30 of the Craziest Guinness World Records

By Adrienne McIlvaineLast Updated Apr 2, 2020 5:23:58 PM ET
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Photo Courtesy: iStock

Humans are a pretty competitive bunch, meaning there are world records for just about anything you can imagine — and then some! Since 1954, the world’s wildest accomplishments have been carefully certified and documented by Guinness World Records.

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From loudest dog bark and longest hug to the biggest Star Wars collection, here’s a look at some of the craziest records on their books.

Loudest Dog

Ever hear a dog bark and think, “Man, that’s got to be the loudest bark I’ve ever heard?” A new world record for loudest dog bark was set at a charity event in Adelaide, Australia back in 2012 when a golden retriever named Charlie let rip a bark that measured an ear-piercing 113.1 decibels.

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Photo Courtesy: Nestle Australia/Twitter

Just for comparison, Charlie’s bark was louder than a dishwasher (80 decibels), a jackhammer (100 decibels) and the average rock concert (108-114 decibels). Though a bark here and there won’t do any permanent damage, sustained exposure to the then-six-year-old Charlie’s bark could result in a minimal headache or even ringing in the ears. 

Most Tattooed Female Senior Citizen

This one’s actually a three-fer, as the title of Most Tattooed Woman Ever, Most Tattooed Woman Living, and Most Tattooed Senior Citizen (Female) are all held by the same woman — Charlotte Guttenberg of Melbourne, Florida. The craziest part? Charlotte didn’t get her first tattoo until 2006 at the age of 56!

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Photo Courtesy: @GWR/Twitter

Guttenberg, who got her first ink as a birthday present to herself, quickly become enamored with her growing collection of tattoos and spent over a decade covering almost every part of her body with colorful ink. Even her partner, Chuck Helmke, is inked from head-to-toe, earning him the title of Most Tattooed Male Senior Citizen. 

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Longest Eyelashes

What would you do if you went on a nature retreat for a year and a half and emerged with noticeably longer eyelashes? For You Jianxia, the answer was simple—keep going! The Shanghai native set the world record for longest eyelashes when her luxurious lashes were measured in 2016 at the unbelievable length of 4.88 inches

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Photo Courtesy: @CGTN Official/Twitter

The criteria for this title is pretty strict—absolutely no extensions or any other kind of lengthening agent are allowed, making Jianxia’s head-turning eyelashes truly unique. She credits her incredible eyelashes to living a simple life close to nature and says she doesn’t treat them with anything besides her daily face cleanse. 

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Greatest Weight of Bees on the Body

This record is a great big pile of “Nope.” Chinese carnival performer Ruan Liangming set a new world record in 2016 when he wore a mantle of honeybees weighing 140 pounds over his semi-covered body. How did he do it? Liangming used 60 queen bees to attract swarms of male honey bees because, well, who knows why people do the things they do?

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Photo Courtesy: @Reuters/Twitter

In addition to the five dozen queens, Liangming’s mantle contained over 637,000 individual honey bees. The practice, known as “bee bearding,” is common in China. In 2014, a 34-year old Chinese beekeeper donned a mantle weighing over 100 pounds in a stunt he hoped would help sell more honey. 

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Highest Tightrope Walk

Take the Empire State Building (1,454 feet high) and stack it on top of One World Trade Center (1,792 feet high). Then imagine walking across two of the highest peaks equaling that height in the Swiss Alps on a piece of wire just 18 millimeters thick. Now, imagine doing it at 50 years old.

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Photo Courtesy: @Chinaicons/Twitter

That’s exactly what tightrope walker Freddy Nock did in 2015 with a successful cable walk in his home country of Switzerland. His daredevil attempt actually broke the 30-year-record previously set by French high-wire artist Philippe Petit back in 1974 when Petit walked between the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. 

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Longest Time Spent in Full Body Contact with Ice

Hydrotherapy has many therapeutic benefits, but in 2014 Jin Songhao of China took things to the extreme with a record-breaking 113-minute ice bath that aired on Chinese television. The endurance challenge was the latest in a string of freezing attempts made by the 60-year-old Songhao, who has made a name for himself and his ability to endure icy cold temperatures.

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Photo Courtesy: @China Daily/Twitter

Staying submerged that long can have serious side effects, but by all accounts Songhao emerged unscathed. His body was bright red, but otherwise unharmed. It must be all that training; Songhao began his cold endurance training back in the 1980s, and it’s a practice many top athletes swear enhances their performance. 

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Farthest Tightrope Walk in Heels

Attempting to walk any length of distance in high heels is ambitious, but to walk 50 feet in heels on a tightrope is only for the brave. For that reason, Oxana Seroshtan, a Russian tightrope circus performers, still holds the world record for farthest tightrope walk in heels after nearly five years.

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Photo Courtesy: @Gaia Strategic/Twitter

Seroshtan, who performs all over Europe and Asia, chose an Italian variety show as the setting for her successful record attempt in the summer of 2014. Wearing a dizzyingly high pair of stilettos, she walked double the length of a seven-and-a-half-foot piece of rope with nothing but a fan for a balancing aid, which the rules allowed.

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Biggest Glass Christmas Tree Decoration

Dubai is home to the world’s tallest skyscraper (the vertigo-inducing Burj Khalifa) and the world’s tallest hotel (the JW Marriot Marquis). And, as of December 19, 2018, the famously extra city is also home to the world’s biggest glass Christmas tree decoration, a colorful glass ornament that weighs over 2,400 pounds!

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Photo Courtesy: @Explorevenago/Twitter

Situated inside the Dubai Mall—itself the world record holder for the world’s largest mall, measuring in at almost 13 million square feet in total area—the glass decoration was designed and fabricated by an American company and took over a dozen people two days to assemble and another day to install. It hangs in the main atrium in the mall, which welcomes nearly 100 million visitors a year. 

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Tallest Mohawk Spike

All it takes to be in the Guinness Book of World Records is the will to do so. Japanese fashion designer Kazuhiro Watanabe spent 15 years growing his hair for his record-breaking moment: He set his mohawk spike at a whopping three feet, 8.6 inches high.

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Photo Courtesy: @List25/Twitter

But he couldn’t do it alone. It took Watanabe and a team of several stylists over an hour to set his hair into its signature spike with several cans of hairspray and an entire jar of gel. His hair beat the previous world record of 31 inches by over a foot. 

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Most Piercings (Male)

Take a deep breath for one of the wildest world records of all time. On August 5, 2010, Rolf Buchholz of Germany was certified as having the most number of piercings on a male with a whopping 453 separate piercings, proving the old saying “If there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Buchholz has also heavily modified his body with tattoos and subdermal implants, but it’s his total commitment to body piercings that landed him in the world record books. The 58-year-old has over a dozen in each ear, two dozen in his eyebrows, several in his nose and a staggering 94 around his lips alone.

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Most Piercings (Female)

Meet Elaine Davidson, the current world record holder for the most number of piercings on a woman: She has an eye-popping 462 piercings that literally cover her from head to toe. Davidson, who hails from Brazil and the UK, ups the ante even further with brightly colored makeup, feathers, and other adornments she adds to her piercings.

The sheer number and placement of her piercings is staggering. When the former restaurant owner was certified as the world record holder in May 2000, she had 194 piercings covering her entire face—56 across her stomach, hands, arms and chest, and over 200 internal and external piercings in her genital area (!).

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Longest Handshake Chain

Mass participation challenges are among the most fun and most specific world records that exist, which is the perfect description for the longest handshake chain. The current record is shared by the 3,434 members of the Hong Kong Blind Sports Federation, who filled an entire stadium on November 2, 2013.

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Photo Courtesy: @GWR/Twitter

The record-setting handshake event, which went off without a hitch despite a threat of severe weather, was organized by the long-running sports federation. All of the federation’s members are visually impaired and include both young students and older participants from in and around Hong Kong. Here’s hoping there was plenty of hand sanitizer for after!

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Most Juggling Catches in One Minute (Three Fire Staffs)

Sometimes you see someone do something and a switch clicks in your brain. You think, “I need to spend the rest of my life doing this.” Adam Solko spent nearly a decade performing as a juggler and fire performer with the Fandazzi Fire Circus before deciding to combine his love of both into challenging a world record for fire juggling at the Minnesota State Fair.

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Photo Courtesy: @FandazziFireCircus/Twitter

Solko caught 121 passes in one minute, setting a new record that will be hard to beat. In addition to his fire juggling skills, Solko is also a trained fire eater, which is painful and potentially fatal. It’s one of the toughest acts to master and requires years of intense training, making Solko’s achievement all the more incredible. 

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Most Knives Thrown Around a Target in One Minute

On the day after Christmas, most people are still at home relaxing with family and eating leftovers, but not David Adamovich. Known as “The Great Throwdini,” he set the world record for most knives thrown around a target in one minute by expertly tossing 102 knives around his partner Tina Nagy.

Adamovich, one of the most celebrated impalement artists of all time, used standard 14-inch throwing knives for the attempt and counts the record among dozens he has set or broken over the years. But the wildest thing about Adamovich’s knife-throwing skills is that it’s just one small part of his incredible life. The Freeport, New York resident is also an ordained non-denominational minister and holds a Ph.D. in education.

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Largest Blindfolded Taste Test

Our sense of smell is heavily influenced by our ability to see what we’re tasting, which is why it’s so hard to accurately taste things when you can’t see. It’s this simple, but profound, idea that led to a charity event in Saudi Arabia that resulted in 1,486 participants setting a world record for the largest blind taste test.

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Photo Courtesy: iStock

The event, held in Riyadh, was organized by the Community and Service Committee at Alfaisal University as a way to foster dialogue and understanding between city residents and the visually impaired community. The event, called “Noor,” (meaning “light” in Arabic) was free and open to the public. 

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Loudest Purr by a Domestic Cat

UK resident Tracy Westwood knew her 13-year-old cat Merlin had a loud purr, so in 2015 she invited Guinness World Record adjudicators to check him out. A British TV program filmed the attempt to see if Merlin had the world’s loudest purr, which ended in a successful measurement of 67 decibels.

The science behind why cats purr has never been fully understood. Regardless, Merlin, whom Tracy rescued from a shelter years ago, has a purr that’s almost as loud as a dishwasher or normal tone of conversation. 

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Longest Human Tunnel Traveled by a Skateboarding Dog

Otto, a three-year-old bulldog from Peru, isn’t the first bulldog to gain notoriety for his sick skateboarding skills. That honor went to Tillman, an English bulldog who earned a spot in history in 2009 as the fastest dog on a skateboard. But Otto did set a new world record in 2015 when he glided through the legs of 30 people in the longest human tunnel traveled by a skateboarding dog.

The video of a happy Otto rolling through the tunnel instantly went viral and made him a star. His owners set up a Facebook page that boasts almost 100k followers, and now Otto spends his time advocating for responsible pet ownership. 

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Steepest Roller Coaster

Just looking at a photo of the Takashiba roller coaster, located at the Fuji-Q Highland theme park in Japan, is guaranteed to give you vertigo. The German-designed ride takes park goers over 3,000 feet into the air before dropping down at a nearly vertical, 121 degree angle that makes the heart-pounding roller coaster the steepest in the world.

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Photo Courtesy: Visit Japan/Twitter

The name Takashiba in Japanese literally translates to “high-flying car.” It’s not the first time Fuji-Q has set a world record: Takashiba’s honor is the 14th world record for the envelope-pushing theme park.

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Longest Hug

Many duration and mass participation challenges are undertaken as charity events, which makes the world record for longest hug even sweeter. In 2018, friends Joe Snape and Will Jarvis raised over £7,000 for a mental health support organization with a record-setting hug that lasted 36 hours, 36 minutes and 36 seconds.

The hug, which took place in London’s busy South Bank neighborhood, was conducted under strict parameters: The hug had to be witnessed by at least two people at all times and had to be filmed for the entire duration. Snape and Jarvis were permitted a five-minute break every hour though, which helped the pair tough out the epic challenge. 

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Fastest Roller Coaster

People who enjoy adrenaline spikes naturally enjoy roller coasters. Formula Rossa, located in the Ferrari World theme park in Abu Dhabi, gives riders the thrill of being in a Formula One race car. The coaster hits top speeds of 149 mph around a 1.3 mile track, earning it the heart-stopping title of fastest roller coaster in the world.

Formula Rossa delivers the ride of a lifetime. Its custom-designed Ferrari race car-themed trains and a hydraulic launch system are powerful enough to whip riders through the course in a minute and a half. It takes just five (yes, five!) seconds to reach max speed, so try not to blink or you’ll miss it!

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Most People Skinny-Dipping at the Same Time

Deirdre Featherstone founded the charity event Strip and Dip when she was recovering from breast cancer treatment in 2013, and since then the empowering event has become a joyful Irish tradition. In 2018, the event gained national prominence when over 2,500 women bared it all on a secluded beach and broke the world record for the largest simultaneous skinny dip ever.

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Photo Courtesy: @Theindependent/Twitter

For obvious reasons, this record-setting skinny dip was a woman-only event. Many were breast cancer survivors themselves, while others participated in memory of loved ones they lost to the disease. The event raised over €250,000 for children’s cancer charity Aoibheann’s Pink Tie, which helps support cancer-stricken children and their families all over the world. 

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Longest Fingernails on a Pair of Hands Ever (Female)

It’s one thing to grow out your hair, beard, or even a mustache. But Salt Lake City, Utah resident Lee Redmond took things to the extreme when she decided to see how long she could go without cutting or filing her fingernails. Turns out Redmond could go a pretty long time — 30 years to be exact!

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Photo Courtesy: @Archive/Twitter

Redmond stopped filing her nails in 1979 and spent hours a day pampering her distinctively arched nails, which at their longest measured a combined 28 feet, four inches. Growing at the staggering rate of one and a half inches a year, her nails were officially declared the longest fingernails on a pair of female hands in 2003, a record Redmond held until losing them in a car accident in 2009. 

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Largest Rubber Band Ball

Some people collect Betty Boop merchandise or dedicate themselves to mastering the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle. But Joel Waul of Lauderhill, Florida had something much bigger in mind—a six-foot, seven-inch high ball made entirely of rubber bands that clocked in at almost 5 tons and took the title of largest rubber band ball.

Waul, who proudly goes by the name “rubbabanman” on social media, was 28 when his massive rubber band ball took his neighborhood and the world by storm. He spent five years wrapping over 700,000 rubber bands into the spherical structure, dubbed Megatron, that he eventually donated to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum.

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Most Expensive Dessert

Leave it to New York City to come up with the world’s most expensive dessert—a $25,000 ice cream sundae served in a goblet encircled by an 18-karat gold, diamond-encrusted bracelet. Serendipity 3, the Manhattan restaurant known for its over-the-top decor and menu, even took it one step further by serving the sundae with a commemorative gold spoon covered in white and chocolate diamonds.

Named the Frrrrozen Haute Chocolate, this decadent dessert was a 2007 collaboration between Serendipity 3 and high-end jeweler Euphoria New York. The ice cream contained a blend of over two dozen cocoa powers and was dusted with 5 grams of edible, 24 karat gold. Even the interior of the serving dish was lined in edible gold!

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Longest Cigar

Most people celebrate a 90th birthday by getting together with family and friends, but Jose Castelar had bigger plans for his country’s former leader’s big milestone. Castelar, who lives in Cuba and worked as a roller in a cigar factory for most of his life, decided to honor the 90th birthday of Cuba’s previous Prime Minister Fidel Castro in 2011 by attempting to roll a 90-meter cigar. He even broke his own world record for longest cigar in the process!

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Photo Courtesy: @siubasketball/Twitter

Castelar has held almost a dozen world records for rolling cigars, which he takes as a personal point of pride. His attempt fell slightly short at 81 meters (262 feet), but was still enough to break his own previous record from 2008. The giant stogie ended up containing 176 pounds of tobacco leaves and took two weeks of prep and eight days of rolling. 

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Most Naked Riders on a Theme Park Ride

This oddly specific world record is held by the 102 people who spent the afternoon of August 8, 2010 riding the Green Scream roller coaster sans clothes at Adventure Island. The free-admission theme park is located in the coastal resort town of Southend-on-Sea in the UK. Surely there must have been a good reason, right?

There was: The group of naked riders was raising money to support the breast cancer unit at a nearby hospital and ended up with over £22,000 for their heroic efforts. The attempt has since become an annual tradition with people traveling from all over the UK to participate in charity runs that have yet to break the original record. 

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Most Cosmetic Surgeries

There’s no such thing as the Fountain of Youth, but that hasn’t stopped Cindy Jackson from trying to find it. Since 1988, the two-time author has spent over $100,000 on 47 separate surgeries, setting a new world record in 2005 for most cosmetic procedures.

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Photo Courtesy: @GWR/Twitter

Jackson, who has lived in London for over 40 years and now works as an anti-aging and cosmetic surgery specialist, has done it all. Her surgical resume includes three complete facelifts, two nose surgeries, lip and cheek implants, semi-permanent makeup and a variety of lifts and tucks across her stomach, knees, waist and thighs. She credits her youthful spirit with driving her to make sure her physical appearance reflects how she feels on the inside. 

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Longest Kiss

A typical Valentine’s Day usually includes roses and a nice dinner at a special restaurant, but Ekkachai and Laksana Tiranarat of Thailand decided to do something a little different on February 14, 2013 when they broke the world record for longest kiss. They locked lips for a whopping 58 hours, 35 minutes, and 58 seconds!

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Photo Courtesy: @Seriously Strange/Twitter

The couple took part in an event put on by a local Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum and eventually beat out the other couples to win the title, along with a cash prize and two diamond rings. The rules? Lips had to remain in contact at all times with no sleeping or sitting allowed. Participants could not eat, but could drink through a straw.

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Largest Star Wars Collection

It’s an almost impossible task to collect it all, but Steve Sansweet of Petaluma, California is trying his best. On May 4, 2015 (Star Wars day, for the uninitiated), Sansweet had his collection of Star Wars memorabilia certified as the largest in the world with over 93,000 unique catalogue items.

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Photo Courtesy: @GWR/Twitter

Sansweet, who has been a lifelong collector of just about everything, decided to combine his love of science-fiction and collecting into building a Star Wars collection to dwarf all others. His home/museum, dubbed Rancho Obi-Wan, actually contains closer to half a million items, but for the purposes of the title only the cataloged pieces were eligible for the title. 

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Most Spoons Balanced on a Human Body

This is one of those records that makes you wonder, “How did they even know they could do that?” Etibar Elchyev of Georgia set the world record for the most number of spoons balanced on a human body when he laid 53 spoons across his chest, back, and shoulders — a feat that seems to defy gravity.

Elchyev, a 41-year-old former kickboxing coach who has held this Guinness World Record since 2013, says special energies helped him reach his world record achievement.Though he has no scientific evidence to back up his claims, he believes the energies make his body naturally magnetic. His record-making attempt broke his 2011 record by three utensils. 

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