The Great Chain of Human Dominoes

Gigantomania (n). The creation of supremely colossal works, as exemplified in the former Soviet Union by their gigantic industrial complexes, buildings and statues.

China has an obsession with size. Fifty-one gold medals at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, a 656-foot-long television screen at the Place shopping mall and a population of more than 1.3 billion.

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Now add a 10,267-person human domino chain to the list.

China broke the world record for the longest human domino chain Aug. 12, 2010. The participants, mostly high school students, sat cross-legged and fell backwards into their neighbor's lap in sequence, according to state television.

"The human dominoes were a success," Guinness World Records official Wu Shaohong declared on state television.

The record, broken in Ordos City, Inner Mongolia, took an hour and 20 minutes to complete. Yet preparation for the event spanned three days: participants trained for four hours each day, Xinhua news agency reported.

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"This magnificent feat was very hard to achieve, but we were all confident we would rewrite history," event organizer Liu Manshan told Xinhua.

Surpassing the previous record -- set in 2000 by Singapore -- gave participants a sense of pride and purpose.

"While lying there ... what I felt most strongly was the pure excitement that came from knowing I was part of the creation of a world record," Li Xiaodong, the first domino, said to Xinhua.

But setting a world record is no easy task. In addition to the 12 hours of training, the dominoes had to abide by strict rules. If a person did not fall within five seconds of the previous domino, or if anyone sat up before the chain had finished, the entire team would have been disqualified, state television reported.

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Bilingual Dominoes

The domino chains, consisting of more than 50 groups, were arranged in five Chinese characters representing "Beautiful Ordos," United Press International said.

The participants color-coordinated their clothing in order to spell their city's name in both English and Chinese.