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Breaking a Guinness World Record Is Even Tougher (and Weirder) Than You Imagine

After 60 years, Guinness World Records continues to draw avid fans—and competitors.

World’s longest tongue (3.97 inches); world’s most consecutive skips of a stone on water (88); world’s largest hamburger commercially available (777 pounds); world’s farthest eyeball pop (0.47 inches). World records are as alive and well—and as strange—in 2015 as they were in 1955, when the very first Guinness Book of Records was released to mass acclaim. The book stole the hearts of holiday shoppers in England, turning out to be a surprise bestseller. Sixty years later, Guinness World Records still holds the No. 1 slot in sales among copyrighted annual books, with more than 132 million copies sold as of October 2013—the last year for which there is a record.

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