Guinness World Records celebrates 60 years since the Wexford question that started it all

Guinness World Records celebrates 60 years since the Wexford question that started it all

Heavy twins, skinny waists, and the world's longest fingernails are just some of the elements in this year's Guinness World Records.

The Records are marking their 60th year after selling more than 134 million copies in 21 languages in more than 100 countries.

It was first published after a row in Co Wexford about the fastest game bird in Europe, a row which the Records' Nadine Causey said had only recently been resolved.

Sir Hugh Beaver, Chairman of the Guinness Brewery, was out hunting game birds by the River Slaney in Co Wexford in November 1951 when he missed a shot at a golden plover. He wondered whether the plover was the fastest game bird in Europe but couldn't find a reference book that answered the question, so set about having one compiled.

Timelime here.

(BTW, the record for the fastest game bird in Europe is jointly held by the red-breasted merganser and the eider - both of which are thought capable of exceeding an air speed of 65mph.)

Cathie Jung has the world's smallest waist (pictured here), which corseted measures 38.1 cm (15 in)

Other weird and wonderful records Guinness have profiled include the longest legs, the most expensive bottle of wine and the world’s tallest man.

Animals have also set records – in 2012 Zeus, a great dane, was named the world’s tallest dog, measuring a mighty 112cm tall at the shoulder and 218cm on his hind legs.

The world’s longest fingernails, claimed by Lee Redmond from the USA, were up to a metre long each until a car accident in 2009 when she lost all 10 nails.

Also American were the world’s heaviest twins, Billy Leon and Benny Loyd McCrary, who performed as tag-team wrestlers and weighed over 100 stone combined.

In contrast the skinniest waist was awarded to Cathie Jung, another American, who in 1999 had a corseted waist measuring an eye-watering 38.1cm.


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