Treasure: World’s Largest Ball of Twine

Amateur archaeologist Mark Brown presents his latest discoveries.
by Mark BROWN

Materials: Sisal twine, patience

Dig Site: Cawker City, Kansas

Retail Value: Approximately $72,000

Appeal: As a ball, as one of the world’s largest balls, it is an abject failure. Collapsing under its own weight and fattened by well-meaning admirers who over decades have wrapped twine around its equator and base but failed to grow it evenly, this impotent monster is more blob than ball. It is immense but without menace; no tornado could bring this purported ball to roll, no hooligan horde could bowl it through the streets of Cawker City. Still, it is there. It is big and dumb and it is there, existing, testifying bigly and dumbly that its creator existed too. I suspect that’s all Frank Stoeber hoped for when he first wound one string of sisal over another.

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