Latest records, from inspiring to just plain weird, in the 2011 book of Guinness World Records

2010-09-18 00:00

LONDON — The largest collection of Smurf memorabilia, the longest dog tongue, and the most football management rejection letters could only be together in one place — the annual list of Guinness World Records.

All of them have made the 2011 edition, released this week.

The Smurf collection involves 1 061 different items owned by Stephen Parkes (44) of Nottingham, England. He said he began collecting them in 1976 when he was 10, and that today he will pay as much as £500 for a rare item.

“It’s great to get in the book, although I think I’m going to get a fair amount of stick from friends when they see the photos,” Parkes said.

Patrick Rielly of Scotland saw the bright side after setting a record for the most rejection letters (46) from professional football clubs across Britain.

“I might have not got my dream job, but now I have a world record,” he said. “Every cloud has a silver lining!”

The 2011 book, published internationally on Thursday, is the annual edition of a best-selling record book that has sold 115 million copies to date.

This year’s records include the longest-lasting lightning storm (on Saturn for eight months); the longest hair (5,64 metres); and the heaviest living woman to give birth (American Donna Simpson, at 240,86 kg).

Mario’s Cafe Bar in Bolton, England, set a record that may whet a person’s appetite — or ruin it altogether. It has the largest commercially available English breakfast. Mario’s version includes six slices of bacon, six sausages, four eggs, six slices of bread, five black puddings, mushrooms, a can of beans, and tomatoes. It weighs 2,92 kg and costs R122, but anyone who can eat it within 20 minutes gets it free.

With a breakfast like that, diners may need a workout. For inspiration they can look to British man Stephen Buttler, who broke the record for the most push-ups with claps in one minute — 73, or 1,2 push-ups per second.

Another man who has the record licked is Jay Sloot, whose mates call him “Tongue Boy”. The Australian’s tongue has been measured at 7,9 cm wide and he has the ability to lift entire 375 ml cans of soft drink with it.

Animal records are always a feature, many of them even stranger than the world’s smallest cow at 81 cm from hind to foot in West Yorkshire, England.

A Pekingese dog from Texas named Puggy set the record for the longest dog tongue, measuring 11,43 cm. His owner said she adopted Puggy eight years ago after he was abandoned.

“From being a stray dog, being dumped, to being a Guinness World Record holder is just phenomenal,” owner Becky Stanford said. “I just can’t believe it.”

A feisty Jack Russell terrier from California is in the book for popping 100 balloons in the fastest time by a dog — just 44,49 seconds. The dog, Anastasia, showed her talent for the first time at a New Year’s party.

Other animal records include the oldest sheep, Lucky, who is 24 and lives in Australia, and the longest rabbit, Darius, measuring 1,3 metres.

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