The Most Incredible Guinness World Records

Guinness World Records, understood from its beginning in 1955 up until 1999 as The Guinness Book of Records and also in previous United States versions as The Guinness Book of World Records, is a recommendation publication released every year, noting globe documents both of human accomplishments and also the extremes of the environment. The creation of Sir Hugh Beaver, guide was co-founded by twin siblings Norris and also Ross McWhirter in Fleet Street, London, in August 1954.

As of the 2021 version, it is currently in its 66th year of magazine, released in 100 nations and also 23 languages, and also keeps over 53,000 documents in its data source. The worldwide franchise business has actually prolonged past print to consist of tv collection and also galleries. The appeal of the franchise business has actually caused Guinness World Records coming to be the main worldwide authority on the cataloguing and also confirmation of a big variety of globe documents. The organisation utilizes document arbitrators to confirm the credibility of the setup and also splitting of documents


On 10 November 1951, Sir Hugh Beaver, after that the handling supervisor of the Guinness Breweries,took place a firing event in the North Slob, by the River Slaney in County Wexford, Ireland. After missing out on a chance at a gold plover, he came to be associated with a disagreement over which was the fastest video game bird in Europe, the gold plover or the red complaint – it is the plover.

That evening at Castlebridge House, he realised that it was impossible to confirm in reference books whether or not the gold plover was Europe's fastest game bird. Beaver knew that there must have been numerous other questions debated nightly in pubs throughout Ireland and abroad, but there was no book in the world with which to settle arguments about records. He knew then that a book supplying the answers to this sort of question might prove successful.

Beaver's idea became reality when Guinness employee Christopher Chataway recommended university friends Norris and Ross McWhirter, who had been running a fact-finding agency in London. The twin brothers were commissioned to compile what became The Guinness Book of Records, in August 1954. A thousand copies were printed and given away.

Guinness Superlatives, later Guinness World Records Limited, was formed in 1954 to publish the first book. Sterling Publishing owned the rights to the Guinness book in the US for decades. The group was owned by Guinness PLC and subsequently Diageo until 2001, when it was purchased by Gullane Entertainment for $65 million.

Gullane was itself purchased by HIT Entertainment in 2002. In 2006, Apax Partners purchased HIT and subsequently sold Guinness World Records in early 2008 to the Jim Pattison Group, the parent company of Ripley Entertainment, which is licensed to operate Guinness World Records' Attractions. With offices in New York City and Tokyo, Guinness World Records' global headquarters remain in London, while its museum attractions are based at Ripley headquarters in Orlando, Florida, US.


Recent editions have focused on record feats by person competitors. Competitions range from obvious ones such as Olympic weightlifting to the longest egg tossing distances, or for longest time spent playing Grand Theft Auto IV or the number of hot dogs that can be consumed in three minutes.

Besides records about competitions, it contains such facts such as the heaviest tumour,the most poisonous fungus,the longest-running soap opera[18] and the most valuable life-insurance policy, among others. Many records also relate to the youngest people to have achieved something, such as the youngest person to visit all nations of the world, currently held by Maurizio Giuliano.

Each edition contains a selection of the records from the Guinness World Records database, as well as select new records, with the criteria for inclusion changing from year to year.

The retirement of Norris McWhirter from his consulting role in 1995 and the subsequent decision by Diageo Plc to sell The Guinness Book of Records brand have shifted the focus of the books from text-oriented to illustrated reference.

Defining records

For many records, Guinness World Records is the effective authority on the exact requirements for them and with whom records reside, the company providing adjudicators to events to determine the veracity of record attempts. The list of records which the Guinness World Records covers is not fixed, records may be added and also removed for various reasons.

The public are invited to submit applications for records, which can be either the bettering of existing records or substantial achievements which could constitute a new record.The company also provides corporate services for companies to “harness the power of record-breaking to deliver tangible success for their businesses.”

Ethical and safety issues

Guinness World Records states several types of records it will not accept for ethical reasons, such as those related to the killing or harming of animals.

Several world records that were once included in the book have been removed for ethical reasons, including concerns for the well-being of potential record breakers. For example, following publication of the “heaviest fish” record, many fish owners overfed their pets beyond the bounds of what was healthy, and therefore such entries were removed.

The Guinness Book also dropped records within their “eating and drinking records” section of Human Achievements in 1991 over concerns that potential competitors could harm themselves and expose the publisher to potential litigation.

Difficulty in defining records

For some potential categories, Guinness World Records has declined to list some records that are too difficult or difficult to determine. For example, its website states: “We do not accept any claims for beauty as it is not objectively measurable.”

However, various other categories of human skill relating to measurable speed such as “Worlds Fastest Clapper” were instated. On 27 July 2010, Connor May (NSW, Australia) set the record for 743 claps in 1 minute.

On 10 December 2010, Guinness World Records stopped accepting submissions for the “dreadlock” category after investigation of its first and also only female title holder, Asha Mandela, determining it was impossible to judge this record accurately.


In 1976, a Guinness Book of World Records museum opened in the Empire State Building. Speed shooter Bob Munden then went on tour promoting The Guinness Book of World Records by performing his record fast draws with a standard weight single-action revolver from a Western movie-type holster.

His fastest time for a draw was 0.02 seconds. Among exhibits were life-size statues of the world's tallest man, Robert Wadlow, and world's largest earthworm, an X-ray photo of a sword swallower, repeated lightning strike victim Roy Sullivan's hat complete with lightning holes and a pair of gem-studded golf shoes on sale for $6,500. The museum closed in 1995.

In more recent years, the Guinness company has permitted the franchising of small museums with displays based on the publication, all currently (as of 2010) located in towns popular with tourists: Tokyo, Copenhagen, San Antonio. There were once Guinness World Records museums and also exhibitions at the London Trocadero, Bangalore, San Francisco, Myrtle Beach, Orlando, Atlantic City, New Jersey, and also Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Orlando museum, which closed in 2002, was branded The Guinness Records Experience;[48] the Hollywood, Niagara Falls, Copenhagen, and also Gatlinburg, Tennessee museums likewise formerly included this branding.

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