There are people in this world who work their whole life to excel at something, who yearn for the adoration of nubile young fans that come with being a world record holder. From Olympic athletes to cup stackers, they have trained hard for this moment of glory. And then there are the ones on this list, who got to their accomplishment entirely by accident and if given a choice would really preferred to have stayed home and watched TV instead.
10. Longest Sneezing Spell
Who among us doesn't hate suffering colds, sniffles and the trials of hay fever season? All spent with a crumpled tissue in one hand while we medicate the symptoms into oblivion with shots of whiskey and cold meds. (No? Is that just us here at Tapandaola?)
Donna Griffiths woke up January 13th, 1981 with no idea her world was about to become a nasal hell. That day she began sneezing, and didn't stop for 977 days. For those of you without a calculator handy, that's over 2 and half years of explosive mucus removal. In her first year doctors estimate she sneezed over one million times. We just hope she bought stock in Kleenex.
9. The Largest Tumor
This is not the easiest way to lose 300 lbs, but it is the fastest.
The record for the world's largest tumor is held by a woman who understandably did not want her name released, saving her from a lifetime of recognition as the freak with the tumor bigger than a human being. Bed bound from the weight of her 303 pound tumour and a suffering from a crippling case of agoraphobia, the woman simply watched her body expand like a marshmallow in the microwave.
When she did receive much needed medical intervention, it took a team of 12 surgeons 6 hours to remove the mutant mass of cells, and the entire thing was captured on video, no doubt to appease some strange fetish group on U-tube. The tumour was wheeled out on its own stretcher, and the woman made a full recovery. We like to believe the tumor was smuggled out by the military and is now part of a nefarious series of experiments to create the world's fastest growing super soldier.
8. Longest Recorded Free Fall
That's gonna hurt.
The biggest risks stewardesses are supposed to face are from intoxicated passengers and air sick toddlers, but Vesna Voluvic had to contend with something a bit more traumatic when she went to work Jan 26, 1972.
Working aboard JAT Flight 367, she was on duty when a bomb went off and took down the entire airplane while it was flying over what is now the Czech Republic. She became a record holder by surviving the ordeal, having falling 33,000 feet out of the sky to have a face to face meeting with Terra Firma. She suffered a broken skull, crushed vertebrae and spent 27 days in a coma before coming around.
7. Most Years Hiccupping (69 Years)
What? We couldn't find a good picture of a hiccup so we went with a gratuitous babe shot.
Back in 1922 Eskimo pies had just been invented, Yankee stadium was still under construction and Charles Osborne got the hiccups. Not noteworthy you say? Everyone gets the hiccups from time to time? Well not Charles. He started hiccupping in 1922 while weighing in a slaughtered hog, and hiccupped for the rest of his life. 69 years and 430 million hiccups later, he hiccupped for the last time, no doubt having tried every crazy cure ever invented.
6. Accidental World Cliff Jump Record (351 feet)
Fred Syversen was filming a ski movie, Nuit de la Glisse with his crew when he took a wrong turn and wound up airborne. Coming down the mountain for his grand finale, Fred's film crew began yelling gauche, gauche! which is French and means left, left! Fred had picked the wrong line, and he hit thin air going an estimated 50 mph. While the string of curses that flew from his lips as he realized his error can only be imagined, Fred plunged 350 feet down, tracing a trajectory path that would have done Wile E Coyote proud. On impact he created a small crater and buried himself in nearly 10 feet of snow. When he was uncovered he was unconscious, but amazingly only suffered minor bruising and damage to his liver. We can only assume there were a host of guardian angels hitting the powder that day.
5. Longest Wait on a Hospital Gurney
This is what Hell's waiting room probably looks like.
February 24, 2001 didn't start off too well for UK resident Tony Collins, who had to get himself to hospital when he came down with a virus that left him too weak to move. He was signed in and placed on a gurney in the hospital hallway until a bed could be found. Trouble was, a bed wasn't found until February 27th, 77 hours and 30 minutes later.
Left at the mercy of the staff and with a view of the hospital toilets, Tony could do nothing but wait, and wait, and wait. He developed a bad back and a chronic case of boredom before room was found for him in one of the wards. To add insult to injury he fell ill again while Guinness was reviewing his record; and this time was stuck on a gurney for yet another marathon session of 60 hours.
4. Largest Kidney Stone
There's no way that passed naturally.
60 year old Wazir Muhamhand went to his doctor complaining of terrible pain and urinary problems. The culprit turned out to be a 21.87 oz kidney stone that was taking up a good portion of real estate in Wazir's right kidney. June 24th, 2008 he was operated on, and the surgeons were astonished when they realized the extent of the growth. Being the consummate professionals that they were, they documented it and ran to their laptops to check the online Guinness Book of World Records and confirm they had a winner.
3. Greatest Distance Thrown in a Car Accident
I knew I should have stayed in bed this morning.
No good deed will go unpunished, or so says Murphy's Law. A perfect example of this would be Matthew McKnight, good Samaritan and involuntary holder of the world record for the greatest distance thrown from the scene of an accident.
Matthew was on the interstate attempting to help some accident victims when he became a victim himself, getting struck by a car going 70 mph and getting launched into the air like a punted football. Matthew landed 118 feet away with a pair of dislocated shoulders, a shattered tailbone, shoulder, pelvis and a broken leg. Two weeks in hospital, 80 days in rehab later and he was ready to hit the freeway again, hopefully this time from the safety of his car.
2. Lowest Body Temperature
The Real Ice Queen.
Two year old Karlee Kosolofski learned the hard way just how cold a Canadian winter can be. This resident of Saskatchewan followed her father outside early one snowy morning as he went off to work and got herself locked out of the house. Her distraught mother finally found her 6 hours later, her core body temperature a bone chilling 57.5 degrees instead of the usually toasty 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Her mother performed CPR to no avail, an ambulance took the girl to hospital and against all the odds, Carlee was warmed back up and despite having to lose her lower left leg to frostbite damage, has made a complete recovery.
1. Largest Object Removed from Skull
Doc, I have this stabbing pain in my head.
Michael Hill answered the door while visiting a friend's house and wound up with a splitting headache, literally. An unknown assailant stabbed him in the head and left, presuming that his target would lay down and die like a normal human being. Instead Michael wandered down the street to another friend's house to get help, an 8 inch survival knife still embedded in his grey matter. The odds defying, ball of bronze Michael explained that he didn't feel the pain initially and it was only when I was at the hospital that it hit me and I felt like my eyes were bulging out.
Michael was walking and talking when he got to the hospital, and four hours later they removed the knife and sent him home less than a week later. Michael now suffers from memory damage and a paralyzed left hand, and is the not terribly proud holder of the Guiness Record for “Largest Object Removed From Human Skull”.