World’s Tallest Matchstick Replica of Eiffel Tower Took 700,000 Matches and 8 Years to Build

Richard Plaud’s matchstick replica of the Eiffel Tower was recently recognized as the tallest in the world by Guinness World Records. Plaud used more than 700,000 matches and spent eight years building the replica. Even more fascinating is that his attempt to break the record was almost rejected.

Plaud initially submitted his matchstick Eiffel Tower for record consideration in early January and believed he had it in the bag. After all, his replica was almost 23.6 feet tall, more than enough to surpass the previous record of 21.4 feet, which was set by Toufic Daher in 2009.

However, several weeks later, Plaud received a rejection letter from the Guinness World Records inspectors. In the letter, the inspectors told him that his replica was ineligible because he used the wrong kind of match.

As it turned out, the matches used for the replica had to be commercially available. Plaud, on the other hand, found the process of removing the sulfur heads off store-bought matches time-consuming, so he directly contacted the manufacturer and ordered plain matchsticks. 

Plaud’s story was picked up by various media outlets and spread on the internet, with the publicity causing Guinness World Records to reconsider their decision. They eventually accepted Plaud’s submission and officially awarded him the record.