The Guinness World Records dates back to an argument between Sir Hugh Beaver and some hunting friends in 1951. Beaver, the manager of Guinness Breweries, argued that the golden plover was the fastest game bird in flight. While Beaver and his friends did later confirm that the plover was in fact as fast as argued, Beaver realised that there was no resource on hand that tracked such facts and trivia. Fellow Guinness employee Christopher Chetaway recommended some college friends who ran a fact-checking agency in London, and the first Guinness Book of World Records was released in 1954.
Since 1955, The Guinness Book of World Records and later The Guinness Book of Records has sold over 100 million copies across 23 languages. It even holds the world record for the best selling copyrighted book. Impressive!
Here are a few neat records from the latest edition:
- The world's largest passenger liner is Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas. The vessel is 1,188 ft long, 216 ft wide, and weighs 226,963 tons!
- The largest dinosaur, as well as the largest land-based animal ever was the Argentinosaurus. Argentinosaurus lived during the Late Cretaceous Period, was 60 to 90 tons in weight, and measured between 30 and 40 meters long from snout to tail.
- Want to place a bet on the world's deadliest animal? Excepting humans, no animal has a body-count quite like the mosquito. Estimated deaths of people alone contracting diseases borne by mosquitoes range from 700,000 to one million.
- How about the world's largest structure, when compared to its inhabitants? It's not people! Some of Earth's most impressive structures are actually constructed by termites; certain species in Africa and Australia make mounds twice the height of a person and heavier than a car! Consider that many termites are super tiny, enough to fit more than a dozen on your fingernail.
- Fan of Legos? Frank Smoes of Australia owns the world's largest collection of Lego sets, at 3,837 and counting. That is an awful lot of bricks!
- Everyone loves a good commute, right? Time to crank up the AC and listen to a good CD? Or do you dread yours? Either way, the world's longest commute is in Manilla, Phillippines, where drivers spend an average of 45 minutes one-way getting to and from work. Yikes!
- Do you know who the highest grossing actor is in movies? Whether he plays a main character or a cameo and whether he is around for half the movie or ten seconds, Samuel L. Jackson has been in movies that have collectively grossed over $17 BILLION. The haul comes from being in 127 films total, including 53 major parts and 49 supporting roles.
- Hawkeye is clearly the best Avenger. Everyone loves a good 'Robin Hood' character, a master archer with a heart of gold? Well, real life master archer Mike Schloesser holds the record for the most points in the 60-arrow indoor compound archery competition for men. His score of 600 out of 600 is the highest total and has never been beat.
- Running is a popular form of exercise and a very competitive sport. Some athletes take their running to the extreme. Paul Robinson holds the record for the fastest mile ran in Antarctica. He ran one mile in just under 4 minutes and 18 seconds across Union Glacier; the temperature at the time including windchill was - 25 Celsius.
- What's your favorite food? Is it sushi? The world's longest roll of sushi was 2.84 kilometers. It was rolled for the Tamana Otawara Festival in Japan.
- While we are at it, I need help. Can you help me find Waldo? Waldo is well known for hiding in very large crowds and being hard to find despite his iconic red and white striped sweater. Let's see if you can find Waldo in this picture taken in Sasebo, Japan.
Got a favorite record? Or maybe you feel like making an attempt of your own? Feel free to leave a comment!