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Guinness celebrates crazy, zany records

XINHUA | Updated: 2023-10-02 08:48

Shuttle buses are seen running up to the Changbai Mountain of Northeast China's Jilin province July 20, 2023. Together with its Heavenly Lake, waterfalls, snow sculptures, and winding forests, Changbai Mountain has been ranked by the Guinness World Records. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]

NEW YORK — Do you know the highest average grossing movie franchise in history? That's easy, Avatar. What about the record for the most balloons popped in one minute by a pogostick? Or the longest journey in a pumpkin boat?

These and many more superlatives are in the latest edition of the Guinness World Records, which has taken our watery world as its theme for its 2024 edition. That means there are extra entries for aquatic record-breakers and the largest octopuses among the 2,638 achievements.

"To me, the best records are the ones that you tell your friends in the playground or your mates down the bar, or wherever it is, in the gym. You just say, 'Look, I saw this amazing thing today.' That to me, is the sign of a good record," Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday said.

He estimates that 75 to 80 percent of entries are new and updated, reflecting a huge oversupply of content. Guinness World Record researchers get many more records approved than they can fit in a single book.

This year's book is balanced between zany items — like the most hula hoops spun simultaneously on stilts — and serious science, like the heaviest starfish. There are visits to historical sites — pirate ships and shipwrecks — and pages devoted to record-breakers, like musician Elton John and tennis player Shingo Kunieda.

There is also a whole series of records just for children and a new impairment initiative, which gives people with physical and mental disabilities the chance to break records within their communities. It is all cleverly packed with facts, drawings, images and puzzles.

Glenday sees the annual book -initially conceived to settle bar arguments — as a fundamentally optimistic collection, one that celebrates ambition and record-breaking as very human things.

"We're all striving to be a bit better at what we do and we enjoy the bit between life and death. So let's just make the most of it. And I think that's why it's maintained its position over the last 70 years — it continues to just amuse and educate and inform and celebrate all these crazy, fun, inspiring things and people," he said.

Guinness World Record submissions, on the whole, must be measurable, breakable and provable. Each book is curated annually, so twerking records, a thing just a few years ago, are replaced by TikTok records.


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