Guinness World Records has launched the latest edition of its best-selling book documenting global achievement, including new entries for the shortest bull, the oldest gymnast and the lowest ever car.
The 57th version of the best-selling reference book also features new verified entries for the world’s heaviest sportswoman and the most conquests of Mount Everest, as well as the tallest ever dog.
Being published in 22 languages in more than 100 countries, the 2013 Guinness World Records is expected to sell around 2.7 million copies and documents numerous new extremes relating to the human body.
Some of the new record holders posed for the media on Wednesday in front of London’s iconic Tower Bridge. They included Australian Chayne Hultgren, holder of the record for most swords swallowed simultaneously, and the world's shortest living woman, Indian Jyoti Amge, who stands at just 62.8cm.
Amongst those recognized for their feats of human nature are 86-year-old Johanna Quaas, a retired PE teacher from Leipzig, Germany, who is named the oldest gymnast and London-based sumo wrestler Sharran Alexander, who weighs 203.21 kg (32 stone), and was named the world’s heaviest sportswoman.
Egyptian-born Moustafa Ismail, recognised for having the largest “guns” - biceps and triceps - with a circumference of 25.5in; Bodybuilder Mr Ismail, now living in Franklin, Massachusetts, has arms with a greater circumference than the average human head. The 24-year-old, originally from Alexandria, Egypt, hopes his record-breaking status will be a springboard to become a professional body-builder.
“Next year’s going to be like, I’m waiting to get to 30 inches by next year. I wanna get my max. Plus my dreams is forever, I said, until I die: in the gym.”
The book celebrates records from the animal kingdom such as the world’s shortest bull (76.2cm), tallest dog (1.118m) and tallest horse (210.19cm).
Archie may be the world's shortest bull, but his lack of height has helped him to live a much longer life.
Originally destined for the butcher’s knife the 29-month-old Decter breed bull was spared by his County Armagh owners when they became so fond of him they decided to keep him.
Records are not just awarded for stand out size though.
Zac, a parrot from California, holds the record for the most basketball slam dunks in one minute by a parrot.
American Mark Temerato, owner of the largest drum kit in the world, insists he can hit everyone of his 340 piece kit.
“It was my boys who prompted me to really go for a Guinness World Record cos (because) I’ve always had the biggest kit they thought and I thought that too. But I've just come out from the drum closet and now I have the largest drum set in the world,” said Temperato, a member of the band Jesus the Soul Solution.
Temperato’s drum kit is dwarfed in size by two other collections that have made it into the book.
In Germany Bettina Dorfmann holds the record for the largest collection of Barbie dolls, at 15,000 items. While Japanese Asako Kanda holds a similar record for her Hello Kitty collection, with 4,519 items of memorabilia.
“At first everyone around me, friends and family, thought I was a little crazy because of my obsession about my hello Kitty collection but now they understand my passion and love towards Hello Kitty so whenever they give me presents they know that if they give me Hello Kitty goods I will be happy,” said Kanda.
This year the publishers have created an app to accompany the book.
By bringing the two dimensional images in the book alive Guinness World Records hopes to get a record number of children enjoying the book and the records it reveals.
“The Guinness World Records is always evolving. Every year we try to look at anything we can to get kids to read books. And this year we’ve found this amazing thing called augmented reality. It allows you to really interact with the pages and the record holders. You can see for example the world’s shortest man’s actual size and have your photograph taken with him. You can pet the shortest dog. You can even see a parrot doing slam dunks. It is incredible,” said Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday.