The Story Of The Man Who Broke Records For Balancing A Car On His Head

At some point the human drive to develop unmatched skills and abilities, and to earn recognition and fame, goes from impressive to absurd. For instance, what's the Guinness World Record for longest distance dragged by a horse while on fire? The answer: 1,640.42 feet. Do you think you could shatter more than 46 wood toilet seats with your head in under one minute (via Mental Floss)? At the very least, could you pass 36 pinky pull-ups (via Buzzfeed)?

Feats involving head balancing are especially fascinating. David Rush of Idaho balanced a chainsaw on his head for 31 minutes and 25 seconds, according to UPI. Giang Quoc Nghiep and Giang Quoc Co of Vietnam climbed 100 stairs while forming a vertical head-to-head tower (via Guinness World Records). But on May 24, 1999, a British man named John Evans lowered a car onto his head at The London Studios, and set a record that still stands today.

Thirty-three seconds of raw neck power

As a lad in Derbyshire, England, John Evans discovered he had a talent while working construction. "I was about 17, 18. I used to carry bricks on my head on a board ... taking 24 bricks on my head up ladders," he told Reuters. He continued this practice into his 40s, until he found himself balancing bricks as a stunt at a charity event. The wide attention this garnered sparked a career balancing objects on his dome, raising money for charity, and setting scores of world records. Evans has balanced refrigerators, cement mixers, kegs, and more.

Admittedly, the car he placed on his skull in 1999 was a gutted Mini. It wasn't a 3,000-pound sedan or anything. Still, the Mini weighed 352 pounds, a radically dangerous weight that set a record that's remained for over two decades (via Guinness World Records). Evans held the car up for 33 seconds. He would go on to perform the same stunt in places like the U.S., China, and France. The strongman admits that if anything "had gone wrong, it would have killed me" (via Reuters).

Spicing up Christmas

John Evans is now 75 years old and has set 100 world records, according to the BBC. To celebrate both his most recent birthday and reaching triple-digit records, he balanced a 187-pound crown. ​​"I don't want to slow down," he said. Not only is he still doing his stunts as a senior citizen, he's performing in defiance of his diabetes, asthma, angina, and single-eye vision (via Reuters). Evans is a marvel. As Dean Gould, president of Record Holders Republic, put it, "He's got one of the strongest necks in the world."

Evans has also greatly enjoyed incorporating the holidays into his balancing acts. Last Christmas he put an eight-foot chimney on his head while wearing a Santa suit (via UPI). Like the crown, he built the chimney himself. He added in a few smoke grenades for extra effect. Earlier, he balanced a Christmas tree full of ornaments on Britain's ITV television show "This Morning" (via Daily Mail), to the amazement of younger, unfamiliar viewers.