10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Guinness World Records

10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Guinness World Records

Everyone hopes to get their names on the Guinness World Records for something, but there are 7 billion of us and we have to accept that not everyone can have their names in there. The scramble for world records is so stiff that some people attempt to break record that the world wouldn’t even consider worthy. Others on the other hand die attempting to break records. However, while everyone focuses on those that set the records, many people don’t know much about the organization tasked with recognizing and updating these records.


Winners Are Not Paid

If you were to start paying people to break world records, chances are that it wouldn’t be long before half of the world started coming up with records to break. It would also mean that some applicants would have to be paid more money than others which would give an unfair advantage or motivation to other applicants. With that in mind, Guinness does not pay people for breaking a world record. Those intending to break a record are not charged either, just required to apply and adhere to the rules.

There Is A Huge Fail Rate Annually

Guinness processes over 1,000 record attempt applications every week. That sums up to over 50,000 applicants every year which can be a hectic job to process. It is understandable that so many people want their names to appear in the highly coveted book but do they really make it? Well, turns out, GWR only awards about 10,000 certificates in a year leaving over 40,000 applicants with nothing. That is a 92% fail rate which means lots of disappointment all over the globe.

It Is Not Owned By Guinness Anymore

Sir Hugh Beaver, the MD of Guinness Breweries was on a shooting party in 1951 when he missed a shot at a Red Grouse. He then argued that the Red Grouse was the fastest game bird in Europe but he couldn’t defend it because it wasn’t included in the reference books. That is where the idea to get a book that contains the record of the most amazing and entertaining records in the world came from and the rights were controlled by Guinness Breweries. Diageo bought Guinness but sold GWR rights in 2001 to Gullane Entertainment for $65 million. The Rights have exchanged hands for years and is currently owned by the Jim Pattison Group although no one is willing to change the name.

10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Guinness World Records

GWR Also Holds A World Record

Everyone wants to know the best thing in the world and the best book to read it from is the annual edition of the Guinness Book of World Records now only called Guinness World Records. That has been the case for decades making GWR the most read copyrighted annual publication in the world. Its annual publication before Christmas is longed for by millions of people all over the world. They have sold over 143 million copies as of 2020.

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They Were Also Sued By Jonathan Riches

Jonathan Riches is still considered the most litigious man in the world and he could sue anyone or anything. He was formerly imprisoned for wire fraud and when he was released, he decided to become a celebrity by filing the most lawsuits of any human being alive. Defendants in his case include former president George W. Bush, Steve Jobs and Britney Spears. He filed over 2,600 lawsuits against different people and organizations since 2006 leading to Guinness World Records naming him the most litigious man in the world. He sued them for that too claiming they got the facts wrong.

They Don’t exactly Support Dangerous Record Attempts

GWR has strict rules before accepting a world record attempt application. In 1998, a man broke the world record for the longest time spent while buried alive, but Guinness denied him the certificate because their endurance section had been scrapped. That was a step at improving the safety of world records which were getting many people killed. In 2012, another man in Sri Lanka died while attempting to set a record for the longest time spent buried except, he was buried in a closed 10ft deep grave.

When Setting A Culinary Record, The Food Has To Be Eaten

Guinness has lots of rules, the most popular one being their lack of support for politically motivated records which brought controversy with president Obama’s record. With culinary records, the rules are very justified though. The food must be prepared with all health and hygienic standards observed and the food has to be distributed for consumption by human beings and not wasted. The rules brought a problem when spectators consumed the longest sandwich ever made in Tehran before the record was validated.

10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Guinness World Records

The Oldest Person In The World Is A Tough Record To Keep

Guinness World Records has to keep their records up to date to ensure that the wrong people are not listed as record holders. Now that is a big problem if you have to keep records of things that happen frequently. Those records include the heaviest object lifted using glue, most apples bobbled in a minute and the longest DJ marathon ever. The oldest person alive also has to be updated very frequently and it is hard because you have to ensure that an older person isn’t alive somewhere else in the world.

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It Took 13 90-hour Weeks To Finish The First Book

The first Guinness book of world records was bound on August 25 1955, intended to reach as many pubs as possible before Christmas. The book had been compiled after Sir Hugh Beaver selected a team to actualize his dream of the ultimate reference book. The 198-page book took a toll on the team though as they had to do long weeks of research with little to no breaks. They worked continuously for 90 hours every week for 13 weeks to get the book in shape. It became a bestseller in Britain and sold 70,000 copies in the US in the same year before Christmas kickstarting Guinness World Records’ record of excellence.

It Was Meant To Be Given Out For Free

Sir Hugh Beaver only intended for his book to be given out in pubs for use in normal arguments which pubs tend to have lots of. He wasn’t exactly planning to turn it into a commercial venture for Guinness which is why the first few thousand copies of the book were given out for free. The demand was higher than the creators imagined though prompting them to set a price on the book as it became the bestseller in Britain. Since 1955, the annual publication has sold over 143 million copies in over 100 countries. It prints in 22 different languages making it one of the most read writings in the world.

Author: Gus Barge

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