Bikinis, hugs and hairy heroics on world records day
London -- Stripping down to bikinis, cuddling strangers in railway stations and dragging buses with their hair, thousands of people across the globe attempted to break curious world records Thursday.
From Australia to China, Britain, Egypt, Lebanon and Tennessee, people put their scalps, stomachs and reputations on the line.
The antics were all in the name of the fifth annual Guinness World Records Day, with hopefuls trying to secure a spot in the next edition of their famous Guinness World Records book.
"It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that so many hundreds of thousands of people around the world are taking part in fun, inspirational, courageous and awe-inspiring record attempts," said editor-in-chief Craig Glenday.
Around the world, new records were set — some in the preceding days — in the rush to claim a place in history.
In London, "Ironman" Manjit Singh set a record by dragging an 8.5-tonne bus some 21.2 metres (69 feet six inches) — with his hair.
It was something of a comeback for the 59-year-old, who failed to break the record for pulling a bus with his ears two years ago.
"I will never be discouraged by defeat because I know that success can be waiting around the next corner," he said.
"The only way to get there is to try again and stay positive."
Meanwhile 112 people, including total strangers commuting to work, set a record at London’s St Pancras station as they hugged for a minute.
Outside the Sydney Opera House, 235 people stripped down to their bikinis and swimming trunks, but alas were 47 people short of setting a new swimwear parade record.
New Zealand’s Alistair Galpin set three records, spitting a champagne cork five metres, blowing a Malteser candy 11.295 metres with a straw and blowing a coin 37.6 centimetres.
In China, Tao Yongming drove his motorcycle up a sand dune in six minutes and two seconds.
In Beirut, Toufic Daher made the tallest matchstick model, reaching six metres, 53 centimetres, while Nabil Karam broke the record for the largest collection of model cars, instructing the witnesses to stop counting at 22,222.
Meanwhile Hesham Nessim got his vehicle across the Egyptian western desert in 13 hours and 33 minutes.
In Helsinki, people from 76 nationalities squeezed into a sauna while the new fastest 40 metres human wheelbarrow race record was set at 17 seconds.
The largest gingerbread man (651 kilogrammes) was baked in Oslo, while in Denmark, Jim Lyngvild peeled and ate three lemons in 28.5 seconds.
In Milan, the record for the largest pizza base stretch in one minute was set at 42 centimetres, while Ernesto Cesario wolfed down a bowl of pasta in 90 seconds.
Hamburg in northern Germany saw two new records. Joe Alexander broke a stack of 11 concrete blocks with his elbow while holding a raw egg, and Maiko Kiesewetter climbed five metres up a wall — on darts.
In the United States, 23 people in Fort Worth, Texas broke the record for lassoing simultaneously, while in Memphis, 297 people set the benchmark for the largest cheerleading dance.
In New York, the largest cup of hot chocolate record hit four gallons (15 litres), while 1,817 lipstick prints were collected in 12 hours across the city.
Brewers Guinness launched their famous records book in 1955 to settle disputes among drinkers.
All the record attempts are assessed by adjudicators from the organisation.