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World record attempt at Great Salt Lake falls short

Posted at 12:30 PM, Jun 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-09 14:30:33-04

GREAT SALT LAKE, Utah — Hand in hand, they marched into the salty water.

"Because this does not have an outlet to the ocean, the salt content just builds from water coming down from everywhere and evaporating," James Wells of Utah Department of Natural Resources explained.

The lake has 11% salinity at the shoreline, creating one of the most unique experiences in the world.

"The density of the water is greater than your body, so you float. You don't have to swim at all, you don't need any flotation devices. You just lay there," Wells said.

The goal is as lofty as the lake is salty: break the record set in Argentina of nearly 2,000 people floating at once.

"We wanted to participate in a world record — a Guinness World Record," participant Camille Calvert said. "Just want to be part of the record event."

For many, it wasn't just their first world record attempt, but their first time in the Great Salt Lake.

"It kind of felt like you were a log, just like floating in the water," participant Mike Patterson said.

Did they make it? Were the crowds enough to reach world record status?

Not exactly — only 300 participants showed up for the attempt. The World Record is 1,941.

"Because of the cold weather,  we only brought about 300," Wells said.

However, state parks accomplished their real goal.

"The intent of this was always just to show how special this place is. Not necessarily to break a record  — though we may try again next year. Hopefully the weather is better. It was to highlight how neat this place is," Wells said.