Longest, fastest, zaniest: Guinness World Records celebrates the ‘crazy, fun, inspiring’
From popping balloons on pogo sticks to big pumpkin boats and even gearing up for the loudest burp, could the Guinness World Records 2024 be the zaniest year yet?
READING LEVEL: GREEN
Do you know the most successful* movie series ever? It’s Avatar.
What about the record for bursting the most balloons in one minute while bouncing on a pogo stick? Or taking the longest trip in a boat made from a pumpkin?
These and many more amazing achievements* are in the new edition* of the Guinness World Records* for 2024.
This edition was themed Blue Planet and focused on records* related to water, from icy mountain peaks to the ocean’s deepest depths. So there are extra entries about things like the biggest octopus, the largest hot spring* and the deepest shark, among 2638 records.
The Editor-in-Chief*, Craig Glenday, said the best records are the ones you tell your friends about at school or in the park.
He said about 75 to 80 per cent* of the records are new and updated because there are so many records to choose from.
The Guinness World Record researchers* find more records than they can put in one book.
This year’s book has funny records like spinning the most hula hoops on stilts and serious science records like the heaviest starfish.
You’ll also find stories about pirate ships, shipwrecks, famous people like Elton John, and tennis player Shingo Kunieda.
There are records just for kids and a new program for people with physical and mental challenges to set records in their communities.
The book is full of facts, pictures, and puzzles.
Glenday said the book celebrates people’s ambitions and the fun in breaking records.
They get about 100 requests every day, but they say no to about 95 per cent of them.
Records have to be measurable* and prove that they happened. They can’t hurt people or animals. They also change the records each year to keep them fresh.
The book was first published* in 1955 and is famous all over the world, published in more than 100 countries and 37 languages.
It’s made for readers who might not like big books. It’s full of short bits of information and fun facts. They even change how it looks every year.
It all started when a man named Sir Hugh Beaver had an argument about which bird was the fastest in Europe.
There was no easy way to find the answer, so he wanted to make a book that could help settle such arguments.
He asked two fact-finding researchers, Norris and Ross McWhirter, to create a book that was different from boring encyclopedias*. They made a book that showed what people were doing in the world every year.
Glenday himself came up with some categories*. He saw a bulldog skateboarding at the X Games* and made a new record for skateboarding dogs.
He thinks everyone can set a record, whether it’s wearing the most sweaters, burping* the loudest, or making the biggest cake pop*. Just trying to set a record can be fun.
One record that anyone can aim for is being the oldest person. “That’s what we’re all trying to do,” he said, with a laugh.
- successful: when something is very good at what it does and has done well
- achievements: impressive things that people have done
- edition: a specific version or release of something, like a book
- Guinness World Records: a famous book that lists amazing and unusual achievements
- records: special achievements or accomplishments
- hot spring: a natural pool of hot water that comes from the earth
- editor-in-chief: the person in charge of a magazine or book
- per cent: a way to talk about a part of a whole, like a fraction
- researchers: people who study and find information
- measurable: something that can be measured, or figured out with numbers
- published: when something is made available for others to read or see
- encyclopedias: books that have a lot of information about many different topics
- categories: groups or types of things that are similar
- X Games: a big sports competition with extreme sports like skateboarding
- burping: making a loud noise from your stomach out your mouth that often produces a smell similar to the last food you ate
- cake pop: a small, round piece of cake on a stick
- In the Guinness World Records 2024 edition, what did they focus on when choosing records?
- What is one example of a funny record mentioned in the story?
- What is one record mentioned that anyone can aim for, according to the story?
- What inspired Sir Hugh Beaver to create the Guinness World Records book?
- According to Craig Glenday, what is the primary goal of the Guinness World Records book?
LISTEN TO THIS STORY
1. Write a story
Use this sentence to start a story:
“Everyone thought I was crazy, that it couldn’t be done by an ordinary kid, but I knew that I could break the world record for …”
Time: allow at least 25 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English
What is the most inspiring record named in the story? Write a list of the reasons why you chose that record and the qualities that make it so inspiring to you.
Time: allow at least 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Personal and Social Capability
Imagine you were there during the one of the events discussed in the article.
Create a conversation between two characters – you may need or want to include yourself as one of the characters. Don’t forget to try to use facts and details from the article to help make your dialogue as realistic as possible.
Go through your writing and highlight any punctuation you have used in green. Make sure you carefully check the punctuation used for the dialogue and ensure you have opened and closed the speaking in the correct places.