13 bizarre Guinness World Records - from the heaviest weights pulled with the eyes to a guinea pig high-jump
These are some of the strangest world records that have been achieved between 2008 and 2023
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Every year, there’s a new addition of the Guinness World Records which lists some of the most impressive feats of human and animal achievement and also extremes of the natural word. Some of these records are sweet, such as one of the UK’s only great-great-great grandmas and some defy expectations such as the world’s tallest woman and the world’s tallest man or the world’s oldest dog. Some are also meaningful, such as the world record which has just been set by radio DJ Adele Roberts for completing the London Marathon with a stoma bag.
There are, however, some world records which are just a bit strange, or highly unusual or unexpected. Below, we have rounded up 14 of the most bizarre world records which have been carried out by people and their pets from around the world, including the UK and the US. Some of these records have been held for over a decade, while others have been achieved in recent weeks. Keep reading to find out more.
If you enjoy reading stories about things that are quirky and unique, be sure to check out our dedicated offbeat news page, where you’ll find even more interesting articles such as 15 playground fads you might remember from your school days and the viral Food Sensitivity Test which shows what you are most disgusted by.
Heaviest weights pulled with the eyes
Even the thought of it is enough to make most of us wince, but apparently some people want to attach heavy objects to parts of their body, and the more fragile the better. The heaviest weight pulled with the eyes was a world record achieved recently. On 3 February, an American man Andrew Stanton managed to pull 2,413kg (5,319.75lb) with his eyes while filming Italian TV show Lo Show Dei Record, in Milan, Italy.
Strangely, this is not the only world record linked to large weights being attached to people’s eyes. The heaviest weight lifted with one eye socket is 16.2kg (35.71lb) and was achieved by British man Manjit Singh at Cossington Sports Centre in Leicester on 12 September 2013. The same man broke the world record for the heaviest weight lifted by both eye sockets. He lifted 24kg (52lb 14.5oz) with both eyes at the same venue on 15 November 2012.
Most steps walked up by a dog going backwards balancing a glass of water
Pets can perform record breaking actions too, and back in 2008 Australian Shepherd/Border Collie Sweet Pea showed that dogs can learn new tricks by taking ten steps while facing backwards, and all while balancing a 141g (5oz) glass of water. Clever Sweet Pea, who is owned by American Alex Rothacker, also holds the record for the exact same feat, but facing forwards.
Guinea pig high-jump
Guinea pigs are usually small, cute and fluffy, but they also have a talent for jumping. A guinea pig called Abby from the USA entered into the record books on 30 January after earning the title for highest bar jump by a guinea pig. She jumped a total of 22cm in height after being trained by 18-year-old owner Grace Hoiness from Oregon.
Fastest window cleaner
There’s such a thing as the National Window Cleaning Competition, which was held in Blackpool on 9 October 2009. It was during this contest that British man Terry Burrows set the world record for being the fastest window cleaner. He cleaned three standard 114.3 x 114.3cm (45 x 45in) office windows set in a frame using a 300mm (11.75in) long squeegee and 9 litres of water in 9.14 seconds.
Greatest distance travelled whilst juggling three chainsaws
Walking and juggling isn’t good enough anymore, now you’ve got to put yourself in danger while you’re doing it. On 15 May 2017, Canadian man Ian Stewart achieved the record for the greatest distance travelled while juggling three chainsaws. He managed to walk 50.97m (167ft 3in). Stewart also holds the record for most juggling catches of a chainsaw and two balls.
Farthest tightrope walk in high heels
Being able to successfully walk on a tightrope at all is very impressive, but there is a woman who took it to another level by doing so in high heeled shoes. Ariana Wunderle, from the USA, who was born into a circus family, walked 194.983m (639ft 7in), in Westminster, Vermont, USA, on 16 May 2022.
Furthest distance pulled by a horse - while on fire
It doesn’t sound appealing to be set alight or be pulled along by a horse, but stuntman Josef Tödtling, from Austria, decided to do both at once in 2017 and broke a world record while doing so. Tödtling travelled 500m (1640.42ft) while his body was engulfed in flames, but he was protected with several layers of clothing and cooling gel, a metal shin and elbow pads. In case you’re wondering, the horse was a specially trained stunt horse which kept up a brisk canter for the whole attempt, dragging Tödtling along on his front at about 35 km/h (21 mph).
The dog with the longest tail
The owners of Keon the Irish wolfhound probably have to ensure they keep their distance from him if he starts wagging his tail - and that’s because it’s 76.8cm (30.2in) long. Keon lives in Westerlo, Belgium, and is owned by a woman called Ilse Loodts. He’s held the world record since 17 January 2017.
The largest hula hoop spun by a female
Many of us have childhood memories of spinning hula hoops round our waists, and some continue to use them in adulthood, either as a fun hobby or a way to keep fit. But, for one woman spinning an average hula hoop wasn’t enough. American circus performer Getti Kehayova broke the record for spinning the largest hula hoop spun by a woman in 2020 by using a hoop that was an impressive 5.18m (17ft 0.25in) in diameter.
There is also the equivalent world record for men. This was achieved by Japanese man Yuya Yamada in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan, on 19 February 2019. He spun a hoop that was 5.40m (17ft 8in) in diameter.
Most drumbeats in one minute using a drumstick prosthetic
This is a very specific world record, and an awe-inspiring one at that. Jason Barnes, an American amputee drummer, achieved the record for the most drumbeats in one minute using a drumstick prosthetic on 25 July 2018. He achieved 2,400 beats in 60 seconds using a prosthetic arm created by Gil Weinberg in Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The arm had an electromyographic band that sensed muscle activity from Barnes’ forearm, which then triggered it to start drumming.
Fastest time to eat a bowl of pasta
Many people would call themselves fast eaters, and some have even taken part in eating challenges to prove it, but this world record will blow them all out of the water. On 18 September 2017, competitive eater Michelle Lesco, of the USA, ate a bowl of pasta in just 26.69 seconds at Oregano's Pizza Bistros, Scottsdale, Arizona. Lesco also holds the title for the fastest time to eat a hot dog with no hands at 21.60 seconds, and also the most mayonnaise eaten in three minutes at 2,448g (86.35oz) – which is the equivalent to 3.5 jars.
The longest-serving man to play in a brass band
Tom Street, aged 95, from Derbyshire, was named as the longest-serving man to play in a brass band in April. Street has been a member of Heage Silver Band for 82 years and 332 days.
World’s longest leek
Derek Hulme, an amateur gardener from Stoke-on-Trent, was awarded the record of the world's longest leek in December 2022 for a vegetable he had grown. The leek measured 143.2 cm (4ft 8.3in). For those wondering, the average-sized leeks that you may pick up in your weekly shop are around 30.50cm (1ft) long.