To celebrate the release of the 62nd edition of the Guinness World Records, we take a look at some of the weird and wonderful new entries...
As a species compelled to find balance in our lives (and dammit we’re trying particularly hard in 2015, ‘Mindfulness’ ring a bell?) – even as we pursue hedonism and adventure – we continue to be fascinated by the record breaking, the outright ridiculous and the mind-blowing extreme. The 62nd edition of the Guinness World Records 2016 is a testament to this, covering thousands of new records. The book, which comes out today, includes new records that firmly cement just how important digital technology and the internet are in our lives today.
Some records are akin to the Twitter #humblebrag - simply add a touch of extreme. Oxana Seroshtan of Russia for instance, walked farthest on a tightrope in heels. Walking a tightrope is impressive in itself, but come on, doing it in heels? That's just showing off (disclosure: I am a balance lacking baby in heels, so my irate review might well be envy induced). Meanwhile, the longest nails award goes once again to Shridhar Chillal of India, who's been growing the nails on his left hand for 52 years. Presumably, he sleeps in a bespoke bed, big enough for him, his nails and his poor unfortunate wife. Now, we too enjoy long nails, just so long as they're well kept, shapely and neat - sorry Shridhar, yours do not qualify! Big food records are always fascinating and this new edition contains a host of bizarre and ridiculous record-breaking eats - there's a gigantic mosaic made from toast, a humongous scoop of ice-cream, the tallest chocolate sculpture and swimming pool sized cup of coffee. You'll also find all the really important , such as the record for the actress who makes the most money annually. To give you a taste of the bizarre and brilliant submerged within the new book, here are some of our favourites.
The issue of twins being separated at birth, only to reunite through the wonder that is social media, has been much discussed this year after documentaries highlighted the subject. In May 2014, 77 years and 28 days after they were separated, Elizabeth Ann Hamel (nee Lamb, USA) and Ann Patricia Hunt (nee Wilson, UK) were finally reunited.
You can't have gone a day this year without hearing Taylor Swift's name in relation to her music, her relationships, her lawsuits and of course, her fashion. And it's unsurprising the superstar to see that she receives the accolade for being the only act who to have had three million-selling weeks on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
This particular record was broken way ahead of the smart phones birth, Michael Collins (USA) took the first selfie in space aboard the Gemini 10 capsule on 19 July 1966.
Ever tried hula-hooping? Remember the feeling of utter joy at being able to successfully spin a single hoop? Now multiply that by 160. Yes, Marawa Ibrahim, better known as her stage name 'Marawa the Amazing', spun 160 hula-hoops simultaneously in New York on 7 April 2014.
Londoners will feign little surprise (though it may provoke annoyance) in discovering that office space in the city costs £164.70 per square foot annually, or £1,772.83 per square metre. Hong Kong and Moscow followed in second and third place.
How many shoes could you get into a 6 ft 5 in long and 6 ft 1 in tall high-heeled shoe? This heeled shoe created by Kenneth Cole (pictured) and Jill Martin, was unveiled on NBCs Today Show on November 2014. The heel alone is 3 ft 1 in tall!
The ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden, covers an area of up to 5,500 m2. It's rebuilt every year and this year, on its 25th iteration, it features an ice bar, an ice church and many bespoke bedrooms featuring everything from a London Tube carriage to a pole dancing polar bear, all made from ice.
It seems our fascination with size hasn't dimmed and the desire to build fantastic giant-sized versions of the ordinary continues to be fueled. The world's largest disco ball added more than just a little glitz to the finale of Bestival in 2014. The disco ball measured a diameter of 10.33m (33ft 10in). It took three months to create the Behemoth.
Olga Liaschuk from Ukraine, whose greatest ambition is to become the strongest woman in the world, crushed three watermelons in 14.65 seconds on 26 June 2014. Looks like shes well on her way to achieving her goal.