As long as there are records, they will be broken. 2010 was the year 18 Australians squeezed themselves into a SmartCar in Sydney to create a new Guinness World Record. When Aymen Saleem, an A Level student in Karachi, Pakistan stumbled upon the new record having just received a SmartCar for her birthday, she realized that all she would need to do is find 18 willing participants to help her break it.
She was joined by various girls from other A Level institutions around the country, and having gone through the drill a number of times, they were ready. In front of judges and guests (including two ex-cricketers Wasim Akram and Saleem Yousuf), the 19 women piled themselves into the tiny automobile in under a minute – and stayed that way for a harrowing 10 seconds, double the amount of time the Aussies managed.
As random as this feat was, it is by far not the strangest the Guinness Book of World Records has offered us. Thinking along similar lines, a staggering 28 women (gymnasts, of course) from the UK crammed themselves into a Mini Cooper in front of Tower Bridge in London in 2012, and if you think that’s a lot, spare a thought for Steve Jacobs, a man who has broken his own record a number of times for wearing the most pairs of underwear at one time – a ridiculous 266.
The Guinness Book of World Records officially started back in 1951, when the then managing director of the Guinness Breweries got into an argument with a friend over the fastest bird in Europe. Realizing it would be impossible to prove either way, he knew the world needed a book to supply us all with these baffling answers. It was a surprise success, and now holds its own record for the best-selling copyrighted book series of all time. It is also high on the list of books stolen from United States public libraries.
And as long as the book provides no boundaries, the men and women of the world will continue to push them. Japan’s Kenichi Ito completed the 100m sprint in 17.47s. Not too bad, you say? He was on all fours when he did it. And then there’s Julian Pavone from the USA, who was 5 years, 10 months and 3 days old when he became the world’s youngest professional drummer. But the stories that really get one’s attention are always the wackiest – Kim Goodman’s name (or eyes) will probably forever be down in the history books as she is able to pop her oglers an astounding 12mm out of their sockets. So, if you happen to be one of those people out there with no discernible talent of your own, don’t despair – there’s always a spot for you in the Guinness Book of World Records, if you try hard enough.
Which Guinness world record is the craziest in your mind? Do you hold any of your own? Leave us a comment and check out some more amazing facts about Pakistan in our Urdu True or False quiz!