Friday, June 24, 2005

A Few Of My Favourite World Records

As I have mentioned before I have read the Guinness Book of Records from cover to cover. I met the then editor, Peter Matthews, when I went to England and the Guinness Museum of World Records offered me a job to have any visitor ask me a world record and I would tell them the answer. Perhaps they didn’t like it when I pointed out 9 or 10 of their exhibits were out of date as the particular records they represented had been surpassed.

Tallest Person

Robert Pershing Wadlow. There is a person I look up to. He died when he was 272 cm, or 8’ 11.1”, and at the time of his death he was still growing. When he was 5 years old he measured 163 cm (5’ 4”) and he was 183 cm (6’) tall at age 8. He reached 218 cm (7’ 1 ¾”) by his 13th birthday.

It is very difficult to imagine an 8 year old of solid proportion who was taller than me. And when you take into consideration that only about 10 people have been accurately measured as having reached 8" the fact that he was that much taller is even more amazing.

Most Variable Stature

Adam Rainer was 118 cm (3’ 10 ½”) at age 21 but by the time he was 32 he measured 218 cm (7’ 1 ¾”) and we he died aged 51 he was 234 cm (7’ 8”). Incredible. The only person to have been both a dwarf and a giant.

Most Kids

The first wife of Feodor Vassilyev had 69 children, 67 of whom survived infancy. They included 16 sets of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets. And we are talking from the 1700s here. Why did he feel the need to get married again?

Standing Up

Swami Maujgiri Maharaj stood up for 17 years as a penance. At night he would sleep standing up against a plank.

I don’t see this record being broken any time soon. True committment. I wonder what he was doing penance for?

Pole Sitting

St Simeon the Younger, or Stylites, spent 45 years atop a stone pillar in Syria until 597 AD. This is the longest standing Guinness world record. Or should I say sitting?


Larissa said...

Is this a world record for being on top a stone pillar or for the longest standing record? Or both?

Hammy said...

I guess he could have been in any position atop the stone pillar but certainly wouldn't have been standing for all of that time.