Hey, kids, who wants to see the second biggest ball of twine?

Java Q&A, with tongue in cheek, answers a pressing question

Q: So, where is the " World's Biggest Ball of String ," and how big is it?


But don't lose hope, dear reader; you are in luck if you enjoy twine!

The most famous ball of twine resides in Darwin, Minnesota. This behemoth weighs in at 17,400 lbs. and measures 12 feet in diameter. This monument is the lifework of a Mr. Francis A. Johnson, who began work on the twine ball in March of 1950. Mr. Johnson dedicated his life to the construction of that twine ball. In fact, Mr. Johnson labored on the twine ball for the next 39 years until his death in 1989.

"Weird Al" Yankovic immortalized the twine ball in the song "The Biggest Ball of Twine In Minnesota" from his UHF soundtrack. You can hear his loving dedication online at:


The lyrics are also available online at:


Not to ignore a challenge, a Mr. Frank Stoeber of Cawker City, Kansas began a ball of twine of his own. Mr. Stoeber's twine ball measured in at 11 feet in diameter and used over 1,600,000 feet of twine. Mr. Stoeber's work was paced to overtake Mr. Johnson's ball. However, Mr. Stoeber passed in 1974, leaving his work incomplete. The circumstances surrounding Mr. Stoeber's death appeared natural, but its timing seems a bit suspicious.

To this day, the fine folks of Cawker City continue Stoeber's work in a yearly Twine-a-thon. Today, the twine ball measure over 40 feet in circumference and weighs 16,828 pounds. Unfortunately, many discount the ball's importance since it is no longer the work of one individual. It may take a village to raise a child, but it only takes one demented individual to raise a ball of twine!

Not to be outdone, the Ripley's Believe It or Not museum in Branson, Missouri has the largest ball of twine. The ball measures 41.5 feet in circumference. However, controversy surrounds this monument as the residents of Darwin, Minnesota maintain that this ball is not the work of a single individual either. Sour grapes or fact? Believe it or something! ("Believe It or Not" is probably a trademarked phrase and I don't need to get sued today.)

Learn more about this topic