Hi redditors, welcome to Guinness World Records' very first AMA!

This week Tuesday-Thursday we have a number of world record holders visiting us for the launch of our 2013 book (preview pages), including:

Post a question below (along with who it's for - either one of the record holders above, or GWR in general), and we'll get answers to as many of your best questions as possible.

UPDATE: 13/09/12, 16:50 GMT - I've posted all the answers from record holders now, and have updated OP with record holder details and picture links - thanks for all your great questions!

Unless otherwise credited, replies are from me, Dan - I am Community Manager here at Guinness World Records, based in our London, UK office. Credited replies are from the record holders themselves, from interviews with them using your questions earlier this week. As such this is not a "live" AMA, potential for follow-up questions is limited I'm afraid.

In addition, if there are any record holders or GWR staff (e.g. one of our adjudicators, our editor-in-chief) you'd like to ask questions in the future, please leave your suggestions and we'll see what we can do.

Proof: tweet

Comments: 285 • Responses: 28  • Date: 

Roger_Dorn91 karma

Man with the largest biceps -

Do you feel like you biceps get in the way in your everyday life?

Also, do you find that girls like biceps that big?

MlSTERFlSTER698 karma

He's done several documentaries. Don't remember which one it's from (maybe Bigger Faster Stronger), but I remember him saying that women are grossed out by his biceps, and so is he. But he has a drive to keep growing them.

ZachGates9 karma

If you're talking about Greg Valentino ("The Man Whose Arms Exploded"), then I'm not sure he's the record holder here. A guy named Dennis Sester was in a book I had a couple years back as having 30" arms, and Greg V's topped out around 27 or 28.

I could also go into the "how" here, but I know ol' Greg has made that argument more times than he'd care to...

gwr_dan6 karma

Correct, this is a new record holder.

gwr_dan2 karma

Mo - The size of my arms doesn't restrict my movement at all - I can scratch my back, etc, just fine. Short-sleeved shirts are fine, though I need some help getting them on and off. Long-sleeved shirts are a big problem - I had to have a tuxedo custom-made for my wedding, they built the shirt right onto me.

Do girls like arms this big? - Well, my wife loves my arms, she's gotten very used to the way I look - she thinks skinny (normal) guys are the unnatural ones now!

D_Knight826 karma

World's shortest woman;

How do you get around? Do you have family/friends walk with you or is there another way you get to where you need to go?

gwr_dan3 karma

Jyoti - I never travel alone, there is always someone else with me, usually my sister. I can't walk very far or fast and get tired quickly, so she carries me.

MoldyBiscuit23 karma

To GWR staff - How do you guys find these record holders, especially those with astounding physical appearances, do they reveal themselves to you or is there's an effort to go every corners of the world to look for them?

gwr_dan4 karma

New record holders are "discovered" and then recognised in a number of ways. Many apply via our website after a friend/family member comments e.g. "you've got a really long tongue!" or similar. Others we actively seek out (we have a full-time talent researcher).

D_Knight822 karma

Creator of heaviest rideable bicycle;

Was it your intention to make this a World Record or did you just make the bike and were later recognized for it?

gwr_dan3 karma

Wouter - There was no world record intention when I built the bike, it just turned out that way! I've always been fascinated by mechanics and building things. The bike was a part of my final exam exhibition for art school - I wanted to make something big, and this was it. A lot of artists start with a concept and then find the medium that will work to express it, I was offered a giant tire one day and thought, "what can I make out of this?"

mewseymewbobble9 karma

To the world's shortest woman:

What was it like as a child/teenager? How did people treat you before and after being in the Guiness World Records?


What provoked you guys to make one of the most well-known series of books?

gwr_dan3 karma

You have Sir Hugh Beaver (at the time MD of the Guinness breweries) to thank for the book - there's more detail on our Wikipedia entry, but in short, he wanted to create a book to settle arguments about superlatives. Over 50 years later, and it's proven quite popular!

gwr_dan2 karma

Jyoti - When I was younger I was very afraid to go out, to school, or to meet new people, because of how they might judge me. But my parents told me, "you must face the world". After I turned 7 I started to get media attention for my small size, and helped my confidence a lot to be recognised in such a positive way. Since getting the world record, I've really been able to turn my small size into an advantage!

justforthisjoke7 karma

Best AMA ever.

gwr_dan2 karma

Hey, thanks! Assuming you folks enjoy this one, we can certainly do others in the future.

DaniL_155 karma

Heaviest Sportswoman: What sport do you play and how exactly do they define a 'sportswoman'?

gwr_dan3 karma

Sharran is a sumo wrestler, the only female recognised by the British Sumo Federation.

[deleted]5 karma


gwr_dan3 karma

Coming on Thursday. :)

D_Knight83 karma

Man who can juggle the most objects;

What's the heaviest object you got to juggle? What's the most dangerous?

gwr_dan3 karma

Alex - Sorry I’m a little boring in that respect – I only really juggle balls, rings and clubs so you might want to look up ‘The Space Cowboy’ who’s also in the book. I’m really only interested in pushing the technical and physical limits of ball juggling in particular and that requires quite light, small and under filled bean bags. The difficulty in my record lies in the speed and height you have to throw for 11 or 13 rather than the weight of the props.

[deleted]3 karma


gwr_dan3 karma

Alex (most objects juggled) - I’m a student at the moment and I hope to study the physical sciences and mathematics at university next year. I never perform as my style of juggling (dropping on almost every attempt) doesn’t really suit it very well but I did earn some money filming an advert for Virgin Media earlier in the year. That was great fun and it’s always nice to have your juggling filmed professionally as opposed to my normal approach of propping the camera up with a bean bag or two.

gwr_dan2 karma

Mo (largest arms) - I used to work as the assistant manager of a gas station, but I quit that job right before I came out here to London. I'd like to move on to something else, to use the talent I have to make a living.

gwr_dan2 karma

Wouter (heaviest bike) - I graduated from art school 2 years ago, and now I work in a forklift company analysing parts. Still up to my elbows in grease.

skarface62 karma

Tell some stories? Preferably funny ones, please.

gwr_dan3 karma

Jyoti - My sister is always taking my phone off me and replying to texts and making phone calls pretending to me as a prank, especially to boys - they are then very surprised when they see me (again)!

gwr_dan3 karma

Wouter (heaviest bike) - Some teachers at art school said I would never be able to ride the bike, that it would just be nice to look at - which only made me more determined to make it work, and I did! Also, I think it's pretty funny that my very simple YouTube video of me riding the bike has had 6 million views - how did that happen?

gwr_dan2 karma

Mo (largest arms) - Coming back from a break, I caught someone trying to steal candy and such from the gas station I worked at. After I pinned him down on the ground, he was begging for someone to call the cops - I think he thought I was going to really hurt him!

Another time, I was play-wrestling with my father (ex Eygptian national wrestling team member) and we fell on a bed and broke it. My mother was furious and told us both off.

bbq_doritos2 karma

Are the two fat guys on motorcycles there. I don't have a question or even want to talk to them. I just think they're funny.

gwr_dan5 karma

Do you mean the McGuire Twins (pic)? They're deceased I'm afraid.

Naturallife2 karma

GWR, what is the oldest record yet to be beaten?

gwr_dan3 karma

Ignoring natural world records (e.g. Mount Everest), we consider this pole-sitting feat to be the longest-standing record we hold:

The record for the longest time someone has remained on top of a pole belongs to the monk, St Simeon the Stylite (c. AD 386-459), who spent approximately 39 years on a stone pillar on the Hill of Wonders, near Aleppo, Syria.

[deleted]2 karma


gwr_dan2 karma

Jyoti - I attended an election rally once, and thought that i too could do something for the people, but bigger and better - Now I am known, I would like to use my being famous to do good things. Yes, people sometimes people do treat me like a child. They touch my face or hair without asking, which is very frustrating and annoys me. Then sometimes they don't believe me when I say I am an adult.

[deleted]2 karma

Juggling guy (Anthony Gatto?)

  • Can you try to break down how many years it took to learn each additional ball?

  • What's your favorite juggling trick that you can do?

  • What are you working on now?

  • Can you tell me a good busking story?

  • Who's your favorite juggler?

  • You know how people can't really appreciate what it takes to juggle 5 balls or 6 or 7..... because it all seems impossible to non-jugglers? Can you tell me what it feels like to be able to flash 13 or juggle 12 (I think those are your stats) and how much your effort is appreciated?

  • How do you practice? Sitting? Standing? Do you bend over to pick up balls or pick them up with your feet?

  • Finally, if you would be so kind, how does a person hold 6 balls in one hand and how do you manage to throw them one-at-a-time.

Thank you. You rock, of course. It took me a few minutes to learn 3 balls, a week to learn 4, 7 years to learn 5, and now I anticipate spending the rest of my life on 6 or possibly 7. Any advice?

gwr_dan2 karma

Alex - If I just go by the time taken to qualify (twice as many catches as balls) it’s something like this: 3 - a few minutes
4 - a few days (but it was 6 months until I tried it from 3) 5 - a few weeks later 6 - a month or so later 7 - around the same time as 6 8 - about 6 months later 9 - about a year later 10 - after about 4 years 11 - almost 6 years after learning 3

What does it feel like to juggle 11, 12 and 13 balls? - It’s a truly awesome feeling. The first few times you get the pattern going it’s just incredible and very exciting. Your arms are going far too fast for you to be thinking about each individual throw so it becomes this messy (at first) beast which you’re desperately trying to control. Even with the highest numbers I’m still correcting the entire time and looking to see if I need to move my feet but at that stage it’s all completely subconscious. Even though it only lasts a few seconds there still seems to be plenty of time to get nervous and if it’s a good run I’ll definitely be thinking ‘don’t drop’ as the balls begin to come down.

How do you hold six or seven balls in one hand? - With great difficulty but the secret is to use small (about 2.25 inch), saggy bean bags which you can squish into your hand. I’ll then leave the last one balancing on top and use my thumb to control it. Releasing the balls one by one just seems to be practice and it does become easier.

gwr_dan2 karma

Alex - Numbers juggling requires a huge amount of patience, persistence and determination and I think that is more important than any general advice about the pattern. For the higher numbers being physically fit is also crucial. I think one of the reasons I managed the records was that I was able to practice 11 or even 13 for hours without completely destroying myself. I was also willing to devote almost all of my practice to this one area of juggling which, in itself, isn’t at all useful for performing. That’s probably the main reason why no performing juggler has done it.

infinityislikehuge2 karma

Man with the largest biceps:

Wanna arm wrestle?

gwr_dan2 karma

Mo - I've arm-wrestled seriously before, but injured my elbow doing so. You can really hurt yourself doing it, so it's not for me.

UJC832 karma

All participants: What will you do to prevent your record from being broken?

gwr_dan2 karma

Alex (most objects juggled) - Good question. At the moment it seems unlikely someone will qualify 12 or flash 14 in the near future but there are some extremely talented younger guys coming through so I have to try and keep up my practice! I definitely believe each of those feats will be accomplished at some point. Whether or not I’ll be able to manage them I’m don’t know, but I guess they are now my ultimate goals in juggling.

geecue2 karma

With the exception of the shortest woman, did any of you purposefully seek to become a Guinness World Record holder? Or did your happen to enter on a whim out of curiosity? And why?

gwr_dan2 karma

Alex (most objects juggled) - It wasn’t a goal when I first started but pretty soon I began thinking about breaking some more minor juggling records, usually beginning with ‘Youngest person to…’. 2010 was when I started practicing 11 properly and when the ‘Most balls juggled record’ came into my sights. After that it was most definitely not on a whim and for two years I went through countless hours of frustration trying to break it. It was an amazing feeling when I finally succeeded.

tswpoker11 karma

Dear Guiness, what is the longest consecutive series of table tennis recorded between two players?? I have researched this in the past and could not find any information. My roomate and I are interested in breaking/setting this record so any information would be appreciated.

gwr_dan3 karma

Here's the current record text for you:

The longest table tennis rally was played by Brian and Steve Seibel (USA) for 8 hr 15 min 1 sec at the Christown YMCA, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, on 14 August 2004.

seaofblasphemy1 karma

will singer-songwriter kristian matsson (aka THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH) make an appearance here?

gwr_dan2 karma

No... but I think Sultan Kosen at 251 cm (8 ft 3 in) tall might have something to say about that claim!

Zaydene1 karma

GWR Staff: When are you going to release ebook versions?

gwr_dan2 karma

We do already produce a number of ebook formats - which device/format are you interested in?