There was a time when holding the world record for something was a badge of honor. World records used to signify the fastest, the tallest or the strongest person or animal on the planet – now, however, things have just got silly. People are willing to do pretty much anything to get themselves in the record books these days and it’s not a pretty sight. (If we’re being honest with ourselves, though, these are the ones we find most fascinating!)
In recent years, world record attempts seem to be concerned with the freakish and downright revolting as opposed to extraordinary feats of human achievement. Forget the world’s fastest runner or strongest person to ever walk the Earth, the world records that will actually be remembered are more likely to be the ones that make you feel sick just looking at them. One thing you can say for these insane world record holders is that they certainly have determination.
Because the world record attempts in this list are so bizarre, no-one else is likely to ever want to beat them. Fancy having over 125 spiders crawling on your body or letting your ear hair grow to more than 7 inches? Nope, didn’t think so! Nobody in the right mind would want to contest these crazed world record holders, and for that reason, these are some of the most disgusting world record attempts you’re ever likely to stumble across.
Be warned, these 15 repulsive records should probably not be viewed on your lunch break!
15 Most Maggots Transported By Mouth
Who wakes up one day and decides ‘I’m gonna move maggots with my mouth and become the champion at it’? A British man, Charlie Bell apparently did in 2009 and made his dream come true by moving a total of 17 kg worth of maggots from one container to another in one hour using his mouth. Remarkably, Bell had only practiced with rice before his record attempt, so this disgusting feat of endurance was his first time using actual maggots!
If the idea of having live maggots crawling in your mouth wasn’t revolting enough, Charlie Bell of East London said that the creepy crawlies also smelled pretty foul too “They do their business in the [containers] and so they stink of ammonia. It was like putting my head down a filthy public toilet.” Amazingly, Bell wasn’t sick but admitted to coming close, having accidentally swallowed a few and getting bits of their guts wedged between his teeth. Nice.
14 Most Flesh Tunnels In The Face
Nope, flesh tunnel isn’t a slang word for a human body part, it’s what you see in the above picture and isn’t it a pretty sight? Flesh tunnels are a pretty extreme form of body modification, which involve piercings being made into the skin and stretching them until you are left with...well, this. Earlobes are a popular choice for flesh tunnels. But Joel Miggler from Germany has taken things a step further by holding the record for having the most flesh tunnels in the face - 11 to be exact.
Miggler’s flesh tunnel record was achieved in 2014 and his facial flesh tunnels range in size from 3 to 34mm. Apparently, Miggler’s obsession with flesh tunnels began when he was 13, after getting his first flesh tunnel piercing in his earlobe. He loved the feeling so much that he decided to move on to creating gaping holes in his nose and cheeks. The largest of his flesh tunnels are currently at 34mm, but Miggler is aiming to stretch to 40mm!
13 Most Cow Brains Eaten
Like quite a lot of records on this list, this is gonna have people wondering – at what point did this become a life passion for you? The Japanese competitive eater, Takeru Kobayashi began his world record career simply enough, consuming as many hot dogs and burgers as possible at state fairs and food eating championships. But things took a turn for the horrific when he won the record for most cow brains eaten in 2002.
At The World’s Greatest Eating Competition known as The Glutton Bowl, Kobayashi consumed a total of 57 cow brains (17.7 pounds of the stuff) in 15 minutes. It’s not clear why the food eating contest picked cow brains as one of the courses, but Kobayashi was clearly well prepared for it. The competitive eating champion ensures he’s able to eat this obscene amount by training his stomach to expand. He paces himself during each competition and even has a trademark ‘wiggle’ to help force food down his esophagus. Lovely...
12 Heaviest Weight Lifted By Tongue
This insane world record was achieved by Thomas Blackthorne from the UK. In 2004, Blackthorne smashed the record for the heaviest weight lifted by the tongue, when he lifted a whopping 11.025kg weight attached by a fish hook to his tongue. Ouch! Not content with this feat, he later beat his original record during a world record event held in Italy when he lifted a 12-kilo perspex box filled with pasta using his tongue. (Presumably, the location explains the odd choice of contents in the box).
Previous bizarre weight-lifting records in the history of Guinness World Records have included people pulling cars with their shoulder blades and even their teeth, but there’s something particularly gross about the idea of weight being pulled from something as delicate as the tongue. Teeth and shoulder blade bones are made from sturdy stuff, but using your fleshy, spongy tongue as a weight lifting device? Eww! No, thanks.
11 Most Cockroaches Eaten In One Minute
If you thought the maggot transporting guy was disgusting, consider this man’s nauseous record attempt - to chow down on as many cockroaches as he could in one minute. Ken Edwards of Derbyshire, England ate a total of 36 of the creepy crawlies in just under 60 seconds when he appeared on the Big Breakfast Show in London in 2001. We’re guessing a lot of viewers lost their breakfast watching this revolting attempt unfold!
Edwards already had a reputation as a bit of a kook, having unveiled his party trick of placing 47 rats down his pants on the British TV show Over The Top. So what were Mr. Edward’s thoughts on consuming 36 cockroaches? “It’s like having an anesthetic at the back of the throat.” This may be in reference to the fact that cockroaches often release an unpleasant scent to ward off predators. Little too late for these poor guys, but still.
10 Most Feet Smelled
If you think your job is bad then a woman named Madeline Albrecht from Cincinnati definitely has you beat. She worked for 15 years at a Hill Top research laboratory in Ohio with one very smelly job - sniffing people’s feet (and occasionally their armpits too). Throughout her time at the testing lab for Dr. Scholl feet products, Ms. Albrecht smelled around 5,600 feet to test the effects. Nasty.
In Madeline’s defense, she wasn’t aiming for this world record attempt all her life, it was simply her job. Still, to last 15 years smelling the cheesy feet of strangers without quitting shows as much grit and determination as the rest of the record holders on this list. Again, this is one of those world records that no-one is going to attempt to beat. And if anyone is loony enough to try, they either face dedicating years of their life to pace themselves, or else beat the record fast – which would require smelling more than 5,600 feet in the space of a few weeks or even days. Yuck!
9 Most Snails On The Face For 10 Seconds
This strikes us as a bizarre amount of time to have snails on the face. Then again, what is a normal time period to have snails dragging a slime trail across your face? For some unknown reason, world record enthusiast, Alastair Galpin felt compelled to see how many common garden snails he could stand to have crawling over his face in 10 seconds back in 2007. The short answer is 8. The long answer: Eww, why? God in heaven, WHY?
If you recognize Galpin’s name, it’s because this strange record isn’t the only one he has attempted in his time. Galpin is considered the 2nd biggest Guinness World Records breaker throughout the noughties. To date, he has broken more than 85 records which have included performing a 25-hour massage, having the loudest clap (110.44 dBA) and giving a 9-hour handshake. These are pretty impressive, but we can see why the snails on face record trumps them all.
8 Farthest Milk Squirting With Eye
Just how did this man discover he could do this? This odd talent (if you can call it a talent) was achieved in 2004 by a Turkish man named Ilker Yilmaz and it saw him set one of the strangest world records you’re ever likely to come across - the farthest distance for squirting milk out of your eye. After sucking milk up through his nose, Yilmaz managed to somehow squirt the milk that had gathered in his eyelid at a distance of 279 centimeters (9ft 2 inches!).
This image kind of puts you in mind of old cartoons when characters would cry in a long stream of tears that sprayed out from their eyes. The fact that someone has managed to achieve this with milk is not only surreal, it’s pretty gross. Talking to Reuters television, Mr. Yilmaz admitted that he doesn’t like milk and cannot think of milk products as food. Right now, thanks to this image, neither can we.
7 Longest Ear Hair
Who knew ear hair had the capacity to grow so disgustingly long? This is the proud achievement held by Anthony Victor from Madurai in India who holds the record for the longest ear hair, measuring at a pretty gross 18.1 cm (7.12 inches). The unsightly long locks sprouting from his ears have earned Victor - a retired headmaster - the nickname ‘The ear-haired teacher’ by his pupils. Knowing how cruel some kids can be, this is a pretty kind, almost affectionate nickname.
We wonder if Victor has thought about accessorizing his ear hair over the years. Maybe using some gel or sculpting clay to twirl it upwards like a villain mustache? If not, these 7 inch long tufts of hair must have surely impacted on his ability to hear throughout his life. Maybe his pupils were actually teasing him with harsher nicknames during his time as headmaster, after all - he just never noticed.
6 Loudest Female Burp
Who says women can’t be as disgustingly loud as men when it comes to letting out gas? This very un-ladylike accomplishment was achieved by Jodie Parks from the US, who belched out at a rate that read 104.7 decibels on a precision measuring noise level meter. (This is the equivalent of a jet engine!) The world record was set in 2008 on the set of the Lo Show Die Record in Spain and gave Ms. Parks the title of Loudest Female 'burper' in the world.
In 2009, Elisa Cagnoni from Italy had her beat with a recorded belch that reached 107.0 decibels. Parks, however, still considers herself the champion female burper. Parks’ burp was taken from an average reading after doing a total of six burps - one of which was louder than Ms. Cagnoni’s at 107.7. Really though, both ladies should be proud of their loudest burping accolades. No one else is able to burp the equivalent of a jet engine or a rock concert!
5 Most Spiders On Body For 30 Seconds
30 seconds sounds like no time at all.. 30 seconds of your favorite song? Not long enough! 30 seconds of creepy crawly action all over your body, however? *Shudder* Now, that’s got to seem like an eternity. Not for Australian kid and daredevil Tom Buchanan, however, who bravely (or is that insanely?) allowed himself to be a playground for 125 Golden Orb spiders.
Apparently, Golden Orb spiders are not a poisonous species, but they can bite you and cause your body to swell up. So, no problem at all then! The record was originally set at 30 seconds, but Buchanan endured the creepy crawlies for a whole other 25 extra seconds by lasting a grueling 55 seconds with the nasties. He laid down in a clear perspex box on a World Record TV show in Sydney and let nearly 130 eight-legged freaks roam about his bare body, Don’t worry, kid, this insane world record will remain yours - forever!
4 Stretchiest Skin
Garry ‘Stretch’ Turner of Los Angeles has a pretty unique talent (and something he could probably use to cool effect for Trick or Treat during Halloween) - he has the world’s stretchiest skin. Because of a rare medical condition is known as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Turner can stretch and distort his skin far further than the rest of us can. The stretchiest part of Turner’s body is the skin on his stomach, which can extend to an eye-watering length of 15.8 cm (or 6.2 inches!).
This is because the collagen found in our skin that determines its strength and elasticity is defective with Garry’s condition, causing the skin tissue to become incredibly loose and stretchy. According to Turner, stretching his skin to these extraordinary lengths doesn’t hurt at all. Any pain Garry feels as a result of his condition comes in the form of hypermobility instead, which can cause him significant joint pain.
3 Longest (Female) Finger Nails
If any of you bought a copy of the Guinness Book of World Records as a kid, then you’re probably already familiar with this lady. Lee Redmond from the USA - owner of the world’s longest ever (female) finger nails - has been a prominent fixture in the world record books. She allegedly began growing out her nails way back in 1979 and as of 2008, her nails measured a total length of 28 ft and 4.5 inches! (8.65m).
Redmond no longer has the title of the longest female finger nails, since she lost them in a car accident in 2009. Redmond was thankfully not injured in the crash, but her bizarre pride and joy paid the price. We’re struggling to imagine how anyone could drive with 28ft long nails anyway, let alone accomplish anything else. The title of longest male finger nails was held by US man Melvin Boothe, whose nails measured a combined length of more than 32 ft in 2009, until his death later that year.
2 Farthest Eyeball Popping
If you’ve been reading through this list with widened eyes, you still won’t have even come close to this woman. American woman Kim Goodman can lay claim to having the farthest eyeball pop in the world. In other words, her eyeballs can miraculously protrude a whole 12mm (0.47 inches) from their sockets. This revolting feat was measured in Istanbul in 2007 using an optometrist’s 'proptometer.'
Displacement of the eyeball or ‘bulging eye’ effect is otherwise known as Proptosis and can often be caused by the swelling of the surrounding tissue as a result of trauma. Apparently, Goodman first discovered that she had poppable eyeballs after she was hit on the head by a hockey mask. Today, she can pop out her eyeballs at the drop of a hat. This is certainly extraordinary, but the fact they look as if they may pop out completely is what terrifies us - what happens when she sneezes?
1 Longest Sword Swallowed
Sword swallowing requires extraordinary control on the individual’s part. One false move and there could be incredibly dangerous, if not fatal consequences. It’s fascinating but at the same time, this notion that the people willing to do this crazy stunt are always teetering (quite literally) on a knife edge is pretty stomach-churning. Natasha Veruschka from the US holds the record for swallowing the longest sword at a length of - brace yourself - 58 cm! (22.83 inches).
Veruschka set this toe-curling record in 2009 for Sword Swallowers Awareness Day on February 28th. Considering how crazy and death-defying this kind of stunt is, you’d think the Sword Swallowers community might have chosen February 29th as their date in recognition of taking bold and crazy leaps. Speaking of bold risks, Veruschka has also been known to belly dance during her sword swallowing act! This is making us a little too queasy right now...
Sources: Guinness World Records, Digital Journal, Scribd.