In Depth

Guinness World Records turns 60: the most bizarre feats

From the tallest dog and the longest pizza to the most spoons attached to the human body…

On the 27 August 1955, the first ever Guinness Book of World Records was bound and printed in Fleet Street. Sixty years later, the book has sold more than 100 million copies in 37 different languages – and broken its own record for the world's best-selling copyright book in the process.

The book resulted from the frustration of Sir Hugh Beaver, then managing director of Guinness breweries, who was unable to verify his claim during a pub debate that the golden plover was Europe's fastest game bird.

Realising that there was no book available to settle these kinds of debates, Beaver approached London-based fact finders Norris and Ross McWhirter to produce a definitive publication of records. The subsequent book went on to top the British best-seller list that Christmas and a tradition was born.

The huge success of the book has spawned a TV series, a film and even a video game, while the franchise has quickly become the "world's unrivalled authority on record-breaking achievement".

To celebrate 60 years since the first book was published, here are some of the most weird and wonderful records in existence today:

World's highest shallow dive


American Darren Taylor, also known as Professor Splash, dived into the record books with a jump from 37ft 11in into just 11 inches of water. 

Fastest 100 m with a can balanced on the head by a dog

The fastest 100m with a can balanced on the head by a dog is two minutes 55 seconds, achieved by Sweet Pea, an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie cross and her owner Alex Rothaker in Illinois on 3 September 2008.

Most wet T-shirts put on in one minute


The most wet T-shirts put on in one minute is seven, which was achieved by Carsten Zipfel on the German Guinness World Record television show.

Tallest Dog


At 44 inches high, Zeus was the tallest dog ever recorded. The Great Dane lived with his owners in Michigan before his death in September 2014.

Tallest Man


The tallest man alive is Sultan Kosen from Turkey. Sultan measures 8ft 3in, but is dwarfed by the tallest man ever, Robert Wadlow, who stood at an incredible 8ft 11in before his death in 1940.

Farthest distance cycling underwater


Without the use of any breathing equipment, Frenchman Ludovic Diligeart was able to ride a distance of 702 metres on a submerged exercise bike in a single breath.

Oldest Man

The world's oldest man is currently Yasutaro Koide from Japan who is 112 years old.

Longest Pizza

The world's longest pizza was 1,600 metres long and was baked in Milan in June 2015, before being eaten by a lot of hungry Italians.

Most people partaking in a Zumba class

Filipino residents broke the record for the largest Zumba class with 12,975 participants in a single venue.

Largest gathering of Sombrero wearers

The Los Angeles Angels baseball fans set the world record for the "largest gathering of people wearing sombreros" during a Cinco de Mayo promotion in May 2015.

The longest selfie relay chain

The Guinness World Record for the longest selfie relay chain was set in Hollywood in 2014. The 288 snap-happy volunteers broke the previous record of 279 that had taken place in Sydney, Australia.

Longest distance swam with hands and feet bound

Wearing handcuffs and leg-irons, 19-year-old Georgian swimmer Ana Lominadze set a new Guinness World Record for swimming 25 metres with her hands and feet bound.

Tallest sand castle

Artist Ed Jarrett set the record for the tallest sandcastle in the world in October 2013. The 'Sandy Castle' project was set up to help residents recover following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

Most spoons on the human body

Etibar Elchiyev holds the record for 'the most spoons on a human body' with 53 spoons staying attached to his skin. Elchiyev claims he has magnetic skin, which aids him in the record-breaking process.


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