Who Comes Up with the Records?

If you were not aware that Nov. 12th was International Guinness World Records day, you are not alone! However, there are apparently many people who are aware of the day and plan in advance to break some record on that date. This year at least 26 new records were set in honor of Guinness World Record day, and some very bizarre records they are, too!

In Germany, a new record was set for the most concrete blocks broken in a single stack (11) by a person’s elbow, while that person was holding a raw egg in the same hand as the elbow breaking the blocks! Not to be outdone, two American magazines teamed up to set a record for the most lipstick prints collected in a 12 hour period with 1,817. Still, not to be outdone, a man in Norfolk set a record for the fastest time to blow-up a standard hot water bottle until it bursts with 18.81 seconds. Even people in Texas got into the act. A group in Fort Worth set a new record for the most people lassoing simultaneously (23).
Those are only 4 of the 26 records that I have been able to find that were set for this year’s Guinness World Record Day. Many more records like them could be added to the list but as I read the list of World Records set this last week, I am left with a question: Who comes up with these things?!!
Breaking concrete blocks while holding a raw egg? Are they serious? Most lipstick imprints in a twelve hour period? Really?
I admit that I grew up reading the Guinness Book of World Records. In fact, at one point, I had a collection of every Guinness Book of World Records from 1980-1994, along with a few from the 70’s. The books are fun to read! We actually have a number of them here at the library, the newest one we have being the Guinness Book of Records 2010.
Still, when I was growing up most of the records in the book were things like “The World’s Tallest Building”, “The World’s Biggest Car”, “The World’s Shortest Man”, and rather straight forward records like that. When I was younger, I don’t recall seeing records like “the highest wall climb on darts” (another new record set in Hamburg Germany last week for World Record Day).
Of course, there were some very unusual records even in the books that I owned as a child. I remember the Guinness Book has records like the World’s Longest Fingernails and, my personal favorite, the Largest Cookie Ever Made! There were a few records like that set last week.   Individuals in New York set a record for the largest ever cup of hot chocolate, and I love hot chocolate. Meanwhile, in Oslo, Norway, employees of IKEA managed to create the largest Gingerbread man ever weighed (1,435 lb 3 oz). Yum!
So, even though I have not been able to find a single co-worker who had even heard of the holiday, the celebration was apparently an unprecedented success. I will list a few more of the unique records broken last week below. And, if you enjoy learning about these records, I recommend you rush to your nearest library and grab a copy of the Guinness Book of Records!
·         Fastest Time to Eat A Bowl of Spaghetti (1 min. 30 seconds)
·         Helsinki, Finland: Most Nationalities in a Spa at a single time (76).
·         New Zealand: Longest Distance to Spit a Champagne Cork (5 meters).
·         London: Furthest Distance to Pull a Double-Decker bus using your hair. (21.2 m).
·         Denmark: Fastest Time to Peel and Eat three lemons. (28.5 seconds)