The Most Bizarre Things People Hold World Records For

Forget longest fingernails, fastest 100-meter sprint, and deepest scuba dive — those are all incredible feats (except maybe for the fingernails thing, that's just gross), but they don't really compare to some of the truly bizarre things people will do in the name of being a world record holder. Some of these incredible feats of weirdness, cringe-worthiness, and just plain stupidity seem to have been designed specifically for the Guinness Book of World Records — we can't really fathom, for example, that people are constantly competing to overturn the world record for "Most drink cans crushed by hand while holding an egg in 30 seconds," but what do we know?

Here are some of the most bizarre world records currently on the books, just in case you decide someday that you'd like to achieve fame and fortune in the stupidest or weirdest way possible. And if not, you can always dream up something wacky that no one's ever tried before. How about "Fastest mile on a pogo stick while juggling?" Oh wait, someone already did that. Too slow.

Fastest flipper run

Funnily enough, someone actually tried to combine fastest sprint and deepest scuba dive into one incredibly oddball feat of looking really awkward while running. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, in March 2000, Christophe Bertaux ran 20 meters in 3.5 seconds while wearing "standard scuba-diving flippers." So it was sort of running, sort of diving (if you subtract the oxygen tank, the water, and the swimming). Now, it'd be great to have something to compare this to so you'd have an idea how the fastest un-flippered 20 meters compares to the fastest flippered 20 meters, but Guinness doesn't seem to have made note of that particular piece of information. It may interest you to know, though, that the fastest flipper run was 5.01 seconds faster than the fastest 20 meters while carrying a 300 kg barbell, and 16.91 seconds faster than the fastest 20-meter bum scoot.

Most spoons on body

Because putting spoons all over your body is something that ordinary humans often do when bored, someone decided to go for the world record because ... of something. But incredibly, this doesn't seem to be just one of those records someone with an excess of silverware dreamed up one night while on a drunken bender — the current record holder actually broke someone else's 2011 record. The first record holder, a kickboxing trainer named Etibar Elchyev, claimed he was able to attach 53 spoons to his chest because his body had magnetic properties. (If you have magnetic superpowers and you can kickbox, why aren't you wearing a cape and fighting crime instead of setting pointless world records with silverware?) According to Guinness, in 2016 Dalibor Jablanovic decided he was totally going to one-up Magneto and put 79 spoons all over his body, and now that's the record.

Largest gathering of people dressed like Mohandas Gandhi

This one is still sort of weird and funny, but there's at least a modicum of sense to it. According to Aww News, in 2015 more than 4,600 Indian schoolkids got together to celebrate the 147th birthday of Mohandas Gandhi and also to break a world record. And there's plenty to be said for uniting kids and giving them all a common goal, even if it's kind of a silly one.

The kids dressed in Gandhi's traditional shawl and wore bald caps, glasses, and fake mustaches, which was surely adorable. They weren't the first group of kids to make or break this particular record, either — it was first set by a group of 486 kids in 2012 and was broken in 2013 by a group of 2,955. And since Gandhi impersonation en masse appears to be kind of a thing for Indian schoolkids, it's a pretty safe bet this new record isn't going to stand very long.

Longest ear hair

We've established that "longest fingernails" is kind of a gross record. You might wonder how someone goes about daily life with two handfuls of foot-long fingernails. But if that wasn't gross enough for you, here's another one: According to Guinness, in 2007 an Indian man named Victor Anthony set the record for "longest ear hair." Now, you can just imagine what goes on prior to someone deciding to go for the world record for "most disgusting-ever thing that other people frequently tell you is disgusting and generally agree ought to be taken care of with a simple trimming device."

"Honey, your ear hair is getting a little long. Maybe you should trim it."

"Stop nagging me."

Fast-forward 25 years: world's longest ear hair.

Anthony worked as a headmaster but is now retired, although evidently long ear hair has always been kind of a thing for him. His students used to call him the "ear-haired teacher," which is not terribly creative, but points for accuracy.

Farthest squirting of milk from the eye

Let's move on now from super-gross to cringe-worthy, with a world record that could truly have only been conceived while considering your entire skill set and realizing that you really don't have much to offer the world in the way of accomplishments. According to UPI, in 2001 Canadian Mike Moraal set the bar for farthest squirting of milk from the eye at an astonishing 8.745 feet. Then, in 2004, after "squirting stuff out of his eye for years," Turkish construction worker Ilker Yilmaz learned that "farthest squirting of milk from the eye" was actually a record (you were probably pretty shocked, too) and saw a golden opportunity. The new record: 9 feet 2 inches.

So how exactly does one squirt milk or other liquids out of one's eye? According to the Huffington Post, it's totally easy, but you totally should not do it. Evidently there's a duct between the eyes and the nose, so if you snort liquid up your nose and then hold it there to build up some pressure, the liquid will eventually exit through your eye. Biologist Carin Bondar explained the process and also warned that squirting milk out your eye can mess up your tear ducts, so don't. But her sage advice probably isn't going to do much to deter would-be record breakers, because really, what are functioning tear ducts compared to getting your name printed in a book?

Most drink cans crushed by hand while holding an egg in 30 seconds

Smashing cinder blocks with your head? That's so yesterday. A real martial arts champion has to find new and interesting things to crush with random body parts.

According to Food and Wine, in 2017 Pakistani martial artist Muhammad Rashid decided to teach a bunch of beer cans a lesson by beating them to death with his fist. Now on its own, that's actually kind of boring because any martial artist worth his sash could do that, and also most drunk guys. But here's the trick: He had to smash as many (full) beer cans as possible in 30 seconds while also holding an egg in his smashing hand. When the clock stopped, the egg had to be completely intact. Most drunk guys probably could not do that. Rashid's record was 29 — nearly one per second, which is pretty danged impressive.

The thing is, this particular feat sounds original until you realize that it's not — film star Jackie Chan once performed the same basic stunt, except with concrete instead of beer cans, which is way more badass. Of course we're talking about a dude who's known for sliding down a 21-story skyscraper without a safety harness and crawling backward over hot coals, which is a pretty tough act to follow. Still, beer cans? Diet Pepsi would have at least been less smelly.

Most toilet seats broken over the head in one minute

Whether you're Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan, nothing gets your morning started like a trip to the toilet, followed by breaking the toilet over your head. Because breaking things over heads is what great martial artists do.

Fitness instructor Kevin Shelley managed to break 46 toilet seats over his head in one minute, which is probably pretty badass in principle but really doesn't seem that badass when you picture it. It's sort of like if you went on a bear hunt with your crossbow and came back with a squirrel. Sure, you still shot something with your crossbow, but it was a squirrel.

Shelley broke the previous record of 42 toilet seats broken over the head in one minute, which is pretty crazy when you consider that what that really means is that there are other people in the world who like to break toilet seats over their heads.

Weirdly, Shelley also thought it was important to tell the New York Post that he's a member of MENSA and has an IQ of 148, which is sort of a baffling thing to throw into a conversation about breaking things with your head, unless he was assuring folks that all those toilet seats hadn't loosened any marbles. But the fact remains: If you're going to break something over your head, it should be something really cool, like a boulder or Iron Man's arm. It should not be the thing that people sit on while pooping.

Largest human mattress dominoes

Whoever dreamed up this one gets credit for innovation and extra credit for safety. In this stunt, people line up on mattresses and topple over backward, hitting other people, who also fall over backward, hence the whole "dominoes" thing. So participants get to be a part of a record-breaking stunt that includes the most beloved element of any record-breaking stunt (the potential for great personal injury), only there's a mattress between each record-breaker and the hard, concrete floor.

According to Guinness, the stunt was set up by two Chinese bedding brands called Stylution Int'l and Ayd Group, and the total number of participants was 2,016. That nearly doubled the previous record (yes, there was one) of 1,200, which was set just four months prior in Maryland. After the stunt the mattresses were presumably unsaleable, so 300 of them were donated to a local charity. No word on what happened to the other 1,716, but it's China, so you're probably sleeping on one of them. 

Incidentally, this is not the only human domino record on the books — there's also a record for human dominoes without mattresses: 10,267 people achieved that one in China back in 2010. Hopefully they at least had the good sense to find some good, soft, ground, otherwise ouch.

Most T-shirts removed while heading a football

Some of these records really make you think. They make you think things like, "What totally random feat could I dream up that would get me into the Guinness Book of World Records?" Because it seems like Guinness will consider just about anything as long as it's visually impressive and verifiable.

In 2009, Brazilian Marcelo Ribeiro de Silva set the record for "Most T-shirts removed while heading a football." (Hint: "Football" is not-American for "soccer ball.") He removed 21 T-shirts without dropping the ball, and yeah, that must have been pretty visually impressive especially when you consider the effect wearing 21 T-shirts probably has on your range of motion.

Ribeiro's talents go beyond T-shirt removal — according to Guinness, he's been doing tricks with footballs (soccer balls) for a long time, mostly as a means to support his family. He's also Brazil's "keepy-uppy" champion (that's the art of juggling a soccer ball with your feet, knees, and head)  — he once kept a ball in the air for two hours and 15 minutes, for a total of 15,000 keepy-uppies.

Largest simultaneous self-check for testicular cancer

Time to get straight-faced for a minute. Testicular cancer is a real thing and every guy ought to know how to do a self-check. But not in public because that's just awkward.

Shockingly, the world record for "Largest simultaneous self-check for testicular cancer" was seemingly underreported by the national news media, so some pretty tantalizing details are missing, like did everyone have to self-check while standing in the same room? And what sort of attire was required? And how did they make totally sure everyone was self-checking simultaneously? These are all important questions, and great reporting needs answers.

Sadly, the only real details are in the world record itself, which states that the feat was achieved by 208 participants. Now granted, that's considerably fewer than 2,016 human dominoes or 4,605 kids dressed like Ghandi, but even dressing up like Ghandi is about a million times more glamorous than a testicular cancer self-check, so let's cut these guys a little sack slack.

The event was led by a certified urologist, who could probably fill in all the missing blanks if we knew who he was. Sadly, we'll all have to live the rest of our lives not knowing exactly what 208 guys simultaneously investigating themselves looks like.

Most watermelons chopped on the stomach in one minute

This stunt falls into the "don't try this at home" category, though there's a pretty good argument to be made that the ear hair one belongs in that category, too. Please. In this stunt, a guy lies down on a table with a watermelon on his stomach and the other guy cuts the watermelon cleanly in two with what appears to be a machete. This is a speed record, so the clock gets set at one minute and the first guy has to cut up as many watermelons as he can without actually killing the other guy. Or maybe it's just cut up as many watermelons as you can, regardless of life; Guinness doesn't really clarify. 

But in this version, everyone survived. According to Guinness, the current record holders are Vispi Baji Kasad (the chopper) and Vispy Jimmy Kharadi (the choppee). The number stands at 49, which is pretty ridiculous because that's almost one watermelon per second. You've got to really trust the guy on the other end of the machete if you're going to lie down for this stunt. Or maybe you just really like watermelons and are willing to die for them.

Most live rattlesnakes held in mouth

If you search the Guinness website for "snake," you get a lot of boring hits like "longest snake ever in captivity" and "most snakes milked," the latter of which is at least weird enough to be interesting but isn't exactly thrilling. There's really nothing in the way of viper-related daredevil-type records, which when you think about it probably has a fairly rational explanation. It seems likely that Guinness decided it was best not to encourage people to do stunts that are stupidly dangerous, although evidently chopping up watermelons with a machete on your friend's stomach and/or annihilating one's tear ducts is totally cool.

Happily (or unhappily, depending on whether your luck holds out), Guinness will still give you credit for putting rattlesnakes in your mouth if that's what you're into, although you might not have your accomplishment emblazoned across their homepage or anything. According to Huffington Post, the current record for "most live rattlesnakes held in mouth" belongs to Jackie Bibby, who stuffed the tails of 13 live rattlesnakes into his mouth. In order to achieve the record, he had to hold them there for 10 seconds and he wasn't allowed to get bit. He succeeded, and now other people will almost certainly come along and try to stuff 14 live rattlesnakes into their mouths so they can get their names printed in a book, too. Thank you, Guinness, for making our world a better place.

Most rattlesnakes bathed with

Hey, did you know that rattlesnakes make awesome exfoliating sponges? Sort of like pumice stone, only with fangs and venom? No, in reality, they make terrible exfoliating sponges and they don't do a very good job on your armpits, either, because they're freaking venomous snakes and you aren't supposed to bathe with them.

Remember our friend Jackie Bibby, who put live rattlesnakes in his mouth? This record belongs to him, too — in 2007 he sat in a see-through bathtub for 45 minutes with 87 rattlesnakes, and then he broke that record in 2011 with 123 rattlesnakes. The tub was see-through, we assume, because no one wanted to miss out on all the exfoliating.

Once again, Fox News says the record was certified by Guinness, but you won't find it anywhere on their website. Maybe they have some super-secret version of their world record book that you can buy if you know about it, sort of like ordering off-menu at In-and-Out Burger.

One final note: Happily, this record did not require Bibby to be naked or anything, because that would have added a whole 'nother layer of horror to the stunt.