An ATM In Pakistan Holds This Bizarre World Record

The Guinness Book of World Records has been inspiring and entertaining people since its first publication in 1955, according to its official web site. It came to be after its founder Sir Hugh Beaver, then managing director of the Guinness Brewery, attended a hunting party at which members wondered about the identity of the fastest game bird in Europe but couldn't find a reference book that held the answer. Today most friendly arguments that arise among friends at gatherings can be quickly solved by anyone pulling out a smart phone. It's likely Sir Beaver had no idea the sorts of world records that his almanac would eventually document and celebrate when he set out to create a resource that would "settle pub arguments" as well as bring in a little publicity for the Guinness brand. 

There's seemingly a world record for just about any imaginable achievement, great or small, including longest group hug and most eggs cracked with one hand in one minute. It's not just people that can hold records, though, and when the National Bank of Pakistan installed an automatic teller machine, or ATM, at the Khunjerab Pass in Pakistan at the Pakistan-China border, they became proud world record holders.

The world's highest ATM is real and it's here

According to an October 2017 press release from the National Bank of Pakistan, or NBP, they installed the ATM at a dizzying 16,007 feet above sea level, making it the highest ATM on Earth. (The Guinness World Records website has the official height recorded as 15,396 feet.) Bank president Saeed Ahmed spoke at the ATM's unveiling, announcing, "We are very proud to have won this well recognized international title for installing the world's highest altitude ATM. ... This title reaffirms the strength and uniqueness of the technologies that have made NBP as the undisputed leader in ATMs around the country." Sir Hugh Beaver wouldn't be familiar with the concept of an ATM, but he was very familiar with the concept of stunt publicity and it's likely he'd appreciate the National Bank of Pakistan using the installation of a record-breaking ATM to bring attention to its banking services, just as the Guinness company used the Book of World Records and its usefulness in solving arguments that arise in social situations to publicize itself. 

Furthermore, this record is the bank's second entry in the Book of World Records. In 2009, NBP was recognized for planting over 500,000 mangrove saplings in one day at Keti Bandar, a port in Pakistan's Thatta District. Unfortunately, this record has since been crushed by Governor Lray Villafuerte and the people of San Rafael in the Philippines, who planted over 1 million mangrove trees in one hour in March 2012, per the Guinness World Records website.

The long and impressive Karakoram Highway

According to Dangerous Roads, Khunjerab Pass is the highest border crossing location in the world at 15,439 feet above sea level. It's generally closed between November 30 and May 1 due to the amount of snow dropped on the region each year. The Khunjerab Pass is part of the Karakoram Highway, which was completed in 1979 and is 810 miles long. Per The Express Tribune, the highway is also referred to as the Friendship Highway, as the construction was a joint project between Pakistan and China, as well as Highway 35. Construction began in 1959 and continued for the next 20 years. 

The Express Tribune notes that in the course of building the massive project, 567 members of the military and 246 civilians were killed from accidents, including landslides and falls, while another 980 people were injured. Per the Belt and Road Initiative, 810 Pakistani workers and 200 Chinese workers died during construction. In 2013, officials in China and Pakistan established a joint committee to oversee a massive project upgrading the highway. The road's altitude and narrowness as well as its many curves make it risky for travelers.