I've worked at Guinness World Records since 2002, and from 2005 have been the Editor-in-Chief. This year, the book goes underwater with our 2024 edition. I've had the privilege of meeting some of the world's most amazing and talented people, from Beyonce and Sir Roger Bannister to the world's tallest and shortest humans. Ask away!

Proof here.

Comments: 256 • Responses: 48  • Date: 

lakie92245 karma

Why do you allow people to purchase records that noone can challenge, and change records so the person can keep them if it becomes clear they are not the holder?

GWRecords7 karma

Hi Lakie92, not sure I understand the question - we don't sell records that no one else can challenge. We don't sell records, period. We do have a range of services that can be paid (we're a company, after all) for but none of them guarantees a place in the book. The only option that companies (and individuals) have of guaranteeing a place in the book is if they already have a record and then commission a corporate edition in which they're featured on the cover, and which they can use as a promotional giveaway or staff gift. We have been doing corporate editions of the book since 1955, and don't forget the whole business is based on creating a promotional product to sell beer.

I have to stress, you can't pay your way into the book or the records database or the website. Buying a premium service might increase the chance of you breaking a record, as the 1-1 relationship that's formed with a dedicated records manager might help steer you to the right choice of record, but if you or your workforce fail to achieve it, you fail. And even if you succeed, there's no guarantee that my editorial team will select it for publication in the book. In reality, these types of corporate record-breakers make up a small portion of the book - the major of which is proactively desk-researched from experts or drawn from the free public applications.

feedback19195 karma

Why do y'all support fascist dictators efforts to set records for publicity stunts?

Edited to add link https://m.youtube.com/watch?si=Z-bPdY-qkb8PT0ou&v=-9QYu8LtH2E&feature=youtu.be

sonofabutch76 karma

Anyone can hire Guinness World Records and they'll find a "record" for you to break as a publicity stunt.

GWRecords-54 karma

If you're a company looking to engage staff or find a unique way to promote a product, you can seek out some of our premium services. This means we dedicate a records manager to your application and they'll help shape what you need - sometimes it's coming up with fun ideas for staff engagement, or a PR campaign for a new product, promoting an existing product that already has a record. The crucial thing to know is that you can never pay your into the book. You can pay us a handsome fee for a staff-engagement day or to have an adjudicator visit your factory to assess a widget but there's no guarantee that this will result in a record. Even those that pay for these services can end up with no record, but they'll have had a fun experience, learned about themselves, had a go, etc etc. Great examples of a company hiring us is a washing machine brand that wanted us to assess their really quiet washing machine - doesn't budge an inch when on full spin, hardly makes any noise... so we asked Brian Berg to build the tallest house of cards possible in 12 hr ON TOP of the running machine - a really creative way to promote their product while at the same time getting the publicity from a world record. Wasn't my idea, but it was a genius one!

feedback1948 karma

I didn't ask about corporations. I asked about ACTUAL dictators that have definitely paid y'all substantial sums of money to get into the book. Nice dodge though. Seems like the PR dept needed to put their heads together for a bit to come up with that smokescreen of an answer.

GWRecords-44 karma

As I said, records are not for sale in that way, no matter who you are. We're now very clear on not accepting politcally motivated record applications. We remain politically neutral so won't take forward any application that we find to promote a political agenda. But we have to careful not to blanket-ban countries, unless compelled to, as not every application from a country under non-democratic rule is politically motivated.

GWRecords2 karma

(Sorry don't know how to link back to previous answers so I'll cut'n'paste:
I'll admit we've made some mistakes in the past about the records we've considered and the organizations we've worked with - but we learn something new every day. We def have more checks and balances in place now, and we're very careful about accepting records that appear to be political in nature or connected to political events. Most recently we ceased all business with Russia and Belarus, as guided by the UK's (and Europe's and most of the world's) foreign policy re trading with these countries.

We genuinely do believe in record breaking for everyone, everywhere, so it's up to us to figure out how we live by that, while ensuring we have the appropriate checks in place to protect the brand, protect our record holders and to protect the integrity of the records themselves. We apply more scrutiny now than ever on who we accept applications from and trying to understand the purpose of the application, perhaps scrutiny that hasn't been there in the past.

Mrgray123195 karma

Why do you keep accepting money for meaningless world records, often from appallingly abusive dictators who murder their own people?

GWRecords5 karma

I'll admit we've made some mistakes in the past about the records we've considered and the organizations we've worked with - but we learn something new every day. We def have more checks and balances in place now, and we're very careful about accepting records that appear to be political in nature or connected to political events. Most recently we ceased all business with Russia and Belarus, as guided by the UK's (and Europe's and most of the world's) foreign policy re trading with these countries.

We genuinely do believe in record breaking for everyone, everywhere, so it's up to us to figure out how we live by that, while ensuring we have the appropriate checks in place to protect the brand, protect our record holders and to protect the integrity of the records themselves. We apply more scrutiny now than ever on who we accept applications from and trying to understand the purpose of the application, perhaps scrutiny that hasn't been there in the past.

PedroCPimenta147 karma

Are you going to remove Billy Mitchell from the book?

GWRecords4 karma

As there seems to be an ongoing legal case, I don't want to prejudice anything but as answered elsewhere, we're always open to reinvestigating a record, and have shut down many records over the years because new evidence has emerged. There was an interesting segment on Qi about the half-life of facts, and the same applies to records - so we'll make changes - a recent example is the largest death-toll in a crocodile attack, which was proved to have been impossible, despite the source of the original research being an otherwise credible, widely published naturalist.

SethManhammer119 karma

If the lawsuit between Billy Mitchell and Twin Galaxies has a favorable outcome toward Twin Galaxies, and it's looking very much like it will, given the evidence that Billy Mitchell lied about his scores, will Guinness withdraw the scores again?

GWRecords-10 karma

We're always open to reconsidering record achievements, so if sufficent new evidence emerges, we'd be compelled to take it seriously and re-assess.

p4nnus63 karma

Where do you draw the line on things that are borderline not acceptable as records?

GWRecords7 karma

Can you give examples? It's all relative - I was at a dinner with four record holders who individually took me aside at various points of the evening to say how weird they thought the other diners were for doing what they did. We do try to stick to criteria that's fair for everyone who wants a shot at breaking a record. In the past, the McWhirters' own interests would dictate what was "acceptable" - e.g., Norris was never a fan of hot-air ballooning, as I remember, and he tried (unsuccessfully) to remove sword-swallowing from the book. But these communities pleaded for fairness, and now we recognize (again) ballooning and sword-swallowing... but also gravy wresting, gaming live-streams and spoon collecting - all things that could be considered weird if you have a narrow view of the world. We're reflecting what's going on out there, weird or otherwise.

triggur57 karma

Why did you turn down TST for the “World’s largest Satanic gathering” record saying “there is no appropriate category for this” when you do in fact have “World’s largest” records for quite a number of other religions?

triggur6 karma

…no answer I guess. Religious discrimination, yo.

GWRecords2 karma

Lol... No answer here because it was the weekend, and I do have some life outside the office!

As a one-time acquaintance of Blanche Barton and the owner of La Vey's bible, you could say I have a very open mind about religious expression! From a GWR company perspective, which is the mode I'm currently in, you can understand why we would at least raise an eyebrow at the concept of a satanic gathering. As a commercial concern, we need to have a global view on some categories that might be acceptable in certain communities but not in others. E.g., we don't accept records for bull flighting or fox hunting, despite calls from those communities to accept their history and culture. We COULD accept such claims and ignore the global majority's horror at us doing so (and being pilloried on Reddit for it) but we elect not to. In the same way that we won't accept largest gatherings of people dressed as Hitler, or the largest orgy. Got to take the global view.

But I can't find the claim you refer to - what was the application title? I'd like to see for myself how we worded a rejection. We get challenged constantly from people testing our limits. Do you know for sure it was formally applied for and formally rejected?

jacquilynne45 karma

Do you ever consider independent information about whether a record is truly the record? I am thinking about records like Joshua Beck's most concerts in a year record. All of my music-oriented friends laughed and laughed when we saw the news stories about that because we all know several people who would consider only 86 concerts to be a pretty quiet year. And there are plenty of news stories about Beatle Bob who attended a concert every day and sometimes more than one for years on end - even if the unbrokenness of that streak is slightly exaggerated, surely he saw more than 86 concerts a year for years on end. So did it come down to "Bob never asked for a record so we don't care that our record is pretty obviously wrong" or do you try to do independent research that there isn't another probable record holder out there before declaring a record and this one is just an aberration? Or is there some other factor that's at play that isn't obvious?

GWRecords7 karma

Yes, before we accept a record, we do our research into the topic to see if there's an obvious holder that may not have applied. In these cases, if we find someone/thing that might qualify, we'll often reach out and urge them to apply. But ultimately, we've written a set of guidelines that have to be adhered to, in order to make it fair, so in some cases, there's an enormous challenging in PROVING a record, as we can't just take someone's word for it, or take testimony from a friend or colleague.

E.g., we're forever being told our Oldest woman or Oldest man record is wrong because someone knows of a old person in their village/town/city who's 190 years old - despite having no evidence. (In these oldest people cases, they've NEVER checked out - you'll get a grandchild saying their grandmother is 150 yet the grandchild is only in their 50s! So how old was this old lady when their daughter and granddaughter were born?!)

When we create a new record from scratch, we'll still research the topic to establish a minimum - we can't someone "officially" attend just 9 concerts and expect a record! We're also not omnipotent, so we have to rely a lot of applicants telling us things. Another classic is someone claiming to be in the book even though they've never applied - somehow expecting us to know that they can juggle 18 plates because they're a legend in their small community. Ultimately, we need to see that evidence, and in some regrettable cases, it's not forthcoming, so neither is the cartificate as a Guinness World Records record.

Severe_Assignment9439 karma

Yeah, but there are SO MANY Guinness records that are clearly wrong, so you can't be doing THAT much due diligence. The book used to be great decades ago, but since the early 2000s it's widely been considered a joke.

GWRecords2 karma

There was a study of errors in the science content of Encyclopaedia Britannica versus science content of Wikipedia and it turned out that EB had about 3% errors and Wiki 4%. With these - and I'd say with the whole GWR database of 40,000 entries - there WILL be errors. Of course there will. And, as mentioned elsewhere here, there's a half-life of facts, which means half of what we know to be true is found to be wrong every 10 years (or something, off the top of my head - mis-quoting Qi). We produce this book every year, by a relatively small team of humans, and we do our best to maintain accuracy. Of course there are going to be errors, but as we say to readers who write it to point out issues, we're grateful for their input, as we can improve the quality for the next edition. I've never done a quantative analysis to find an error percentage, but if it's 3-4%, then I'd be comfortable with this, as it's within an acceptabe tolerance for a team of primates compiling literally tens of thousands of facts every edition.

To be honest, I appreciate receiving feedback and error letters because it proves that people are reading and paying attention! We're not omnipotent or infallable - we're a bunch of editors doing our best!

frodosbitch29 karma

What is the business relationship between you and Guinness brewing? How do you handle trademarks?

Also - you should probably eat the frog and answer some of the difficult questions at the top. Reddit goes hive mind on these things pretty fast.

GWRecords4 karma

Thanks for the tip-off, frodosbitch - doing my best to field all the questions!

As for yours, we've got a gossamer thin connection back to Diageo, who are rightly protective of the Guinness name and don't want it brought into disrepute (even though nowadays most people don't associate the two brands). We've got some basic rules around not actively promoting alcohol to kids, or showing any unnecessary enjoyment of alcohol in our imagery (e.g., of celebrating record holders). When the company first went on sale in c.2000, Diageo were understandably reluctant to hand over the word Guinness in the title but it was decided that the value in the offering was the name Guinness, so we had to remove "book of", so it was no longer a Guinness Book of anything but a new entity, and it also coincided with a drive to expand into TV, web, social media. etc. So not just a book.

We also have a rule about the name, even though people struggle with it - no use of Guinness on its own. So it's a Guinness World Records title, or GWR achievement, or GWR certificate. NOT a Guinness certificate!

DR233620 karma

does Guinness hold the record for most number of world records published in a book?

or for most number of world records books published?

GWRecords9 karma

Ha, I guess we could give ourselves this record, as over the years we've published thousands of records - quick off-the-tip-of-my-head figure of at least 200,000 records, assuming 69 years x 3000 records. We did used to be the biggest selling copyright book, but got beaten by a Chinese dictionary and had to just swallow the fact that we lost our record!! Now the best-selling ANNUAL copyright book!

ergonaut16 karma

Does the book have much to do with Guinness brewing anymore?

GWRecords24 karma

Not any more - Diageo, who owned Guinness beer, sold the company in 1999 when they got rid of all their non-alcohol brands. Sadly, we no longer get access to the subsidised bar! And now no Guinness beer tap at the London Book Fair (which always made us a very popular stand!!) We have a few rules, though, about not promoting alcohol use, etc, and I've been to a party thrown by the Guinness family to celebrate our 50th anniversary, so there's still a bit of connection

GWRecords26 karma

Just to add: I joined the company as one of the first hires after Diageo sold Guinness, and I was given an old security key that allowed me into the Guinness offices, so often did frequent the subsidised bar, even though technically not an employee!

Interestingly, Diageo sold The Guinness Book of Records to Gullane Children's Books, who owned Thomas the Tank Engine. When I joined (as head of the website), I had to post regularly as Sir Topham Hatt. I had weekly Q&A sessions with kids as the Fat Controller, until we decided to split of GWR from the kids books. At this point too, we had to change our name to Guinness World Records because we were no longer the Guinness Book of anything. At least we got to keep the word "Guinness"! We were also undergoing a big revamp of the company, introducing the website, our own branded TV shows, live events, etc, so more than just a "book" of records.

philipquarles10 karma

Have you personally ever won a bar bet with information from your book?

GWRecords49 karma

Before I was Editor-in-Chief, I had the record for stretching a Curly Wurly the farthest distance wihout breaking in 3 minutes (3 ft, or 91 cm). It got published in the book, and not long after, I was doing a pub quiz in which the tie-breaker question - a wild card question - was "How long is the longest-stretched Curly Wurly?". I knew exactly because I was the current record holder. Weird but very satisfying! We won the quiz, of course!

ShadowSDwolf9 karma

How do I submit a record request for fastest time solving a 3x3 1-9 puzzle?

GWRecords8 karma

As with any application, get yourself registered with us on our application page and tell us about the specific record you want to beat. Are you referring to a sudoku puzzle? If so, we might not accept claims for this, as there is a Sudoku World Championships, and we will take our lead from them in terms of competitive Sudoku-ing

8oD9 karma

How much does it cost to send down a verification person to actually break a certain record?

GWRecords4 karma

First off, you don't need to have a GWR adjudicator present at your record attempt. It's not practical (or anywhere near affordable or environmentally sound) to send staff around the world. If you want to attempt to beat an existing record, it's free to apply - just follow the guidelines and collect the evidence we request (minimum is usually now video footage, two independent witness statements, photography).

But we do of course travel to some events, if the claimant is prepared to cover costs and fees, or if it benefits us in any way, like a good PR opportunity. It really depends on the record and the claimant. If you're a big business with a large PR budget, then you'll be expected to pay for the service and the brand licence, etc. Because that's a sensible commercial thing to do, in the same way that lawyers and doctors and plumbers charge for their time. We'll also do adjudications for free in some charity cases - we support a number of chartiies each year, and sadly can't offer every charity record attempt a free adjuducation, as we'd be quicky bankrupt.

It's fascinating to me to see on this forum how obsessed people are with the idea of GWR - a 21st-century company - charging for its services! In order to cover the vast spectrum of record-breaking that we do, it makes sense to fund it by exploring different revenue streams on offer, which include corporate record-breaking. The key message I clearly have to stress more is that you can't buy your way into the book - records are not for sale! (Apologies, 8oD - not aimed at you!)

Kangar9 karma

Did you get grossed out by the man with the super-long curly fingernails?


GWRecords15 karma

I don't find long fingernails gross, as they're (usually!) kept clean and strong, else they'd break. Shridhar Chillal from India kept his left hand in a shoulder bag for a while so not the best, airy environment, but not gross or smell at all. The most recent set I measured - Diana Armstrong of Minnesota - were thick and strong and very well maintained.

craigyboy10008 karma

Do you think you hold the world record for meeting the most world record holders?

GWRecords3 karma

Hey craigboy1000 - good name! I'm sure our founding editor Norris will have met few more claimants in his time - he was in the job for about 35 years, and I'm "just" at 21. This makes me the second-longest-serving editor of the book - not sure I'll be in 15 years time, but if I am, I'll have surely logged more! If I survive this session on Reddit, I'll be amazed!

Comicspedia7 karma

How does one decide whether their particular talent or feature is world record worthy? Plenty seem obvious, like feats of strength, others are more nuanced or seemingly specific to the person.

GWRecords23 karma

We've got a series of criteria that have to be met - measureable, breakable, provable, widely interesting - but we have to draw the line at things like, fastest marathon run with a 50-lb backpack, then with a 51-lb pack, and a 52-lb pack etc - often we'll identify a skill level and say that these milestones are acceptable as records, else we've have to literally recognize EVERYTHING in the world. Fastest time to eat 3 ferrero rocher, 4 ferrero rocher, 5 ferrero rocher, etc etc. We're not an infinitely large company, and it wouldn't be viable to accept so many nuanced achievements, hence the setting of quantum levels, so to speak. Worth noting that only about 5-10% of applications make it through the system - it's simply a myth that we'll accept any ol' idea!

OutcomeLonely5187 karma

Awesome to be able to connect and ask directly. Thank you. At what point do the GBR Team, deem an activity too dangerous or too much of a threat to life to undertake? Or is it usually after the fact? 😁

Thank you,

Becky, Kent UK 🇬🇧

GWRecords8 karma

Hi Becky! You're welcome! We don't actually factor in or provide health and safety advice to anyone, because it's different from country to country. We do ask, though, that you can prove that you're not a reckless individual and that you take whatever precautions are necessary for your activity - e.g., we do full-body burn records (amazing one from last year: The fastest 200 m cycle during a full-body burn is 49.55 seconds by Josef Tödtling (Austria) on the set of Lo Show Dei Record in Milan, Italy on 29 January 2022) but you've got to be a trained, professional stunt performer to attempt the record. As long as your activity isn't harming anyone else, we're fairly comfortable with you applying. Danger is exciting and been part of human culture/entertainment for year - long before GWR was a thing. Circus, etc.. But anything that affects others, or harms animals, we'd say no to. Sword swallowers can be members of the International Sword Swallowing Association - another example of a dangerous thing that's not open to everyone. And under 16s usually can't apply for records unless specific to <16yos.

Goalll116 karma

What is the most impressive world record (in your opinion)?

GWRecords15 karma

Again, very difficult to say. I think Erden Eruc's first human-powered circumnavigation is truly awe-inspiring:

The fastest circumnavigation of the globe by human power is 5 years 11 days 12 hrs and 22 min, and was achieved by Erden Eruç (Turkey) who rowed, kayaked, hiked and cycled around the world between 10 July 2007 and 21 July 2012. Erden’s solo journey started and ended at Bodega Bay, California, USA. During his record-breaking journey, he covered 66,299 km (41, 196.21 miles) using only the power of his own body.

Also holds records for spending 2 years 354 days alone at sea. In that time, he covered the greatest distance rowed solo, sculling 26,705 nautical mi (49,457 km; 30,731 mi), and increased his total number of days rowing to 1,167 days

Half_Lifeofagamer6 karma

What is the hardest world record to beat?

GWRecords12 karma

Depends on where your skills lie! Climbing Everest at speed isn't easy for anyone to attempt while the Mr Potato Head speed record is - but both are difficult to beat! (Potato Head is basically <5 sec). Records I once thought no one would beat have since fallen. Things like going around the world under human power only, climbing Everest from sea level, etc, all broken.

Appropriate-Bat91386 karma

What the weirdest world record that made you think why?

GWRecords20 karma

A lot of options for this one but one that's sear into my brain is watching Space Cowboy (Shane Hultgren of Australia) pulling a rickshaw containing four people using hooks in his eye sockets!! Nooooo, if that goes wrong... eek

Soggy_Comfortable9495 karma

What is the weirdest record you had to put in your book and why?

GWRecords15 karma

Really depends on what WEIRD means to you! My "weird" bar is very high, from years in this job! I see these kinds of things as creative, inventive, fun, quirky... I've usually quoted the banzai skydive as the weirdest thing someone would want to do- throwing a parachute out of a plane and jumping after it, taking as long as they dare before catching and opening it! - but a few people (mistakenly) doubt this is even a thing. It IS!

Mediocre-Month-82485 karma

Which world record made you the happiest?

GWRecords12 karma

Great question! Really hard to say... I did have to adjudicate the longest bungee dunk - doing a bungee jump and dunking a biscuit into a cup of tea or coffee, which took two days to make happen. Right at the end of day 2, after hours and hours of jumping and as the sun was setting, the claimant finally got the biscuit in the tea! Everyone was elated as it had been a loooong two days! (I was also very pleased with myself for coming up with that record title - the idea wasn't mine but the title was, and it makes me smile every time!)

Highest Bungee Dunk... With the help of Experience Days, death-defying dunker Simon Berry (both UK) dipped a biscuit into a mug of tea from a height of 73.41 m (240 ft 10 in) at Bray Lake Watersports in Berkshire, UK. Berry had to be incredibly precise with his jump, as the guidelines for the record stated that the mug used could measure no more than 15 cm (6 in) in both height and diameter.

Lord_Lxxmng5 karma

What is your favourite world record and why?

GWRecords16 karma

You can't ask that! Too many! I'm a big fan of the human body records - I've been lucky enough to meet and measure the tallest, shortest, heaviest, most tattooed etc - but my favourite types of record are those that are quirky and surprising - like the cat and dog that share a scooter (The fastest 5 m on a scooter by a dog and cat (pair) is 4.37 seconds, and was achieved by Sashimi and Lollipop, trained by Melissa Millett (all Canada), in Sparta, Ontario, Canada, on 19 September 2020.) or the largest M&M's mosaic (which used to form a pciture of Eminem... Eminem in M&M's - glorious!) Anything with that little twist!

Orrery-5 karma

What World record do you no longer support, or verify which you wish you could bring back?

GWRecords14 karma

In our very first book, we had a record for the fastest time to eat a whole cow! I'mo not REALLY suggesting we bring this one back but wow, I'd love to see someone beat the 42 days achieved by German's Johann Ketzler! It's a very practical skill, being able to butcher an animal and consume every part of it - no wastage - but these days we're only interested in the rate of consumption, not the quantity!

FrolloElmago385 karma

What’s the strangest experience you’ve had so far?

GWRecords18 karma

It has to be hanging out with Michael Jackson and Beyonce (I know, I know, I'm always name-dropping this one!) I invited MJ to the office one day, and he just turned up! I stayed in touch with him after presenting him his GWR certificate for best-selling album (Thriller) at the World Music Awards in 2006, and would have him calling me up at random times to talk about a book he wanted us to write together. He also got back in touch for his This Is It tour, which broke records for ticket pre-sales. Being on stage with MJ and Beyonce, in front of a global TV audience of over 1 bn people was like an out-of-body experience! Hard to top as a strangest moment in the job!

IamRushing4 karma

My grandson has started a collection of your books. How many annual editions are there?

GWRecords10 karma

Cool! If he collects them all, he can join the Gold Club (well, we USED to have a gold club for those with every copy but we've not maintained a list for years - I'll get on to that!) There are currently 70 editions to collect of the main GWR books but hundreds of other GWR titles from over the years, such as the Guinness Book of Beards and Moustances, the Guinness Book of Chess, etc etc. There's a Guinness World Records title for the largest collection of Guinness World Records books, currently held by Martin Tovey:

Britain’s Martyn Tovey has made it into the Guinness World Records book … for collecting Guinness World Records books! He actually holds two records. The first is for amassing 2,164 items of GWR memorabilia, such as posters, board games, and toys. The second is for his extensive library of 353 Guinness World Records books, ranging from the first edition (1955) to the most recent (both above)—the largest collection of Guinness World Records annuals!

He maintains a really useful site: https://guinness.book-of-records.info/index.html

Cheddaryum4 karma

What was one of the most fascinating world records you've seen and why?

GWRecords11 karma

I got a personal tour of the inside of the Large Hadron Collider a few years back, just after they broke a record for the highest-energy particles, and that was really fascinating, to see it from the inside and hear from the staff who operated it on a daily basis. But the most fascinating experience is just getting to meet the record holders and spend a day in their life, finding out what makes them tick and learn WHY they wanted to break a record. I was privileged to visit the home of Lee Redmond, who for years had the longest fingernails in history - I'd gone to visit her after she lost the fingernails in a car crash. It was fascinating to hear her back story, about the psychology behind why someone would effectively limited themselves by growing metre-long fingernails. The details are too personal to share publicly but yes, eye-opening!

Ok-Feedback56044 karma

How you determine that any applicant is really wanna make a record seriously not just showing off?(i mean how you decide that any person who just approached you and say wanna make or break a record than how you check his credibility(tell me checking process)that he is serious not just wanna get attention or showing off

GWRecords7 karma

There's nothing wrong with a bit of flexing - who are we to say if your motivation is serious or just to show off to your mates. If it's a record, it's a record. The desire to show off has probably driven a lot of human development! It's inate in most people to want to show the world what they're good at, and we offer a level playing field - show off all you want, our job is to simply measure the metrics. In fact, a lot of people apply for records saying they're doing just because they want to be listed in the book (even tho not every accepted record makes it into the book, as there's not enough space!)

burntbeatle4 karma

Who's the most interesting person you've ever met and why?

GWRecords19 karma

Hi, burntbeatle, probably the most interesting - and impressive - bunch of people I've met are the astronauts. NASA's Buzz Aldrin, Chris Hadfield, Al Worden, ESA's Tim Peake, JAXA's Soichi Noguchi... They have a very rare - almost unique - view of the world because of seeing the wider picture, literally. They're also super-intelligent, practical, focussed, people with the most calm temperaments. We could all do well by being more astronaut!

GWRecords19 karma

Al Worden was particularly impressive... During the Apollo 15 mission (26 Jul–7 Aug 1971), Al was orbiting the Moon in command module Endeavour while fellow astronauts David Scott and James Irwin were at the Hadley base on the Moon’s surface. On the far side of the Moon, Worden was 3,596.4 km (2,234.69 mi) away from the nearest living person, making him history’s most isolated human. For some, being separated from your companions might be an unsettling prospect – but not Al. “First off, you wish them luck: ‘I hope you land okay!’” he recounted to the BBC in 2014. “The second thought is: ‘Gee I’m glad they’ve gone because I’ve got this place all to myself.’”

TigerRenee4 karma

How do you verify new records? Is it always done in person these days or is technology used too?

GWRecords10 karma

We use all the tools at our disposal, really. Depends on the record. Some things are easily measured with a steel or cloth tape measure whereas others needs laser accuracy. I just adjudicated the record for the tightest gap driven through by a pickup truck, and had help from a surveying firm using Leica laser measuring tools to accurately map out the space and confirm the gap. I've also counted the most trolls in a collection, which just needed a simple clicker. Adjudicators get trained to use equipment but in the more challenging cases, we insiste on having survey professionals on hand to make the measurements. As a result, the demands on claimants are ever stricter

cyankitten3 karma

What do you mean “the book goes underwater with our 2024 edition” ? What do you mean by it goes underwater?

GWRecords2 karma

Hi cyankitten... As in, there's often an overarching theme to the books, and for the 2024 edition, it's "underwater", so when we're curating the records, we'll be more likely to include it if there's a watery element - so features on open-water swimming, mermaids, pirates, diving, submersibles, etc. The previous year, the theme was "space" and before that, "environment".

jacquilynne3 karma

Have you met Jim Pattison? If so, what is he like?

GWRecords7 karma

I have - I was lucky enough to be in the first meeting he had with GWR. I really respect his business acumen and foresight - he's built an incredible business from humble used-car salesman to multinational conglomerate. AND prior to his, he had a record - for the most expensive item of pop memorabilia, after buying John Lennon's Rolls Royce for $2.2 million! He later gifted the car to a museum in Canada

iamparky3 karma

Back in the day, Norris and Ross McWherter would appear on TV in a segment where they'd answer, from memory, any question about the records listed in the book.

How's your memory? Will you resume the tradition?

GWRecords2 karma

I remember it well - "Norris On The Spot" - as part of Record Breakers! I've been challenged a few times on TV and radio with random questions from the book, but these days, we have WAY more records in the system, as we've been adding to them over the years. Go on, try me and I promise not to look it up!

Additional_Music9203 karma

What does it take to create a new world record and is there one for Violin playing or Tap Dancing?

GWRecords8 karma

Sorry, answer got mangled... The longest violin marathon by an individual is 36:00:20 hours, and was achieved by Viswanath M S (India), in Kochi, India, from 1-2 September 2018, while the longest distance tap-danced is 51.49 km (32 miles) in 7 hr 35 min by David Meenan (USA) at Count Basie Track and Field, Red Bank, New Jersey, USA on 8 October 2001.

GWRecords6 karma

I was trying to say that we're always interested in new ideas so register with GWR and tell us all about your idea. There are key criteria to meet - measureable, breakable, provable, etc - so if it qualifies, we'll send rules that you must follow when attempting the record. If you see an existing record you think you can beat, it's free to apply - got plans?!

mybustersword3 karma

I stayed awake for 5 days once. Did I break any records?

GWRecords10 karma

Erm, no. I did longer - the week I was due to hand in my final year course work at uni! We don't really monitor this category for proactive applications, as nothing good will come of it. See my answer to Becky below - this being one of the rare exceptions were we don't accept a record that's dangerous to the person doing it, because it's SO easy to attempt, and our medical experts have said we shouldn't encourage it. Go nap!

Iucidium3 karma

Why do people have to pay you folk to come and get the record verified while you also profit from books etc sold?

GWRecords13 karma

Firstly, you DON'T have to pay to have your record processed - if it's an existing idea that already has a set of rules, you just go into a first-come first-served queue. If you're in a rush, or want an adjudicator, or to use our brand identity in a marketing campaign, or want a team-building session with us, then we charge, as any company would.

We do this because we're a commercial company that needs to make money to survive. So many people think that we're like a government department - I've paid my taxes, I want my record. Yes, we make money selling the book but we have to be realistic - we only introduced fees for companies to discourage them, and to at least cover travel costs, but when we realised that corporations were willing to pay, we'd be daft to turn down the chance to earn. Big global brands, with 7-figure PR budgets, were expecting us to send staff out, have staff processing claims in the office, and use our logo to promote their product for free! Just, no. And as printed books face an ever more challenging retail environment, we need to do what we can to keep the money coming in. How many limited companies can you name that offer their services for free? And as I say, if you want your record processed, we can do it for free - or a small fee of $5 if it's a new idea.

GWRecords2 karma

Ok, I need to go - I've gone past 6pm and I've got a band practise I need to get to. (Got a band contest tomorrow so wish me luck!) Thanks for the questions, and feel free to keep adding - I'll get to as many as I can later. Have a good weekend! C

vawlk1 karma

Why do all the records always have some sort of weird specific qualifier now?

Like a world record for a person who has the most unique pringles cans?!?!

these aren't even achievements anymore.

Most watermelons self chopped on your stomach? What kind of record is that? What if I chop it on my leg instead? Is that a new record category?

GWRecords2 karma

They don't - we monitor about 40,000 record titles, of which a small percentage might be considered odd or unusual. But when we track our website stats, what do we see? Everyone searching for the more unusual aspects. The Sports chapter of the book is typically the largest section, and this is all federated sports. Records in the Natural World chapters, and Space/Universe chapters, the Modern Society, etc, etc, are largely supplied by academics or institutions who study such things. ONE chapter, which we call variously Recordology or Recordmania or more prosaically Human Achievements, has all the kinds of stuff that only GWR monitors, and the Human Body chapter is a mix of claimed records, reportage and academic submissions. Just because we have a collector of Pringles cans doesn't mean we can't have Usain Bolt. It's what the media wants most from us, and is the most popular stuff according to our web and social traffic. Also, we've been doing this stuff from Edition #1 in 1955 (rocking-chair marathons, pole-squatting, pipe-smoking, fasting, unfettered eating... all in the first book).

TheMentalist100 karma

Are you a member of the r/Sondheim subreddit yet?

GWRecords4 karma

Ha, one of my favourite things, to quote another! I'm not sure I am but I'll check it out! BIG Sondheimite - just back from an amazing trip to New York to see the Sondheim Trifecta that's currently gracing the city. And of course, a record holder in his own right - most Tony Awards by a composer - which is why I got to know Steve in the first place. Was really lucky to have spend a little bit of time with him, in my capacity as Chair of The Stephen Sondheim Society. His loss was so heartbreaking but what an amazing legacy...

RexxGunn0 karma

How many more world records are you going to allow Natalya Newhart to aquire, and have you met her and her assistant Bob?

GWRecords5 karma

I've never met Natalya - are you a fan?! WWE wrestler, right? I'm lucky to have a sports editor who I defer all sports applications to, as it's one area that I don't feel qualified to cover personally. SHOULD we keep awarding her?!