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World records aplenty

World records aplenty
COURTESY GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS 2020

Chances are, a Guinness World Record has stuck with you since you first saw an image of it in childhood – maybe the longest fingernails, or the largest living cat. Since the first book of records hit shelves in 1965, the Guinness team has been deciding what makes the cut and what does not. These days, ten adjudicators in North America alone set and send out rules and guidelines, and attend attempts in person “to make sure they’re done correctly and decide whether or not they’re successful,” Spencer Cammarano, senior records manager and adjudicator at Guinness World Records North America, tells Reader’s Digest. New records are being set all the time. “By the time we finish this call, ten records will probably be broken,” says Cammarano. Below, a look at some of her favourites from 2018 (which appeared in the 2019 edition) and 2019 (which are in the new 2020 edition).

 

Longest feather boa

Longest feather boa
COURTESY GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS

A joint effort by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square and Madame Tussauds New York on the occasion of New York City hosting WorldPride, the winning boa was 1919.50 m long. A portion of the proceeds from attendance were donated to The Trevor Project, a non-profit focused on suicide prevention among the LGBTQ community.

Two at the Toronto Marathon

Two at the Toronto Marathon
COURTESY GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS

Twenty-two runners attempted to break records here on October 20, 2019. At least two of them did it.

Omar Trujillo Rosas was the fastest marathoner dressed as an Aztec (male), which he accomplished in 3 hours, 40 minutes, and 18 seconds; this record, meant to call attention to Mexican heritage, will appear in next year’s book.

And Jared Levine was the fastest marathoner dressed as a supervillain (male). He ran the race in 3 hours, 2 minutes, and 2 seconds. Says Cammarano, “He had attempted the record for fastest marathon dressed as a chef at the London marathon and fell short. He was determined to try again.”

Most toothpicks in a beard

Most toothpicks in a beard
COURTESY GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS

On the fun side of record-breaking – as opposed to gruelling strength and journey-based attempts – the most toothpicks in a beard was achieved by Joel Strasser in Lacey, Washington on July 7, 2018. Strasser’s 3500 toothpicks beat out the previous record of 3157 in 2014.

Think that’strange? Here are some of the most outrageous world records ever broken.

Longest cooking marathon

Longest cooking marathon
COURTESY GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS

In a first-ever simultaneous attempt to break this record of pure stamina (although making edible food was also critical, according to Cammarano), Andrey Shek in New York and Raymond Mendez in Chicago achieved their joint goal on behalf of Benihana in 42 hours and 17 seconds. It was soon broken in April 2019, by Rickey Lumpkin II in California, who came in at 68 hours, 30 minutes, and 01 seconds.

 

Largest human image of a maple leaf

Largest human image of a maple leaf
COURTESY GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS

Unsurprisingly, this record was set in Canada, in June of 2019. The achievement of 3942 people belonged to Operation Stand Proud presented by Leon’s Superstore Trenton in Quinte West, Ontario, on the occasion of Canada Day. “It’s one of the best parts of my job,” says Cammarano, who officiated. “I got to experience a place I might never have visited, and the mayor and people in the town were so glad we were there.”

 

Largest humanoid vehicle

Largest humanoid vehicle
Largest humanoid vehicle

Built by the Sakakibara Kikai Company, and verified in Kitagunma, Gunma, Japan, in December of 2018, this tech-based entry, on the occasion of the latest Guinness Book of World Records theme, shows how much technology has become a huge part of our society, Cammarano says.

Has technology made life easier? Read on and decide.

Three 3D printing titles

Three 3D printing titles
SSPOPOV/SHUTTERSTOCK

Also around the current book’s tech-based theme, the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Centre attempted and broke three 3D printing titles just this month and are still awaiting final approval:

The largest 3D printed boat at 7.72 m

The largest solid 3D printed object at 2.06 cubic metres.

The largest prototype polymer 3D printer is 343.61 cubic metres

Most victory royales in Fortnite using a QuadStick mouth-operated joystick

Most victory royales in Fortnite using a QuadStick mouth-operated joystick
COURTESY GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS

Yep, another tech title. This one comes with a story. According to Guinness, “On 26 March 2019, PC gamer ‘RockyNoHands’ (aka Rocky Stoutenburgh, USA) had fought his way to 509 Victory Royales in Fortnite Battle Royale (Epic, 2017) using a QuadStick mouth-operated joystick. After injuring himself in a serious fall, Rocky was paralysed from the neck down, but despite his quadriplegia, he was able to train himself over many years to play games using just his mouth.”

Not sure about computer games? Here are some pros and cons of playing computer video games.

Longest cantilevered glass-bottomed skywalk

 Longest cantilevered glass-bottomed skywalk
COURTESY GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS

This record, achieved in Guizhou, China, on September 25, 2019, by the Guizhou Shiqian Hot Spring Investment and Development Company, measures an impressive 91.806 m. The skywalk, which is shaped like a boat’s bow, juts out over a breath-taking and tourist-favourite valley, which is sure to raise some screams.

 

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