Amazing, exotic, and just plain strange – the Guinness World Records book 2013

Since first being published in 1955, the Guinness World Records book has sold over 120 million copies to date in over 100 countries, but it’s not resting on its laurels. The newly-released 2013 edition comes packed with 3D technology, info-graphics and over 3,000 mind-blowing records; ranging from the amazing (oldest couple to run a marathon, at 83 and 78); to the costly (most expensive toilet, Nasa’s Endeavour, $23.4 million); to the downright weird (most watermelons smashed with a head in one minute).

We caught up with the Australia/NZ representative of Guinness World Records, Chris Sheedy, about the book and what it takes to be a record-holder. In addition to looking after all the PR and media for the region, Chris is also the official adjudicator, and attends any major record-making or breaking events that take place. When Australia took the prize for the biggest toga party and longest bikini parade, Chris was there. “I did adjudicate the biggest toga party and I personally counted the ladies in the largest bikini parade – they were both wonderful events.”

Less wonderful, but certainly as interesting are some of the odder events he has attended. “There’s an element of strangeness to most events I attend, but the record for most watermelons smashed with the head (which was broken in Chinchilla, Queensland, a few years ago) stands out as one of the more memorable. Having said that, a lot of the things we adults take seriously are pretty strange, too. Butterfly swimming, dressage… Guinness World Records celebrates the imagination of children, and to kids everything is wonderful and of equal importance.”

His personal favorite record is to witness so far was in 2008, standing on the landing ramp at Calder Park Raceway as Robbie Maddison landed the world’s longest motorcycle jump, at a distance of 106.9 metres. “It’s such a classic record – I had goosebumps.”

The 2013 book isn’t just about documenting exciting new events and records, it’s also expected to set some. “Our readership, and the book industry to an extent, expects us to lead the way when it comes to technology, and to books becoming more interactive. We constantly use technology to make the records more accessible, understandable and exciting.”

This year’s Guinness World Records book is pushing the boundaries of interaction and text, with new 3D technology, augmented reality, and the digital bonus chapter, Chris explains. “Download an simple app then point it at specific pages in the book and see the book come alive. For example, on one page the world’s biggest spider climbs out of the page, on another the world’s shortest man wanders around the page. It’s wonderful and amazing and slightly unsettling all at once!”

The 2013 book is a fascinating read, and after a few pages it’s hard not to start imagining ways to get your own name into the book. Chris isn’t immune to the appeal of setting a record. “During my first week 13 years ago I found a record I knew I could break – most grapes eaten with a teaspoon in 60 seconds. I set it up one lunchtime and no sooner had I started than the Keeper Of The Records came up and shut it down. I was told, in no uncertain terms, that GWR staff are never involved in the breaking of a record.”

If you’d like to see your own name in the book, through breaking a current record or inventing and setting a brand new one, Chris’s advice is be prepared. “Apply as soon as possible through Guinesss World Records website. It’s quick, easy and free (costs can be involved if you require a corporate adjudication) and it means the guidelines for the specific record will be sent out to you so you can follow the rules. After that, train with great passion and enjoy becoming the best in the world at whatever it is you’re attempting!”

Guinness Book of Records released for 2013

It’s that time of the year again! Guinness World Records 2013 edition will be launched globally tomorrow, Thursday September 13.

Buy the book here…

Guinness World Records, the global authority on record-breaking achievement, will unveil its brand new 2013 edition of the famous Guinness World Records book in a global launch on September 13, 2012, with a variety of new features and records.

The latest edition of the world’s best-selling copyright book, which was first published in 1955 and has sold over 120 million copies to date in over 100 countries, features:

  • Stunning New Record Holders – The book presents an incredible array of never-before-seen record holders, including the world’s Tallest Dog (111cm at shoulders, 223cm standing on hind legs), Largest Biceps (64.77cm each), and Oldest Gymnast (86 years young). In addition it covers the all the superlatives achieved in Entertainment, Sport, Science & Engineering, Space and beyond!
  • Augmented Reality (AR)— Simply point your mobile device (Android, iPhone, iPad) to an AR-marked record on the page and it will come to life in a glorious 3D animation. Records include the Largest Shark, Shortest Man, Heaviest Spider and Smallest Helicopter
  • Infographics – A strip running down or across every page featuring illustrations of stats, facts and trivia, designed to engage the reader in a simple, friendly way, perfect for reluctant readers! The infographics contain cool information that’s easy to digest and that adds even more value to the book.
  • The World Tour – A new chapter of the book allows you to explore our amazing planet, taking in recordbreaking sites, attractions and places of interest. Behold the world’s Most Expensive Hotel Room in Switzerland; marvel at the Most Expensive Elephant Painting in Thailand; and admire the world’s Largest Sandstone Monolith in Australia.
  • The Digital Bonus Chapter – The book will allow you to unlock an extra chapter exclusively available online. For the first time ever you’ll get to see how the book is created; go behind the scenes at the GWR offices and meet the team behind the best-selling copyright book of all time. The bonus chapter will also update you on all the records broken at the London 2012 Games.

Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief, Craig Glenday, said: “This year, we’ve been inspired by the themes of exploration and discovery – and by the outermost extremes of record breaking. The result is an unrivalled collection of world-record facts and feats that paints a picture of life on Earth and beyond. We’re also very excited to have a new augmented reality feature which really brings the book to life.”

In the last 12 months, Guinness World Records received 2,003 record applications from Australia. Of these, just 60 made it through their rigorous ratification process, ranging from the longest time suspended by the hair (23 min 19 sec) and the largest toga party (3,700 participants) – both in Brisbane, Queensland – to the most cappuccinos made in one hour (208) in Sydney and the largest coin, with a diameter of 80 cm, in the Perth Mint.

A must-have for knowledge-seekers and aspiring record-breakers of all ages, Guinness World Records 2013 Edition is available on the September 13th 2012.

More astonishing records featured in Guinness World Records 2013 include:

Largest Cave
Hang Son Doong (“Mountain River Cave”) is around 200 m high, 150 m wide and at least 6.5 km long. Located in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province, Vietnam, this gigantic cave might be even larger than first thought, as it had not been completely surveyed as of February 2012.

Most Siblings Born on the Same Day
There are only five verified examples of a mother producing two sets of twins with the same birthdays in different years.  The most recent case is that of Tracey Bageban (UK), who gave birth to Armani Jafar and Diego Mohamed on 27 February 2008 and Elisia Christina and Dolcie Falimeh three years later on 27 February 2011.

Largest Toga Party
The largest toga party consisted of 3,700 participants in an event organised by UQU (University of Queensland Union) and QUT (Queensland University of Technology) Guild, at Riverstage (Australia) in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia on 24 February 2012

Longest Bikini Parade
On 2 October 2011, a long line of Australian ladies set a new world record for the largest bikini parade. 357 participants took part in the Surfers Paradise event, which was organised by The Gold Coast Bulletin (Australia) newspaper.

Most Conquests of Mount Everest
Apa Sherpa (Nepal) reached the summit of Mt Everest for the 21st time on 11 May 2011, the most times anyone has ever successfully climbed the world’s highest mountain.

Largest School
The largest school in terms of pupils is the City Montessori School in Lucknow, India, which had a record enrolment of 39,437 pupils on 9 August 2010 for the 2010-2011 academic year.

Most Expensive Toilet
When the space shuttle Endeavour launched into orbit on 13 January 1993 it carried a new unisex toilet facility. Housed on the shuttle’s mid deck, the $23.4 million facility was described by NASA as a ‘complete sewage collection and treatment plant…contained in a space one half the size of a telephone booth’.

Longest Time Suspended by the Hair
The longest time suspended by the hair is 23 minutes and 19 seconds and was achieved by Suthakaran Sivagnanathurai (Australia) at Uniting Church Hall, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia on 18 December 2011.

Most Dangerous Road
North Yungas Road that runs for 69 km from La Paz to Coroico in Bolivia, takes up to 300 lives annually – 4.3 per km. The single lane mud road (with two-way traffic) has an un-barricaded vertical drop, measuring 4,700 m at its highest, which becomes even more deadly during the rainy season!

Highest Weekly Gross For A One-Man Show on Broadway
Hugh Jackman (Australia) grossed $2,057,354 during the holiday week 27 December 2011–1 January 2012, performing Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theater in New York City, USA. Jackman also took the record for the most money raised for a charity by a Broadway show: $1,789,580 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

About Guinness World Records

Guinness World Records (GWR) is the global authority on record-breaking achievements. First published in 1955, the annual Guinness World Records™ book has become one of the biggest-selling copyright titles of all time, selling 120 million copies to date in 22 languages and in more than 100 countries. The internationally renowned brand is now also available across a number of platforms – GWR’s global television shows are watched by 250 million viewers annually; digital media and online record-processing services attract more than 50 million visitors a year; and the live events team annually entertains and inspires 1.5 million people around the world. GWR receives more than 1,000 applications each week and has a specialized team of multi-language record managers and adjudicators who travel the globe to verify official record attempts. GWR also has a commercial division (Guinness World Records Corporate) that offers accessible record-breaking business solutions to other organizations and brands.