If you start thinking about it, the long and fascinating story of human evolution is in fact a story of records, of dreaming and achieving, of working and dedicating one’s life to shattering the records that our predecessors gave their lives to set. Well, at least some records fit this narrative. Others are simply accidents of nature or things that are really too strange to explain. Nevertheless, records have been and will continue to fascinate us, some for their greatness and others for their weirdness.
Since its inception in 1955, the Guinness Book Of Records has taken upon itself the very demanding task of documenting all of the records on our planet, both of human achievements and extremes of the natural world. Today, the publication has recorded over 40,000 world records, some of which are so pointless that it seems unbelievable that they actually sent someone to certify them. Weirdness is not really an uncommon trait between the people who hold most of these records, but it’s understandable because to set most of these records it practically means to be as far from normality as possible. Some of them were born with it, some crafted it for the better part of their lives, and some just did something so weird or in such a unique way that nobody else could’ve thought of it.
We’ll let you find for yourself who’s the tallest or the oldest man alive because today, we’ll take a look at the dustier pages of the Guinness Book, at the records that are so bizarre, you won’t even believe someone actually bothered to set them.
15. Largest Gathering Of People Dressed As Penguins
As you can probably guess, from the sight of the London Bridge in the background, behind the penguins, this silly record was set in London at Canary Wharf. The 624 people that dressed as penguins from head to toe showed up at The Scoop, an amphitheater located underneath the City Hall on the south side of the River Thames. The record-breaking gathering was organized by the Richard House Children’s Hospice as a fundraising event. In the end, it was proven to be worth it as it raised over $25,000 for children with life-threatening health conditions and their families. The penguins’ get-together took place on the 12th of November in 2015, and it was the third time Richard House Children’s Hospice has achieved this record, beating their own previously set record. Now, can we please give all these kind people a big round of penguin applause.
14. Most Toilet Seats Broken By The Head In One Minute
The name of the man who holds this bizarre record is Kevin Shelley, a personal trainer from Indiana. His passion is martial arts and his record is quite impressive if you think about it—46 wooden toilet seats broken in 1 minute using his head. Shelley performed this feat on live television during a Guinness World Records Show that was held in Cologne, Germany. He also tried to break the record before, during a similar show in Italy, but he only managed to break 44 seats. At that time, he promised that he will try it again until he succeeds, and so he did. Sure, he got a nasty headache after all of this hitting, but at least he got his name next to this very strange record and that seems to be important to him.
13. Most Steps Walked By A Dog Balancing A Glass Of Water
Balancing a glass of water on your head while walking is indeed a very hard thing to do. But with training, probably anyone can do it for a few steps. Now, the question is: is it harder or easier to do it if you walk on all fours, have a tail, a long nose, and occasionally bark at the neighbor’s cat? Well, we don’t know if balancing something on the head is easier for dogs than it is for humans, but it’s certainly harder to get them to try it. The record in this category goes to Sweet Pea, an Australian Shepherd owned by Alex Rothacker. The highly trained dog managed to walk a full 10 steps while perfectly balancing a glass of water on its head. Too bad he probably doesn’t realize that he’s a world record holder.
12. Loudest Purr By A Domestic Cat
Meet Merlin, a rescue kitty from Devon (UK) that has a very special talent. He can purr louder than any domestic cat in the world. The owner, Tracy Westwood, said that she suspected for a long time that Merlin’s talent is very unusual and possibly record-breaking, and so she decided to call the good folks at Guinness World Records so that they test her kitten’s purr with a special device. The result was 67.8 decibels, narrowly beating the previous record of 67.68 set in 2011 by Smokey, another British cat. To give some context to this number, Merlin’s purr is about as loud as a normal conversation or an air conditioner and Tracy says that sometimes he gets much louder than he was when tested by the experts.
11. World’s Heaviest Pumpkin
Apparently, growing huge pumpkins is actually quite a big deal in some parts of the world, as there are competitions organized every year so growers can showcase their massive crops. The orange elephant in the picture belongs to Mathias Willemijns, a Belgian farmer, who entered the competition at the Giant Pumpkin European Championship in Ludwigsburg, Germany. Weighing over 2,600 lbs., it shattered the previous record of 2,323 that was set by a German grower at the same competition 2 years before. Needless to say, Mathias won the big prize of $6 per pound of pumpkin or $11,460 in total. More importantly, he won the rights to brag about growing the world’s heaviest pumpkin.
10. World’s Wealthiest Cat
Is this fur real? Are there really millionaire pets out there while most of us still dream of the day we can see the six zeros in our bank account? Well, now you already know the answer’s yes. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have started talking about it. And in the world of the “one purrcent,” there is one cat that stands above all—the almighty Blackie. With a net worth of about $25 million, Blackie is by far the wealthiest cat in the world, but still second to a German Shepherd named Gunther on the list of the wealthiest pets in the world, as the dog’s wealth is estimated to be upwards of $100 million. Blackie inherited the vast fortune from his owner, Bea Rea, that left all the money in the kitten’s name at the disposal of a number of cat charities.
9. Fastest Marathon Dressed As A Vegetable
After completing the 26-mile course in a very respectable two hours, 59 minutes, and 33 seconds, 27-year-old Edward Lumley got himself much more than a medal and a complementary T-shirt. The Londoner became the fastest man to run a marathon dressed as a vegetable, a record I don’t believe many of you ever thought existed. Nevertheless, Edward woke up in the morning, put on his best carrot suit, and started running, leaving many fellow runners behind him thinking that someone had probably put something in their water. Mr. Lumley works for Transport for London and argued that he chose the carrot for the fact that it’s the “most streamlined vegetable shape” he could find. He said he ran the marathon to raise money for Spinal Research, a charity dedicated to curing paralysis caused by a broken back or neck.
8. Most Beer Bottles Opened With A Helicopter
Well, probably most of us have faced the situation of having to remove a bottle cap with some kind of unusual technique. While some of the more popular alternatives to the good old bottle opener include a lighter or a heavily-folded piece of paper, there is one way you probably never thought someone actually tried—cracking a bottle using a flying helicopter. Yes it has been done, and it has been done so many times that the record for this feat has changed many hands. The current holder is pilot Zhao Yang from China, who managed to remove 6 bottle caps in 3 minutes during the TV program Guinness World Records Special in Zhejiang, China. Although I can’t really understand how hard this is, as I’ve never flown a helicopter in my life, my guess is that it’s pretty damn hard. So, if there are any millionaires out there that want to impress their friends with what is probably the world’s most expensive (and spectacular) cap opener, give a call to Mr. Zhao and he’ll take care of it.
7. Largest Bubblegum Bubble Blown
It’s one of childhood’s most fierce competitions—who can blow the biggest bubblegum bubble. And while most of us quit the race when we get older and discover other things like parties and video games, some people, like Chad Fell from Winston County, Alabama, continue to train this skill until they become the best. No, not the best in the neighborhood but the best in the world. Chad’s record-breaking bubble measured 20 inches in diameter and was blown without using his hands at Double Springs High School in Winston County.
6. Farthest Eyeball Pop
I honestly don’t know why but watching this photo makes me anxious AF. The name of the woman that you can see popping her eyeballs much further than anyone thought could even be possible is Kim Goodman, and her record is about 12mm, although only the optometrist that certified it knows how he got that number. More suggestive than the actual measurement are the photos that clearly show that what Kim can do is by all means unique and also a bit scary. The woman said she discovered her unusual talent when she was hit on the head by a hockey mask, but now she maintains that she can pop out her eyes on cue.
5. Longest Distance Pulled By A Horse While On Fire
This one seems downright brutal, but believe it or not, there is one man that did this willingly in order to put his name next to this shocking record. The daredevil’s name is Josef Tödtli and he is the man known for being pulled by a horse while on full body burn for 1640 feet. The professional stuntman who has no less than 49 movie credits to his name holds numerous other records that involve the same painful experiences like burning and being dragged on the ground. During the whole attempt, Josef had an ATV driving next to him in order to pour lamp oil so that the flames stay lit. I guess he couldn’t afford to not burn until he reached his goal distance. Otherwise, his record would have been compromised and all the pain would’ve been for nothing.
4. Most Watermelons Chopped On The Stomach In One Minute
While we’re talking about potentially life-threatening activities, I think the best followup from the guy that was dragged by a horse while on fire is the guy that slices watermelons on people’s bellies. The pair that holds this absurd record is formed by Americans Bipin Larkin and Ashrita Furman. The courageous performers broke the previous record of 27 melons by an astonishing margin, managing to cut 48 watermelons in no more than 60 seconds, all without having to deal with a single bruise. As reckless as all of this sounds, you’ve got to give it to the guy. He’s undoubtedly a master swordsman.
3. Most People In One Pair Of Underpants
The fight for this particular record has been a very fierce one, as it started from 20 people then it got to about 50. Then it cracked 100 and so on until it started to become quite ridiculous. Not that it wasn’t from the beginning, I’m just saying it got even more so. The very disputed record is currently held by a number of 314 students at the University of Warwick, that managed to all fit in a ridiculously large pair of undergarments. The record was used to kick-off the tenth annual Warwick Jailbreak, that sees students given 36 hours to travel as far as possible without buying tickets or fares.
2. World’s Heaviest Onion
A lot of people love onions because, let’s face it, they’re amazing. They make every salad more bearable, you can cook them with basically anything, and you can even put them on your burger. I mean, if it would’t make your breath stink so bad, I think the onion would be the undisputed queen of vegetables. But there is one man there that loves onions more than probably anyone else in the world, and his name is Tony Glover. Mr. Glover has been growing them religiously for as long as he can remember and the almighty onion god has blessed him with what can rightfully be named the “Mother of all Onions.” His beloved record-breaking onion weighs at about 18 lbs. and made Tony happier than he ever was, even if chopping it probably got the whole town in tears for a week.
1. Most Guinness World Records Held By One Man
What can be weirder than the record for holding the most Guinness World Records? And who else could hold it other than Ashrita Furman, probably the world’s only truly professional record breaker? He has dedicated the better part of his life to cracking every single record he could manage to, and the results are indeed astonishing. Over 600 records were set by Ashrita since 1969, and he currently still holds around 200 of them. He got his first official record after doing 12,000 jumping jacks and his accomplishments throughout the years include most underwater rope jumps in one hour, highest mountain climbed on stilts, and making the world’s largest pencil. He is truly an amazing person who took his passion for breaking records to the next level and managed to become the best at it. And for that, he deserves all of our respect.