Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records

11 Really Bizarre World Records

Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records

Guinness World Records, in theory, are amazing and seemingly unattainable. The record holders are astoundingly strong or fast or otherwise able to push the limits of human ability. Over the years, though, these world record categories have become increasingly bizarre—and I’m not just talking about people with abnormally long fingernails. Some of these records are incredibly specific, while others just prompt questions about the record holder’s sanity. The following 11 records only scratch the surface of the weirdness recorded by Guinness World Record judges. If you’ve always wanted to have your name attached to a world record, though, the wide variety of options represented here might just give you some ideas ... or some hope.

1. The fastest half-marathon pushing a pram

Courtesy of Guiness World Records

This record is one to shoot for if you don’t want to let parenthood slow you down. The female record is currently held by Nancy Schubring of the United States. She completed the half-marathon in 1 hour, 30 minutes, and 51 seconds.

The male record is 1 hour, 15 minutes, and 8 seconds, held by Neil Davison of the U.K.

If you’re not a parent and still want to attempt a bizarre running record, you can always practice running in a full suit, running wearing scuba-diving flippers, or running in several other strange fashions.

2. Most toilet seats broken by the head in one minute

Courtesy of Guiness World Records

You have to wonder who came up with some of these records. Usually the head and the toilet seat are not the most compatible elements, except when stereotypical high school bullies are involved. The record for most wooden toilet seats broken in a minute with the head is 46. The record is held by Kevin Shelley of the United States. See the video here.

3. Most rotations hanging from a power drill in one minute

Courtesy of Guiness World Records

This feat would require a great amount of upper body strength—and it’s much more extreme than boring weight lifting. Still, I don’t think it would be the best idea to try this one at home. The current record is 148 rotations in a minute, achieved by The Huy Giang of Germany.

4. Heaviest weight lifted by . . .

Courtesy of Guiness World Records

Apparently, upper body strength isn’t enough for some. There are Guinness World Records for weight being lifted by many different body parts, the most bizarre of which are seemingly delicate parts of the human head.

The heaviest weight lifted by tongue is 12.5 kg (27 lb 8.96 oz). Thomas Blackthorne of the U.K. holds this record.

The heaviest weight lifted with an eye socket is 14 kg (30.86 lb) by Manjit Singh of the U.K.

The heaviest lifted with both eye sockets is 23.5 kg (51 lb 12.96 oz) by Yang Guang He of China.

The heaviest weight lifted with one ear (using a clamp) is 80.78 kg (178 lb 14.4 oz). This record is held by Rakesh Kumar of India.

5. Full body ice contact endurance

No offense to this record setter or anyone else who may attempt this in the future, but anyone who has spent a winter somewhere with snow should know how stupid this idea is. I suppose if you can put all thoughts of frostbite and hypothermia aside ... nope, it’s still pretty crazy!

This record is held by Wim Hof of the Netherlands for spending 1 hour, 52 minutes, 42 seconds in direct, full body contact with ice. Hof (in the above video) was also featured in the Discovery Channel's Extraordinary People series.

6. Fastest time to burst three balloons with the back

Courtesy of Guiness World Records

This record certainly requires that you have amazing flexibility. Honestly, though, how do you discover that this is one of your talents? Julia Gunthel, aka “Zlata,” of Germany holds this record, taking only 12 seconds to burst three balloons with her back.

7. Most watermelons chopped on the stomach in one minute

Courtesy of Guiness World Records

If you’re curious, the cutting implement used to chop the watermelons was a machete. That just makes this feat even more terrifying. The record is 25 watermelons in one minute, achieved by two Australians. Jim Hunter was the watermelon chopper and Celia Curtis provided her stomach as the cutting board.

8. Most T-shirts removed while heading a football

Yes, by football they mean soccer ball. Apparently this is what some people use their soccer skills for when they can’t make it professionally. Who knew? The record is 21 shirts and is held by Marcelo Ribeiro da Silva of Brazil.

If you don’t have the soccer skills to break this record, or would rather put shirts on than take them off, you could go for the record of most T-shirts worn at once. The current record of 257 might be tough to surpass, though.

9. Most steps walked by a dog balancing a glass of water

Courtesy of Guiness World Records

Don’t worry! Your pets can be world record holders, too. If your dog regularly helps you set the dinner table, this might be the record to shoot for.

Sweet Pea, an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie, currently holds both records in this category. Sweet Pea has walked a record 10 steps up going backwards and 10 steps down going forwards while balancing a glass of water.

10. Loudest purr by a domestic cat

Courtesy of Guiness World Records

If all of the cat lovers out there were feeling left out, don’t be. There’s also a record for your pet to break, as long as they don’t have a problem audibly expressing their love for you.

The loudest purr recorded by a domestic cat is 67.7 dB, which is held by Smokey. According to the Guinness World Record website, “Smokey is a domestic cat and achieved its record in its home, where it felt relaxed and happy. Accessories used during the record attempt include a grooming brush, slices of ham and stroking by hand.”

11. Longest distance pulled by a horse (full-body burn)

Courtesy of TheWondrous

This one may just take the cake for the most bizarre. Neither part of this record—being dragged by a horse or being set on fire—seems at all appealing. Maybe this just goes to show the lengths people will go to get their name in this book.

The record distance is 472.8 meters (1151 feet 2 inches), achieved by Halapi Roland of Hungary.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
From Snoopy to Shark Bait: The Top Slang Word in Each State
iStock
iStock

There’s a minute, and then there’s a hot minute. Defined as “a longish amount of time,” this unit of time is familiar to Alabamians but may stir up confusion beyond the state’s borders.

It’s Louisianans, though, who feel the “most misunderstood,” according to the results of a survey regarding regional slang by PlayNJ. Of the Louisiana residents surveyed, 72 percent said their fellow Americans from other states—even neighboring ones—have a hard time grasping their lingo. Some learned the hard way that ordering a burger “dressed” (with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayo) isn’t universally understood, nor is the phrase “to pass a good time” (instead of “to have” a good time).

After surveying 2000 people (with proportional numbers from each state), PlayNJ created a map showing the top slang word in each state. Many are words that are unlikely to be understood beyond state lines, but others—like California’s bomb (something you really like) and New York’s deadass (to be completely serious)—have spread well beyond their respective borders thanks to memes and internet culture.

Hawaiians are also known for their distinctive slang words, with 71 percent reporting that words like shaka (hello) and poho (waste of time) are frequently misunderstood. Shark bait, one of the state’s more colorful terms, refers to tourists who are so pale that they attract sharks.

Check out the full list below and test your knowledge of regional slang words with PlayNJ’s online quiz.

A chart showing the top slang words in each state
PlayNJ
nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
20 States With the Highest Rates of Skin Cancer
iStock
iStock

They don’t call it the Sunshine State for nothing. Floridians get to soak up the sun year-round, but that exposure to harmful UV rays also comes with consequences. Prevention magazine reported that Florida has the highest rate of skin cancer in the U.S., according to a survey by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS).

BCBS surveyed 9 million of its insured members who had been diagnosed with skin cancer between 2014 and 2016 and found that Florida had the highest rate of skin cancer at 7.1 percent. People living in eastern states tend to be more prone to skin cancer, and diagnoses are more common among women.

Here are the 20 states with the highest rates of skin cancer:

1. Florida: 7.1 percent
2. Washington, D.C.: 5.8 percent
3. Connecticut: 5.6 percent
4. Maryland: 5.3 percent
5. Rhode Island: 5.3 percent
6. Vermont: 5.3 percent
7. North Carolina: 5.2 percent
8. New York: 5 percent
9. Massachusetts: 5 percent
10. Colorado: 5 percent
11. Arizona: 5 percent
12. Virginia: 5 percent
13. Delaware: 4.8 percent
14. Kentucky: 4.7 percent
15. Alabama: 4.7 percent
16. New Jersey: 4.7 percent
17. Georgia: 4.7 percent
18. West Virginia: 4.5 percent
19. Tennessee: 4.5 percent
20. South Carolina: 4.4 percent

It may come as a surprise that sunny California doesn’t make the top 20, and Hawaii is the state with the lowest rate of skin cancer at 1.8 percent. Prevention magazine explains that this could be due to the large population of senior citizens in Florida and the fact that the risk of melanoma, a rare but deadly type of skin cancer, increases with age. People living in regions with higher altitudes also face a greater risk of skin cancer due to the thinner atmosphere and greater exposure to UV radiation, which explains why Colorado is in the top 10.

The good news is that the technology used to detect skin cancer is improving, and researchers hope that AI can soon be incorporated into more skin cancer screenings. To reduce your risk, be sure to wear SPF 30+ sunscreen when you know you’ll be spending time outside, and don’t forget to reapply it every two hours. 

[h/t Prevention]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios