The Guinness Book of World Records has been a major part of our cultural landscape for the past 61 years. The idea for the first book came to Sir Hugh Beaver, managing director of Guinness Brewery, when he failed to find the answer as to ‘which game bird is fastest’ in any existing reference book.
The first edition of the book was published in 1955 and the broad – and sometimes downright kooky – range of records has exploded since then. Some of the most eccentric titles currently held include “Most ice cream scoops balanced on a cone”, “Biggest Afro” and “The World’s Largest Monopoly Board.”
Not to be left out, more than 50 records are currently held or were broken in the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Here are 10 of our most astounding world achievements.
In September of 2011 a chef at the UMass Dining Services in Amherst cooked the largest stir-fry ever on record, weighing in at more than 4,000 pounds.
2. World’s Longest Surviving Two-Faced Cat
These spectacular – and otherwise happy and healthy – animals lived in Worcester. Frank and Louie had two functioning eyes, two noses, two mouths and one brain. They died of cancer at the age of 15.
3. World’s Longest Career As An Ice Cream Man
Allan Ganz served as an ice cream man in Malden and Everett for a record 67 years. He set his record in 2014 and still shows no signs of slowing down.
4. World’s Largest Gathering Of People Wearing Tie Dye
The Business Professionals of America set this record this past May at Fenway Park, with 1,500 folks wearing tie dye.
5. World’s First E-Mail Ever Sent
Ray Tomlinson, an engineer at a Cambridge computer company, is credited with having sent the first “e-mail” in 1971 while trying to get two computers to exchange messages. The riveting first message was: “QWERTYUIOP.”
6. World’s Largest Aluminum Sculpture
Burger King in Lancaster, MA nabbed this record in November 2011 with its aluminum sculpture of the iconic Burger King cardboard crown measuring higher than 15 feet and spanning wider than 18 feet.
At Seventeen miles long and 540 feet wide, the Cape Cod Canal is the widest canal in the world. It was constructed between 1909 and 1916.
8. World’s Fastest Marathon While Dressed As A Video Game Character
Just this year John Kelly ran the Boston Marathon dressed as the videogame character Link, the hero of Hyrule. His impressive time was 2 hr 57 min 00 sec. He says the achievement combined 2 of his childhood dreams.
9. World’s Longest Officially Released Song
Kelly and Michael Bostwick of Palmer, MA hold this record for their curiously long tune, “In the Garden” that comes in at an exhausting 3 hours, 1 minute and 50 seconds.
Cambridge’s own, Big Skinny Corporation presented the World’s Largest Wallet on November 26, 2010. It measures 314 cm (10 ft 0.63 in) long and 306 centimeters (10 ft 05 in) high and is an outsized to scale replica of an existing wallet design by the company.
Featured Image via Guinness World Records