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Meet FORPHEUS, the World’s First Robot Table Tennis Tutor

An advanced robot developed by Japanese electronics company Omron has recently been certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s first robot table tennis tutor. FORPHEUS (Future Omron Robotics Technology for Exploring Possibility of Harmonized Automation with Sinic Theoretics) used machine learning to asses the skills of a human player, adjust its game accordingly and provide tips to help opponents improve their technique.

Unveiled at the Ceatec electronics show in Japan in 2014, FORPHEUS has come a long way in the last three years, especially after developers made a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. Originally designed to showcase Omron’s sensor technology, the table tennis-playing robot has now become a Guinness-certified tutor thanks to machine learning. It analyzes data like the human player’s movement, the speed of the ball and the trajectory to determine his opponent’s skill level with around 90% accuracy. FORPHEUS then uses this information to adjust its play style – slow and and easy for beginners, faster and more unpredictable for advanced players.

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70-Year-Old Italian Man Holds Guinness Record for Most University Degrees

Luciano Baietti, a retired school headmaster from the town of Velletri, in Italy, holds the Guinness record for the most university degrees. The 70-year-old currently has 15 bachelors or masters degrees from various universities across Italy, and is getting ready to get his 16th.

Getting more than one college degree is not exactly unheard of, but 15 is apparently quite impressive, since it’s only been done by one man. Although he spends his days working around his house and garden, like most people his age, at night, Luciano Baretti turns into a student again. Every morning, at 3 a.m., as most of the world is sleeping, he wakes up, takes out his books and studies by the light of his desk lamp. He claims that studying helps keep his mind active and that every degree he has obtained has helped broaden his knowledge of the world around him. Plus, getting mentioned in the record books is a nice perk too.

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Tombs with a View at the World’s Tallest Vertical Cemetery

With the remains of around 100 billion dead people currently buried or otherwise stored on this planet, it’s no surprise that we’re running out of space for final resting places. The phrase “six feet under” just isn’t sustainable anymore, so architects are now looking to the sky as an alternative to sprawling ground cemeteries. High-rise cemeteries are becoming increasingly popular all over the world, and the Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica, in Santos, Brazil, is the highest of them all.

When Pepe Altstut inaugurated the Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica cemetery, in 1983, it was only a very small building, but the demand for above-ground tombs with a view was so great that he kept expanding until his cemetery became the tallest in the world. Today, it measures 108 meters tall, features 25,000 storing units (tombs, if you will), several wake rooms, crypts, mausoleums, a peacock garden with its own small waterfall and even a chapel and snack bar on the roof.

While few regular cemeteries can be considered tourist attractions in their own right, the Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica is actually one of the most visited landmarks in Santos, and acknowledged as such by the local tourism board. Altstut himself admits that his cemetery is incredibly popular with tourists, and attributes it to the structure’s notoriety as the tallest cemetery on Earth. People from all over the world reportedly come to Santos to see the necropolis where people pay big money for tombs with a view.

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Watermelon Plant That Yielded 131 Fruit in a Single Harvest Sets New World Record

Watermelon plants usually yield only 1 to 4 fruit per harvest, but a new variety created by an agricultural technology company in China has recently set a new Guinness Record after yielding no less than 131 massive fruit.

The Chinese seem to be really good at creating super plants. Just weeks after we posted about their impressive “octopus tomato trees” that can yield over 30,000 fruits at a time, we bring you the “watermelon king”, a new breed of watermelon that can set over 100 viable fruits per plant. Created by the Zhengzhou Research Seedling Technology Co., Ltd., the plant has been acknowledged as the most productive watermelon plant in the world after yielding 131 fruit in just 90 days.

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Male Rapunzel with 62-Feet-Long Hair Eyes Guinness Record

Seen from a far, Savjibhai Rathwa looks like he is carrying a long black rope wrapped around his right arm, but that is actually a thick dreadlock made from his still-growing 19-meter-long hair.

The 60-year-old man from Vadorara, India’s Gujarat state, has been growing his hair for decades, always treating it with great care. He spends three hours washing it every two days and dries it by walking around his farm and having his grandchildren spread out his locks while he smokes his water pipe in the shade of a tree.

To keep his hair strong and healthy, Rathwa relies on a vegetarian home-cooked diet and tries to avoid spicy food as much as possible. “When out on work, I survive on fruits only. I never ever take outside food,” Savjibhai Rathwa said. If he gets hungry, he simply eats a banana.

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Turkish Tailor Creates the World’s Smallest Pair of Jeans

A tailor from Turkey is in the news for making the smallest machine-sewn pair of jeans in the world, measuring a mere 0.9 cm in length. Kasim Andaç, 34, is now hoping that his liliput jeans will earn him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Tailoring has been in Kasim’s family for generations, and he now manages the family business in Konya city, in Turkey’s Central Anatolia region. “I was bored by the profession at first, but after working on being a tailor with my father, I learned to love it and to love the opportunities for innovation and creativity,” Kasim said.

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Guy Watches TV for 94 Hours Straight, Sets New World Record

Binge-watching your favorite TV series sounds like an easy and enjoyable thing to do, but some people take the simple pastime to a whole new level, where it stops being fun and becomes painful and even dangerous. People like 25-year-old Alejandro ‘AJ’ Fragoso, who set a new Guinness World Record this week for the longest TV watching marathon – a whopping 94 hours. That’s two hours more than the previous world record of 92 hours, set in Austria just last month.

AJ, from Brooklyn, New York, started his epic TV binge-watching session with a couple of other contestants on Friday, as part of an event organised by multimedia software company CyberLink. He emerged as the last man standing, the following week, on Tuesday morning, having watched back-to-back episodes of shows like Game of Thrones, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Battlestar Galactica, and Bob’s Burgers, for 94 hours straight. He later gave credit to his Mediterranean diet for his endurance and high energy level.

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Mr Plastic Fantastic – Guy Has 1,497 Valid Credit Cards

Working up a credit score for Walter Cavanagh has got to be a mathematical nightmare – the man has nearly 1,500 valid credit cards to his name and holds the Guinness record for the most credit cards.

‘Mr. Plastic Fantastic’ – a title conferred on him by Guinness World Records – is also the proud owner of the world’s longest wallet. It stretches 250 feet, weighs 38 pounds, and can hold 800 cards. But he uses it only to carry a few cards, while the rest are safely stowed in bank safe-deposit boxes.

Cavanagh started collecting credit cards in the late 1960s. “Me and a buddy in Santa Clara, Calif., made a silly bet: the guy who could collect the most credit cards by the end of the year would win dinner,” he recalled. “I was fresh from the Peace Corps and I got 143 cards by the end of the year. My friend gathered 138.”

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Man Addicted to Tearing Holes through His Face Sets Record for Most “Flesh Tunnels”

Meet Joel Miggler, a 22-year-old with a ‘disturbing’ addiction to flesh tunnels. He’s taken body piercings to a whole new level with a total of 11 flesh holes fitted with expanders on his face, including his nose and lips. Two of the largest holes are on his cheeks, each measuring 34 mm in diameter. And he soon plans to increase them to 40mm!

German-born Miggler now holds the Guinness World Record for ‘most flesh tunnels on face’. His obsession with body modification began at age 13, when he got his first ‘normal’ fleshy on his earlobe. Since then, he’s developed a taste for the process that he simply never got out of his system. “I’m very happy with my flesh tunnels, but I always want to get a new one,” he said. Read More »

Man with World’s Longest Fingernails Hasn’t Clipped Them in Over 60 Years

Shridhar Chillal, from Pune, India, hasn’t cut his fingernails in over six decades. He began growing them when he was still in school, and now holds the Guinness World Record for the ‘Longest Fingernails on a Single Hand Ever’. The super-long talons on his left hand now have a cumulative length of 909.6 cm!

Chillal’s thumb nail is the longest at two meters and curls into a tight coil at the end. The middle finger nail comes a close second at 186.6 cm. The ring finger nail measures 181.6 cm, the little finger nail is 179.1 cm, and the index nail stands at 164.5 cm. As you can imagine, his nails have sabotaged every aspect of his life, including work and love.

“I can’t move much, so every half an hour or so I wake up and move my hand to the other side of the bed,” he admitted.

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Guy Quits Job to Train for Breaking World Record for Most Selfies in an Hour

When 24-year-old Bhanu Prakash, from Hyderabad, India, realised that his job was eating into his precious selfie-time, he decided to quit working altogether. He now spends all his time taking pictures of himself, and training to break the world record for most selfies in an hour. The record currently belongs to American football player Patrick Peterson, who managed to click himself 1,449 times!

Bhanu, who studied pharmacy in college, was working as a research assistant at a hospital in Hyderabad. He was already into the selfie trend big time, ever since his brother got him a smartphone with a front-facing camera, three years ago. “Almost the first thing I did when I got the phone in my hands was click a picture,” he recalled.

But his obsession reached new heights in May this year, when he overheard a conversation between a few kids on a bus – they were talking about Dwayne Johnson’s feat of clicking 105 selfies in three minutes. “It immediately struck me that it was a guy who did this,” Bhanu said. “I mean, people keep saying selfie is a very girly thing, but here Dwayne Johnson was doing it. And I knew I was up for it now.”

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Man Celebrates His Birthday for 46 Hours by Flying Back in Time

Time travel is technically possible, by just hopping on flights and traveling across time zones. A German man recently decided to take advantage of this fact to bag the Guinness Record for the world’s longest birthday. Of course, the longest birthday isn’t necessarily the most fun, given that he spent almost all of it sitting in a plane seat, eating airline food!

Sven Hagemeier enjoyed a 46-hour long 26th birthday last year, by flying from Auckland, New Zealand, to Brisbane, Australia, gaining two hours. Then he took a flight to Honolulu, Hawaii, which is 20 hours behind. He actually only spent 13 hours and 10 minutes in the air, but his birthday lasted 46 hours, if you add the time he gained by flying across the International Date Line.

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Guy Kicks Himself in the Head 134 Times in 1 Minute, Sets New World Record

Kicking yourself in the head might simply sound stupid to most people, but it’s also unbelievably hard, requiring extreme flexibility and stability. Doing it 134 times in just 60 seconds sounds impossible, which is what makes Puskar Nepal’s record so impressive.

The young Nepalese apparently spent eight months developing his own head-kicking technique, which involved bending his upper body to an almost 90-degree angle and using both feet to kick his forehead, while maintaining his balance. One of the witnesses of Puskar’s official Guinness World Record attempt at Kantipur City College in Kathmandu, Nepal, said he was so amazed by his speed that he had to watch the whole thing in slow motion to accurately count the number of kicks.

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Could You Live on the World’s Steepest Residential Street?

There are two things you need to have if you live on Baldwin Street, in the city of Dunedin, New Zealand – strong leg muscles and stamina! Locals claim that the 350-m long street holds the world record for the steepest in the world, and while this isn’t officially confirmed, it’s definitely believable – the street is so steep that it had to be laid with concrete, because asphalt would flow down the slope on a warm day.

Baldwin street has a maximum slope of 1:2.86, a 36% gradient. This means that for every 2.86 meters traveled horizontally, the street rises by one meter. That’s plenty of exercise for the residents of the residential suburb of North East Valley, where the street is located. The lower reaches are only moderately steep, but the upper reaches are hair-raisingly abrupt.

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World’s Smallest Park Is No Bigger Than a Flower Pot

Mill Ends Park, in Portland, Oregon, currently holds the record for the world’s smallest park. With a diameter of just two meters, it only has room for one tree and a few tiny plants, but it’s one of the city’s most popular landmarks.

Mill Ends was originally supposed to be the site of a light pole, but for some reason, the pole never arrived and weeds began to sprout from the hole. Dick Fagan, a columnist for the Oregon Journal, whose office overlooked the tiny park, noticed the derelict patch of land and decided to do something about it. He started planting foliage there and even came up with a special column in the local paper dedicated to Mill Ends Park. He managed to create a whole story around the place, including leprechauns living there that only he could see, and tiny shamrocks growing inside the other plants.

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