MIT Mystery Hunt
|MIT Mystery Hunt|
|Running Team||Various (winner of previous)|
|Most recent hunt||2022|
|Number of hunts||42|
|Location||MIT in Cambridge, MA (Online only for 2021, 2022)|
The MIT Mystery Hunt is an annual puzzle hunt taking place either on-campus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or online during cases in which an on-campus presence is not possible. The hunt traditionally takes place in January, over the course of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day long weekend.
History[edit | edit source]
The MIT Mystery Hunt has been a mainstay of the puzzle community since its inception in 1981 by then-graduate student Brad Schaefer. Before 1981, Schafer hosted a series of chess puzzles, with a prize for the fastest finishers. Schafer would continue to run hunts until 1983, when he graduated from MIT. This eventually led to a tradition of succession, where the winner of the previous hunt would run the next one.
Early MIT Mystery Hunts involved answering various clues and filling out a sentence or equation, which would lead to the location of the coin. Clues would become increasingly intricate and eventually become standalone hunt puzzles, and meta structures and the coin as a final object would become more abstract as well.
In 2021 and 2022, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated campus restrictions, the MIT Mystery Hunt would be held entirely remotely with no campus presence necessary to participate.