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Welcome to the weird world of making and breaking records big, small, tall and crazy

Natasha Christian, September 6, 2018 7:00PM Kids News

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Bibi, the record holder for the most dice balanced on a cat. Picture: Guinness World Records media_cameraBibi, the record holder for the most dice balanced on a cat. Picture: Guinness World Records

just for fun

Reading level: green

Amazing Australians and their world-beating achievements are a big feature of the new Guinness World Records annual.

The record book, which has been published every year since 1955, includes hundreds of awe-inspiring* human sporting and intellectual* achievements, death-defying*, risky stunts and incredible extremes of the natural world.

The book has its own world record as the best-selling copyrighted* book of all time.

And as the book’s popularity has grown in the 64 years since its first publication, so has the popularity of trying to create or break weird and wacky records.

Here are five of the Australian records featured for 2019, plus a few others we think you’ll enjoy. Remember, some records are crazy dangerous, so we don’t recommend you try to break those!

THE MOST FLOWER GIRLS AT A WEDDING: Charlene Pearson and Leon Watts

The most flower girls in a wedding is 253, achieved at the wedding of Charlene Pearson and Leon Watts (both Australian) in Hita, Japan, on 2 April 2017. Picture: Guinness World Records media_cameraThe most flower girls in a wedding is 253, achieved at the wedding of Charlene Pearson and Leon Watts (both Australian) in Hita, Japan, on 2 April 2017. Picture: Guinness World Records

The most flower girls ever seen at a wedding was 253. This record was achieved by Australian couple Charlene and Leon when they married in Japan in April 2017. The couple wanted to break the record to bring joy to the city of Hita after an earthquake hit there a year before. Flower power!

YOUNGEST PERSON TO CLIMB SEVEN SUMMITS, SEVEN VOLCANOES: Daniel Bull

Daniel Bull is the world-record holder for youngest person to climb the seven summits and seven volcanoes challenge. He is standing on the summit of Mount Vinson, the top of Antarctica. Picture: supplied media_cameraDaniel Bull is the world-record holder for youngest person to climb the seven summits and seven volcanoes challenge. He is standing on the summit of Mount Vinson, the top of Antarctica. Picture: supplied

Daniel was 36 when he became the world’s youngest person to complete the seven summits, seven volcanoes challenge. The Melbourne man did the climbs between August 2006 and April 2017, scaling Elbrus and Mont Blanc (Europe), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Denali (North America), Aconcagua (South America), Everest (Asia), Carstensz Pyramid and Kosciuszko (Oceania) and Vinson (Antarctica), as well as the Volcanic Summits of Ojos del Salado (South America), Pico de Orizaba (North America), Damavand (Asia), Mount Giluwe (Oceania) and Mount Sidley (Antarctica).

THE OLDEST PILOT: Phillip Frawley

Phillip Frawley is the world’s oldest active pilot. Picture: Guinness World Records media_cameraPhillip Frawley is the world’s oldest active pilot. Picture: Guinness World Records

Phillip, 65, is the oldest active pilot at the Royal Australian Air Force Base in Williamtown, NSW — he broke the record in August 2017.

THE HIGHEST ALTITUDE SKATEBOARDER: Aleks Stocki

The highest altitude skateboarding is 5355m and was achieved by Australian Aleks Stocki in Leh, Jammu and Kashmir, India, in 2017. Picture: Guinness World Records media_cameraThe highest altitude skateboarding is 5355m and was achieved by Australian Aleks Stocki in Leh, Jammu and Kashmir, India, in 2017. Picture: Guinness World Records

No boarder has ever gone higher than Australian Aleks Stocki, whose skate at 3505m is the highest altitude skate ever recorded. It was achieved in Leh, Jammu and Kashmir, India in August 2017.

THE MOST UNDERWATER SOMERSAULTS WHILE SWORD SWALLOWING: Chayne Hultgren

Space Cowboy completed the most underwater somersaults while sword swallowing. Picture: Guinness World Records media_cameraSpace Cowboy completed the most underwater somersaults while sword swallowing. Picture: Guinness World Records

The NSW man known as Space Cowboy managed two somersaults underwater while sword swallowing in February 2017. Pretty dangerous stuff.

GLOBALLY GOOD

It’s pretty high stakes on the world stage if you want a break a world record — these guys (and pets) probably won’t give up their titles too easy.

THE MOST SAUSAGES MADE IN A MINUTE: Barry John Crowe

This man from Cavan, Ireland, can make a whopping 78 sausages in 60 seconds. Barbecue anyone?

Barry John Crowe can make the most sausages in a minute. Picture: Guinness World Records media_cameraBarry John Crowe can make the most sausages in a minute. Picture: Guinness World Records

THE FASTEST MILE ON A POGO STICK: Drew McQuiston

Drew McQuiston completed the fastest mile on a pogo stick. Picture: Guinness World Records media_cameraDrew McQuiston completed the fastest mile on a pogo stick. Picture: Guinness World Records

Boing! The American cracked a mile on a pogo stick in seven minutes and 40 seconds in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (US) in June 2017. A mile is equal to 1.6km.

OLDEST TRAPEZE ARTIST: Betty Goedhart

Betty Goedhart, the world’s oldest trapeze artist. Picture: Guinness World Records media_cameraBetty Goedhart, the world’s oldest trapeze artist. Picture: Guinness World Records

The 86-year-old Californian (US) woman holds this record for flying high in the sky.

THE MOST DOUBLE DUTCH SKIPS BY A DOG: Geronimo

Geronimo, who did the most double dutch skips by a dog in one minute. Picture: Guinness World Records media_cameraGeronimo, who did the most double dutch skips by a dog in one minute. Picture: Guinness World Records

This border collie kelpie cross can do 128 jump rope skips in a minute.

THE LONGEST PAPER CLIP CHAIN: Ben Mooney

Ben Mooney with the world’s longest paperclip chain. Picture: Guinness World Records media_cameraBen Mooney with the world’s longest paperclip chain. Picture: Guinness World Records

Irish boy Ben  was only nine when he decided to make the world’s longest paperclip chain. He also has made the world’s longest loom band. The Belfast boy’s paperclip chain consists of 66,000.

When Ben tried to measure his record he had a problem — magpies. His family had to chase the birds away as he measured it.

THE LARGEST KNITTING NEEDLES: Betsy Bond

Betsy Bond with the largest knitting needles. Picture: Guinness World Records media_cameraBetsy Bond with the largest knitting needles. Picture: Guinness World Records

The UK art student unveiled her giant needles at an end-of-year exhibition. They’re 4.4m in length and 9cm diameter*. Yes, she can even knit with them.

THE MOST DICE BALANCED ON A CAT: Bibi

Bibi, the record holder for the most dice balanced on a cat. Picture: Guinness World Records media_cameraBibi, the record holder for the most dice balanced on a cat. Picture: Guinness World Records

This cat doesn’t have time for chasing mice. Bibi likes to balance things on his paws.

There is no shortage of ideas for world-record attempts. Here are a few more!

EXTRA READING

Tallest man meets smallest woman

Aussie climber on top of the world

World 1886 penny farthing record still stands

Sandcastle breaks world record

GLOSSARY

  • inspiring: help someone want to achieve something
  • intellectual: using the brain; a task that is about thinking, rather than a physical task
  • death-defying: avoiding the serious risk of death
  • copyrighted: the rights are owned by someone; in contrast to, for instance, the Christian bible, which is very popular but is not copyrighted
  • diameter: the distance through or across

LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY

QUICK QUIZ

  • What was the first year of the record book? How many years ago is that?
  • The book has its own record. What is that?
  • Why did the Australians want so many flower girls?
  • What distance is a mile?
  • How long are Betsy’s knitting needles?

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Write the story
Imagine you were a reporter for Kids News and were able to interview three of these Guinness World Record holders. Write some questions you would ask the record holders. Come up with at least 8 questions. They do not have to be spread evenly across the three interviewees. Try and make your questions interesting and specific to the record they were able to break.

An example might be:

Ben Mooney – What do you plan to do with all those paperclips now?

Write an entry into the Guinness World Record book for each of these three record holders. Include details of the world record they hold and a picture of them completing their attempt. (This can be drawn.) Also include an answer to the questions you wrote above. You will need to think of a plausible yet interesting answer to your questions.

For example:

Ben plans to donate the paperclips to local schools to reuse.

Curriculum links: English
Time: Allow 20 minutes

2. Extension
Some of these world records are certainly a little strange but perfectly safe to attempt.

Can you think of a world record you would like to create or break?

Write an application to the Guinness World Records to suggest a world record you would like to attempt. Include details of what you wish to achieve, how you will measure it, how you will provide evidence that it was achieved, why you wish to attempt this record and when you plan to attempt it.

For a record to be considered it needs to be measured objectively (measured by time, distance, number, weight, not by subjective qualities like prettiness, or friendliness etc.) The record needs to be able to be challenged and attempted again by someone else. Make sure your suggestion is not too specific that no one else can replicate it. If you wish to break a record that already stands, include what the current record is and how much you wish to pass this by.

Think of a world record that is safe for someone your age to attempt. Be as original in your application as you can.

Curriculum links: English, Critical and Creative Thinking
Time: Allow 20 minutes

VCOP ACTIVITY
After reading the article, with a partner, highlight as many pieces of punctuation as you can find in green. Discuss how these are being used, where and how often. What level of the punctuation pyramid is the journalist using in this article?

Extra Reading in just for fun