of record in the past, though the idea took hold this year. “Over the summer we researched records alongside a Guinness account manager to come up with our final choice of most people crab walking,” she said.

Shannon Pittman, assistant director of student engagement for the Center of Student Involvement, said he was looking forward to a sense of accomplishment, if the record was broken.

“I think it will be a cool thing where people can say, ‘Remember that time we broke a world record? Remember that event we did with hundreds of other Northeastern students, together?’”

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