How Risky Is It to Be Featured in Guinness World Records?

Guinness World Records has dropped numerous categories to deter people from unsafe behaviors, such as sleep deprivation.
Guinness World Records has dropped numerous categories to deter people from unsafe behaviors, such as sleep deprivation.

Some world records are unquestionably impressive, but others blur the line between super and scary. That's why some feats that appear in Guinness World Records might one day disappear. In recent years, Guinness had dropped several supreme efforts, including eating to extremes, fattest pets, and fastest time driving a car around the world. The famous sleep deprivation record of 264.4 hours, set by Randy Gardner in January 1964, is another one that is no longer in contention.

The problems with keeping these records are pretty easy to spot – no one should consume 25,000 calories a day, for example – and Guinness doesn't want to encourage actions that could be unhealthy or unsafe. And with the growing concern about climate change, Guinness is also being particularly careful about environmental issues. Recently, Guinness removed the record for the most Kǒngmíng lantern (sky lanterns) flown simultaneously, citing environmental concerns. The Middle Way Meditation Institute (Philippines) in Miagao, Iloilo, Philippines had set the record with 15,185 lanterns in May 2013.

Guinness surprises:

  • Sir Hugh Beaver came up with the idea for The Guinness Book of World Records when no one could answer a bird question at a party.

  • It took more than 13 90-hour work weeks to complete the first edition of the book.

  • Only about 8 percent of all applicants get their names and deeds accepted as a world record every year.

Discussion Comments

anon1005590

Pssst---the climate has been changing since the big bang.

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    • Guinness World Records has dropped numerous categories to deter people from unsafe behaviors, such as sleep deprivation.
      Guinness World Records has dropped numerous categories to deter people from unsafe behaviors, such as sleep deprivation.