Man is a competitive being. The biggest, the longest, the most, … everyone likes to excel at something. The Guinness Book of World Records makes it possible for those of the strangest talents to be the best in the world at something.
These are ten of the most bizarre world records ever.
1. Kim Goodman: Bulging Eyes
Kim Goodman from Chicago (USA) discovered her talent for eye-popping at a Halloween party. Since then, she can bulge her eyes on command. It also works when she yawns. In 2007 in Istanbul, Kim managed to make her eyes bulge no less than 12 millimeters during the official measurement by an optometrist. People often ask her if it doesn’t hurt. “If it hurt, I wouldn’t do it,” she says. She is not afraid that her eyes will fall out.
2. Abolfazl Saber Mokhtari: Spoons on Body
Nobody understands how it is possible, but the Iranian Abolfazl Saber Mokhtari managed to balance 85 spoons on his body at the beginning of this year. “I discovered my talent for balancing things on my body by accident when I was a kid,” says Abolfazl. “Through years of practice, I was able to develop it to where I am today.” He can balance even more on his body. “Everything, I mean it,” he says. “Plastic, glass, fruit, stone, wood and even an adult human being.”
3. Mohammed Muqbel: Stacking Eggs
Mohammed Muqbel from Yemen also became fascinated by balancing objects at a young age, and it grew into a passion. “I am ambitious,” he says. “One day, I wanted to show my skills to the whole world.” In 2020 he broke the world record for stacking eggs in Malaysia by putting three on top of each other. He reinforced that ‘egg-strong’ reputation at the beginning of this year. He broke his own record by putting the fourth egg on top. He accomplished that feat without breaking a single egg.
4. Nick Stoeberl or K Praveen: Longest Tongue
American Nick Stoeberl has officially had the longest tongue in the world since 2014, at least according to Guinness. He was then 24 years old. Its tongue measures 10.1 centimeters from the tip to the upper lip. “I think I can taste better than other people,” Stoeberl says. It is doubtful whether his record will last long. According to the ‘India Book of Records’, K Praveen (22) does just a little better with 10.8 centimeters.
5. Elaine Davidson: Most Piercings
Scottish-Brazilian Elaine Davidson got her first piercing in January 1997. Just three years later, in 2000, she claimed the Guinness World Record for women with the most piercings. She then counted 462, of which 192 in the face. In 2006 she broke her record with a total of 4,225 piercings. At the moment, according to ‘News24’, that number has already increased to 11,003 piercings. “I think it’s beautiful,” says Elaine (53). “I find it exciting. It makes people see me as a special person.”
6. Philip Angus: Biggest Mouth
There are more teenagers with big mouths, but they will probably have to be inferior to Philip Angus from Pennsylvania (US). He was just 16 years old when he broke the world record for the largest mouth hole in 2019. This means: the distance between the upper and lower incisors – in his case 9.52 centimeters. That’s big enough to pierce an entire apple. “I’ve never really been the best at anything,” Philip says. “But I’m the best at this, and that feels great.” According to his mom, Philip is “a very good eater”.
7. Freddy: biggest dog
The Great Dane Freddy is officially the largest dog in the world. The dog from England is 1.03 meters high. When standing on its hind legs, it measures a whopping 2 meters and 29 centimeters. “As a puppy, he has destroyed no fewer than 23 sofas”, says owner Claire Stoneman. Every year she spends about 15,000 euros to pamper her dogs. While his record still stands, the gentle giant Freddy passed away in early 2021.
8. Marina Kazankova: longest underwater walk
Russian Marina Kazankova was already known as a freediver, sports psychologist and actress, but she was looking for an extra challenge. She has four Guinness world records to her name. In 2016 she broke the record ‘underwater swimming in open water’ with a distance of 154 meters. In 2017, she went for the “longest underwater walk” by stepping 69.7 meters onto the bottom of a diving pool in Dubai. She also holds the records for ‘longest underwater dance’ (3 minutes and 28.60 seconds) and ‘longest bridge (yoga) underwater’ (4 minutes 27 seconds). All those records happened on one breath each time.
9. Gary Turner: Stretchy Skin
Briton Gary Turner’s record for the ‘most stretchy skin’ has been around since 1999. Gary suffers from Ehlers-danlos syndrome (EDS), a hereditary condition in which the connective tissue is not properly constructed. As a result of that condition, Gary’s skin is abnormally elastic. In 1999 he was able to stretch them on his stomach to a length of no less than 15.8 centimeters. So far, no one does better. “It works best in areas with a lot of skin,” says Gary. “Abdomen, neck, arms, … and it doesn’t hurt at all.”
10. Shridhar Chillal: Longest Fingernails
Indian Shridhar Chillal was born in 1937. When he was 14 years old, he was verbally abused at school by a teacher after accidentally breaking a fingernail. From then on, he decided to grow his nails and continued to do so for 66 years. The total length of the nails on his left hand was then 9 meters and 9.6 centimeters. His thumbnail was the longest, measuring 197.8 centimeters. How did that affect his life? “They are fragile, so I have to pay attention while sleeping,” Chillal said in 2015. “I can’t move much, so every half hour I wake up and move my hand to the other side of the bed.” In 2018, the Indian had his nails trimmed to donate them to a museum.