Barber 70 Scavenger Hunt

Location: Campus-wide
Date: November 8, 2021

MIT campus awoke on November 8th, 2021 to barber poles everywhere, and fliers reading as follows:
70 years ago on November 8th, a couple of hackers purchased a barber pole. Walking with it through the streets of Boston, they raised the suspicions of many policemen, who all called the barber to confirm that the purchase was legitimate. The beleaguered barber eventually grew annoyed and asked the police to stop calling, and so a notice went out to not bother college students carrying barber poles. The next morning, MIT awoke to a multitude of barber poles covering Killian Court.

This story is dear to the hacking community, but theft goes against our set of hacking ethics today. So in the spirit of today's hacking culture -- innovation, creativity, and fun -- and to commemorate the 70th anniversary of this hack, we have constructed 70 of our own barber poles around campus. If you get any good pictures of the barber poles, post them with #MITbarber70. Can you find them all?

A website was also circulated:, which parodied the design of, the online wayfinder website.

Locations of poles included (but were not limited to):

The hack was covered on the front page of The Tech, and received a shoutout by the @MITStudents Twitter account.

Additional Information and Photo Credits