Today, the Guinness World Records brand is as popular or more than the stygian-dark Irish stout that shares its name. The institution has been forced to create rules against physically dangerous or ethically questionable records as there’s no shortage of people willing to make a fool or a cripple out of themselves to appear in the latest edition. Let’s feed these losers’ pathetic need for attention with this list of ten horrible, unpleasant, or embarrassing world records.
Fitting lots of people into an inconveniently
small thing has been strangely popular since the college dare fad of the ‘20s, when people who probably should have been saving up money for the Depression were busy swallowing goldfish and stuffing themselves into phone booths.
We can understand wanting to make the best of a bad thing, but writer Bill Gordon’s claim for most rejected literary manuscript seems more pathetic than anything else. After receiving 217 rejections from 176 publishers, Gordon decided the best way to promote his book was to officially claim the world record for most-rejected manuscript that was eventually published.
As an attempt to bring fresh blood into the record-setting game, Guinness declared in 2005 that the ninth of November would be “International Guinness World Records Day,” instigating hundreds of bizarre record attempts in categories that hadn’t existed until someone wanted to establish a record in them.
While we here at Mandatory are absolutely opposed to the promotion of any sort of racist, sexist, or ageist stereotype, we are still duty-bound to report that the scientifically-determined worst driver in the world is elderly Korean woman Cha Sa-Soon. She took South Korea’s written driver’s license exam 950 times before passing with a 60 out of 100 (and then failed the practical driving test ten times before winning her license).
When it comes to collecting rare or obscure tchotchkes, there’s a very fine line between “amusing hobby” and “debilitating mental illness.” 45-year-old Stephen Parkes of Nottingham has smurfily smurfed right the smurf across that line, amassing the official largest collection of Smurfs merchandise (over 1100 unique Smurf designs) and admitting that he has paid upwards of $1500 for the rarest and most valuable Smurf figurines
In a way, it’s not really that surprising that this world record was proposed and accomplished by an Australian, the world’s most dangerous and insane sub-species of people. Australia features more than any continent’s share of horrifying venomous spiders as well as a great number of people who are willing to expose themselves to dangerous animals for fame and money.
Thai woman Kanchana Ketkaew spent 33 days with 5,320 of the nasty little bugs in a 130-square-foot glass room at Pattaya’s Royal Garden Plaza. She received thirteen stings but beat the previous record by one day and nearly 2000 scorpions and officially established scorpion-record-breaking as yet another painful and unpleasant way for Thai women to make money.
Many people have criticized karate for its impracticality in actual fighting situations compared to jiu-jitsu or other grappling-based disciplines. As a counter-argument, let us present Indian karate practitioner Tahir Hussain and his abs of pure titanium. Hussain may not be able to break out of a clinch or reverse a hold, but as long as a fight consists of breaking 251 wooden planks on each others’ stomachs over a period of 25 minutes, you wouldn’t want anyone else in your corner.
Genial hydrant-shaped Englishman John Evans considers himself a strongman, but such a description doesn’t really do justice to the other skills necessary to balance a 352-lb Mini on his head, hands free, for over thirty seconds
Manjit Singh of Leicestershire may be an even more unique strongman than John Evans, in that he specializes in hauling, lifting, and carrying outrageous weights with just his ears, hair, and eye sockets.