Australian Family Set New Guinness Record with 502,165 Christmas Light Installation

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We love it when the holidays are around the corner; there are just so many odd stories to talk about! Our first Christmas story this season is here: an Australian family who put up over half a million Christmas lights in their Canberra home and set a new Guinness World Record.

This isn’t the first time father-of-three David Richards and his family have done this. In 2011 they set the record after putting up 331,038 lights. Last year a New-York family beat them with a whopping 346,283. The Richards wanted their title back so badly that this year they’ve installed 502,165 lights – that’s 31 miles of wire. They also have a glowing reindeer and loud music to boot.

Some of the Richards’ neighbours are very upset and haven’t spoken to the family since 2011. But most of them love the dazzle and come to visit from several miles away. David says, “I have always loved Christmas. Having the Christmas lights with the community coming in and sharing it is a time when you get to know people you probably should know better, I guess.”

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Feast Your Eyes on the Most Amazing Wood Carving Ever Created

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China has a long-standing tradition in wood carving. For centuries, its chisel-wielding masters have been turning bland pieces of wood into awe-inspiring masterpieces, but none as impressive as the mind-blowing creation Zheng Chunhui. This talented Chinese artist spent the last four years painstakingly carving a detailed replica of Along the River during the Qingming Festival, a famous traditional Chinese painting, into a 12-meter-long tree trunk. The breathtaking beauty of his work simply cannot be expressed into words, you just have to see it for yourself.

As you can imagine, Zheng Chunhui needed mountains of patience to complete his wooden masterpiece, but it was all worth it. Apart from the praise of everyone who got to see the artwork up close at its recent unveiling, the Chinese artist was also honored by the Guinness Book of Records with the new world record for the longest wood carving. It measures 12.286 meters long, 3.075 meters high and 2.401 meters wide.

longest-wood-carving

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Meet Martin Strel, the Extraordinary Man Who Swims the Entire Length of Rivers

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“Daredevil”, “human fish”, “the hero in a speedo” or “the craziest man in the world” – however you’d like to call him, he is the greatest endurance swimmer in the world! Meet the man who swims entire rivers, Martin Strel.

The now 58-year-old Slovenian Martin Strel has broken the Guinness World Record for long distance swimming multiple times. The first was in 2000, when he swam the length of the Danube river, 3004 kilometers (1867 miles), in 58 days. A year later, in 2001, he broke another record by swimming 504 kilometers (313 miles) non-stop, in 84 hours, also on the Danube. In 2002, Strel changed continents and went to North America, where he became the first person to swim the entire length of the Mississippi river (3797 kilometers/ 2360 miles) in 68 days, thus breaking another Guinness World Record. In 2003, he swam the length of the Parana River (1930 kilometers/1200 miles) in South America, in just 24 days. In 2004, Strel became the first person to swim the length of the Yangtze river (4003 kilometers/ 2488 miles), in 51 days. It took him almost 3 years to prepare for the longest and most dangerous river in the world, but in 2007 he succeeded in breaking the record again: he swam the 5268 kilometers (3274 miles) of the Amazon river, in South America, in 66 days. Strel dedicated his most important and most difficult swim to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s and to the preservation of the rainforest.

Martin-Strel

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Real-Life Aquaman Can Hold His Breath Underwater for 22 Minutes

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In 2010, Danish freediver Stig Severinsen  jumped into a pool filled with sharks and held his breath for 20 minutes and 10 seconds, breaking the previous Guinness World Record for the longest time breath held voluntarily. Two years later, the fearless Stig did it again, somehow breaking his own remarkable record by holding his breath for a staggering 22 minutes. If there’s such a thing as a real-life Aquaman, it’s this guy.

Severinsen – who has a Ph. D. in medicine and a master’s degree in biology, is known for participating in the most extreme challenges, including swimming in freezing water. Before setting his first breath holding world record, he swam 236 feet – about 72 meters (14.5 more meters than Wim Hof, the previous record holder), in the below-zero waters of the North Sea. After taking a few breaths of air, he dived feet first through a hole carved in the ice. As soon as he was in the water, he started swimming to the next hole wearing only in his signature blue Speedos. The triangle-shaped hole was 72 meters away and there wasn’t another escape route mid-way, which made the challenge extremely dangerous. After reaching his destination in just 96 seconds, the 40-year-old daredevil lingered in the freezing hole a little longer, as if to prove the cold didn’t affect him very much. You’d think that after swimming that distance in heart-stopping water he immediately jumped out to find some warm clothes, but our hero just stood there with his elbows on the ice, smiling and thanking everyone as if he was in a hot tub or somewhere in the Bahamas.

Stig-Severinsen

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Cyclist Rides Bicycle Backwards for 24 Hours, Covers 337 Kilometers

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Australian Andrew Hellinga recently set a new Guinness Record after riding his bicycle for 337km backwards in a 24 hour challenge to raise money for the poverty-stricken children of Zambia.

Hellinga started the marathon on October 7th at 6 a.m. and made just one brief stop to mark the 182 km milestone that made him the new Guinness world record holder for the longest distance traveled while cycling backwards. “I had to stop for a quick rest and to share the excitement with my support crew,” he said. After a quick celebration, he continued this difficult challenge hoping to make it to 300km within the 24-hour limit. Not only did he pull through and reached the 300km milestone, but he cycled for another few dozen kilometers, covering a staggering distance of 337km.  After withstanding the ever-changing weather, he ended the lengthy ride with a smile on his face.

Andrew-Hellinga

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Guy Runs 26-Mile Marathon Backward While Juggling

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Most people couldn’t run a marathon if their life depended on it, but world-record juggler Joe Salter ran the whole 26.2-mile Quad-Cities Marathon backward, while doing what he does best, juggling.

32-year old Joe Salter can practice his juggling skills pretty much anywhere. In the past, he swam a half-mile in the Gulf of Mexico, doing the backstroke while juggling three balls, juggled for 16.2 miles on a bike and ran and juggled for four miles. He also holds the world records for the fastest time to run a mile backward while juggling (7 minutes, 32 seconds) and fastest juggling triathlon (1 hour, 57 minutes), but he was hungry for a Guinness World Record, so he challenged himself to run the entire Quad-Cities Marathon, in Illinois, backward, while juggling. Unfortunately, Guinness rules are very strict and for Joe’s unique feat to qualify as a record, every second of the race had to be recorded, which was impossible as videotaping is prohibited along several miles of the course that run through the Rock Island Arsenal. Although slightly disappointed, Salter found an upside to the whole situation. “I actually feel better, not having the stress,” he said before the race, and indeed the lack of added pressure helped him finish the entire 26.2-mile marathon in just 5 hours and 51 minutes.

Joe-Salter-juggling

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Man Swims over 2 Kilometers All Tied Up in a Bag

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Jane Petkov, a 59-year-old Bulgarian man, tried to set a new Guinness record by swimming across a lake while wrapped in a bag with his arms and legs tied up. Known as “amphibian man” in his native country, Petkov says he relies on concentration and a special breathing technique to pull off the amazing feat.

The record-breaking attempt took place on September 10, on Lake Orhid, in Macedonia, and had Jane Petkov jumping out of a boat in the middle of the water trying to somehow make his way to shore. His arms and legs were tied once before putting on the thick bag, and again over the bag, to make sure he couldn’t use them during his death-defying feat. What’s even more astonishing is doctors who examined him before the challenge found he was severely anemic, which, given his age, made the task even more dangerous. Nevertheless, on the morning of September 10, the amphibian man jumped in the cold water of Lake Orhid and began to swim on his back like a dolphin.

Jane-Petkov

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Arizona Man Builds World’s Smallest Roadworthy Car

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Growing up, Phoenix-based Austin Coulson was always fascinated by all the cool automotive records he found in the yearly Guinness Book of Records, and dreamed of one day having his name mentioned in the famous publication. He recently got his wish, after building the world’s smallest roadworthy car.

29-year-old Austin Coulson says he developed a passion for tinkering with mechanical stuff very early in life. As a young boy, he used to  ride bicycles with his friends, and always fond some parts to add or remove. When he turned 16. Austin bought his first car, a Bronco with a blown transmission. So he bought a repair manual and learned from scratch how take the thing apart and put it back together. It wasn’t easy, but he got the hang of it and he’s been building custom cars ever since. Two years ago, he saw a small go-kart with a car body on it, that made it look like a real miniature roadworthy vehicle. It got him thinking whether someone could really build such a small car and make it street legal. It also reminded Austin about his life-long dream of having his name in the Guinness Book of Records, so he started searching to see if there was already a record for the world’s smallest street-legal car. A guy from England held the record, but after seeing his creation, Coulson thought to himself “I can beat that”.

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Meet Asha Mandela, the Black Rapunzel Who Has the World’s Longest Dreadlocks

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50-year-old Asha Zulu Mandela started growing her lovely dreadlocks 25 years ago, after moving from Trinidad Tobago to New York. Today she is known as “the Black Rapunzel” and holds the record for the world’s longest locks, which measure 19 feet, 6 inches long.

Soon after she settled in Brooklyn, New York, Asha Mandela started working as a nanny, spending most of her time in parks and playgrounds. Perming and styling her hair just wasn’t working very well with her hectic schedule, so she decided to go for an easier, more natural alternative. After careful consideration she started growing “locks, which didn’t sit too well with her family, especially her mother, who though it made her head look like “a riff-raff mop”. Not even Asha herself was sure she had made the right decision because her short hair made them look spiky. But as they grew, she fell in love with her new hairdo and even started referring to her hair as “my baby”. The years passed and her dreadlocks grew past floor length, but she didn’t realized how unique her natural hairstyle had become until about 5 years ago when people started complimenting her and asking all kinds of questions, like how long she had been growing the locks for, how long it took to wash and if she was featured in the Guinness Book of Records. That last one sparked her interest, so she reached out to Guinness and Ripley’s to make her record official.

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Meet Aevin Dugas, Proud Owner of the World’s Biggest Afro

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Aevin Dugas a 38-year-old social worker from Louisiana, holds the Guinness Record for the largest natural afro hairstyle in the world, with a circumference measuring an incredible 4 feet 4 inches (1.32 m). The hairdo has taken over 14 years to grow to its current proportions, and although Aevin is really proud of it, she admits sometimes it can be pretty problematic.

At one point in her life, Aevin Dugas used all kinds of tricks to straighten her curly hair, until she realized that wasn’t what she really wanted. “As a woman you’re told that straight hair is beautiful hair. This is crazy,” she says “The afro is my natural hairstyle and there can’t be anything more beautiful than that”. 14 years ago, inspired by an old photo of her mother sporting an afro, she traded in her straight tresses for a big round hairdo and never looked back. Her hair just kept growing, and in 2010 she set a new world record for the world’s biggest afro, becoming an inspiration for black women to ditch relaxers and go natural. As you can expect, Aevin’s hair draws attention wherever she goes, and while most people just ask her if it’s real, some can’t resist touching it to see for themselves.

Aevin-Dugas

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World’s Largest Drum Set Includes 813 Pieces and It’s Still Growing

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56-year-old Mark Temperato has spent the last 36 years assembling the world’s largest drum kit. The amazing instrument is made up of 813 individual pieces, including drums, cymbals and bells, and its creator needs an hour to hit every one of them.

Mark Temperato has always had a thing for drums. He has been building his custom drum set for the past 36 years, and he’s not planning on stopping anytime soon. A reverend at the Breath of Worship Church, in Lakeville, New York, Mark, who also goes by the name “RevM” has been using the popular musical instrument to “praise God” and get His word out “in a very different way”. Adding new pieces to his set every year, the amateur musician always thought he had the biggest drum kit in the world, but it wasn’t until his two sons, who are also drummers, prompted him to contact Guinness Records that he considered making the title official. Last year, RevM finally got his name mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records after managing to hit every one of the 340 drums and cymbals from a sitting or standing position without taking a step to either side. But the newly-obtained titled only fueled his obsession with drums even more, so he spent the last few months adding hundreds of new components to his set which currently numbers 813 different pieces.

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Real-Life Superhuman Blows Up Hot Water Bottles with His Nose

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Here is a guy who can literally blow you away. Jemal Tkeshelashvili, from Georgia, is a superhuman with a very unique ability. He can blow up hot water bottles to the point where they explode, with his nose. Jemal currently holds the Guinness World Record for most hot water bottles burst with the nose in one minute.

What Jemal does might seem silly, but it’s actually quite extraordinary considering most people can barely blow up a latex balloon, let alone a thick rubber hot water bottle, with their nose. One might think it’s his lungs that do all the work, but tests have shown that his lungs are not much different than those of an average healthy person. He has good pulmonary volume, but it’s the force with which he’s capable of pushing out the air that makes him special. That means his strong intercostal and abdominal muscles push out all the air in his lungs really fast, creating enormous pressure. In 2009, the 23-year-old judo practitioner set a new record for most hot water bottles burst with the nose in one minute, managing to explode three of them, but th’s capable of much more impressive feats.

JEMAL-TKESHELASHVILI

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World’s Longest Mustache Measures over Four Meters

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Ram Singh Chauhan started growing his mustache in 1970, and hasn’t cut it since. Today it measures over 4.30 meters, and the proud Indian man from Rajasthan holds the Guinness record for World’s Longest Mustache.

The 58-year old says one of the secrets to impressive facial hair growth is starting early. “As you grow old your hormones grow weak, so the speed slows down,” Ram says, but even now he still adds a few centimeters to his mustache every year. He stopped shaving his mustache back in 1970, after being inspired by a fellow mustache enthusiast from Rajasthan, resuming to trimming the split ends every once in a while. In the early years Chauhan and his wife Asha used to fight over his abnormally long facial hair, because he used to take a long time to wash and groom it, and people stared at them every time they went out. But as soon as her husband started getting recognition for his efforts, she began to respect his commitment, and says she now considers the mustache part of the family and shares his pride in it. Thanks to his long mustache, Ram Singh Chauhan appeared in big movies like 1983’s “Octopussy”, starring Roger Moore, as well as numerous Bollywood productions. He has also traveled around the world, to show off his amazing whiskers.

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Meet Varya Akulova, the World’s Strongest Girl

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Varya Akulova is one of those extraordinary human beings most people have never even heard of. Often referred to as “The World’s Strongest Girl”, Varya holds two Guinness records and is able to lift up to four times her own body weight.

Born in 1992, in the Ukrainian mining town of Krivoy Rog, Varya Akulova showed remarkable physical abilities from a very young age. When she was just one year old, Varya could do a handstand, at one and a half she did flips, at three years of age she started performing acrobatic routines with her parents, and by age four she was already doing powerlifting exercises with massive weights. When Varya’s mother, Larisa, became pregnant, her father, Yuri, started making plans about performing in the circus with his yet-unborn strong son, but when his wife gave birth to a girl, he knew his dreams would never materialize. But as the days went by, Yuri began to realize that with the right training, his daughter could become as strong as a man. The girl had stronger arms and legs than most babies her age, and soon he became certain Varya had inherited the Akulovs’ legendary strength. Historically, his ancestors served at the court of Catherine II and became known for their amazing abilities and toughness during the Russian – Turkish wars. And as the years passed, it became clear Varya was truly an Akulov, able to lift massive weights when other girls her age were busy playing with dolls.

Varya-Akulova

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Incredibly Detailed 34-Meter-Long Train Model Is Made Entirely from Chocolate

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Created by master chocolatier Andrew Farrugia, from Malta, this edible train model has set a new Guinness World Record the longest chocolate structure in the world. It measures a whopping 34 meters in length and features every detail of a classic steam-powered choo-choo.

Unveiled at the “Brussels Chocolate Week”, in Belgium’s capital city, this tasty masterpiece had everyone drooling. Made of 2,755 pounds (1250 kilos) of the finest Belgian chocolate, donated by chocolate brand Belcolade, this 34-meter-long steam train replica took Maltese chocolate artist Andrew Farrugia a painstaking 784 hours to complete. If you’re wondering about calorie volume, this delicious masterpiece packs a massive 6.5 million calories. Farrugia got the idea for the train last year, when visiting Belgian Chocolate Festival in Bruge. “I had this idea for a while, and I said what do you think if we do this realization of a long chocolate train, you know, because a train you can make it as long as you like,” he told the press.

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