Feb 1st 2010 By Brett Smiley
For anyone still questioning the power of the Internet to unite the world in a common purpose, 547,785 giraffe drawings from 96 countries should tell you to stop doubting immediately. And with your help, there will soon be a million.
The "One Million Giraffes
" project started as a wager between Ola Helland and his friend Jorgen.
"He said there's no way I could use the Internet to collect 1 million of anything," Helland, a 25-year-old web developer from Stavanger, Norway
, tells Asylum. "So I bet him a case of beer that I could collect one-million giraffes by the year 2011."
Two days later, in June of 2009, Helland launched the project that changed his life. "I set up the site on a Monday and started it by posting it on my Facebook
and Twitter account
, thinking maybe I would get 20, maybe 30 giraffes," says Helland. "Then I went to lunch. When I got back, I had 75 giraffes from 5 different countries."
Keep reading for more on the project and some of Helland's favorite submissions.
The giraffes have continued to pour in from all over the globe, from people of all ages. Helland works as a Web developer full-time but with over 2,000 giraffes coming into the Web site daily on average, it's become an all-consuming project. And he can't go anywhere without people asking about it.
"Maybe a week after it started, I knew my life would be all about giraffes for another year or so," Helland tells Asylum. "And it has been -- I have not had a normal conversation since last June."
The rules are simple
: You can create your giraffe(s) in any way you like, but not on a computer and not with store-bought objects. Check out Helland's favorite giraffe submissions on the next page, then go make your own. It will become one in a million.