60 years on, Guinness World Records is still a bestseller that holds kids (and parents) spellbound with its wacky facts
Remember waking up on Christmas morning and finding that familiar shape firmly lodged in Santa’s stocking? Well the good news is, while the world around us changes, a mighty tome continues to exert its influence over its audience. As Guinness World Records celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, we take a look at some of the weird and wonderful achievements from around the world that make this iconic book an endless source of fascination. Oh, and if you can wrench it out of your kid’s mitts, it can win you all kinds of bets off total strangers down at the pub…
• World’s Longest Tongue
Nick ‘The Lick’ Stoebert’s lengthy tongue measured 10.10cm from tip to closed lip on 27 Nov 2012. As if that wasn’t unusual enough, Nick has been known to use his tongue (wrapped in cling film naturally) to produce paintings. Reports that Damien Hirst is losing sleep are grossly exaggerated.
• Most Melons Chopped on the Stomach on a Bed of Nails
Records don’t come much sillier than this. Daredevil extraordinaire Daniella D’Ville had 10 watermelons sliced on her tum on a bed of nails at Doncaster’s Tattoo Jam on 12 October 2013. Respect.
• Most Fatal Snake Bites
India holds the dubious title for the country with the greatest number of fatalities from snake bites – there are some 81,000 ‘envenomings’ annually. So where aren’t you going on your holidays this year?
• Largest Living Flower
It may be big, but you wouldn’t want to smell it. Rafflesia arnoldi or ‘corpse flower’ gets its name from its unusual odour. Yup, it really does smell like rotting bodies. You’d have to nip to south-east Asia to spice up your partner’s birthday bouquet, though and it’s not to be confused with the world’s smelliest flower, the titan arum. This also smells like decomposing bodies. Snap.
• Largest Floor Lamp
Fredrik and Martin Raddum were the bright sparks behind a standard lamp measuring 9.16m in Oslo, Norway. It was made out of polyester and fibreglass and the supporting pole was modelled from steel. Try not to think about the electricity bill while you imagine this.
• World’s Tallest Twisted Tower
We guarantee this will win you a few drinks over Christmas. Everyone knows the world’s tallest building is in Dubai, right (though Jeddah’s Kingdom Tower will take the title when it is completed)? But did you also know that the world’s tallest twisted building is…also in Dubai!? The Cayan Tower is 307.3m tall and has a 90˚ twist. Not even Chubby Checker could guess that.
We have two copies of Guinness World Records 2015 to be won plus two copies of the Gamers Edition for runners-up. CLICK HERE to enter this competition.