If records are made to be broken, then Nov. 17 should be the perfect day to break them.
That's because it's Guinness World Records Day, a 24-hour period when people (and, occasionally, animals) are supposed to set aside whatever grievances they have in order to band together for a higher cause: breaking a record for "World's Largest Teabag," "Largest Number of ABBA Impersonators," or "Most People in a Single Pair of Pants."
This is the seventh year of Guinness World Records Day and more than 300,000 people are expected to participate in various record attempts around the world, an increase from nearly 275,000 participants last year, according to Guinness spokeswoman Jamie Panas.
What started out as a way for the organization to commemorate the fact that its flagship book, "Guinness World Records," had become the biggest selling copyrighted publication of all time, is now its own event with its own demands, including requests for people who can determine whether a record is really a record.
"Each Guinness World Records Day sees an influx of applicants and bolder record attempts than the year before," Panas said. "This Guinness World Records 'holiday' has become a permanent fixture on thrill seekers' calendars and we're seeing the demand for our adjudicators to judge records increase on this day each year."
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This year, there will be events taking place all over the world, but Panas admits that the largest number of contestants will be the members of the World Sport Stacking Association, who will be promoting field cup stacking competitions in multiple countries across the globe in sync with Guinness World Records Day.
Other record breakers will be more unique. For instance, there won't be many contenders in the category "Oldest Yoga Teacher" -- just 91-year-old Bernice Bates, who still practices and teaches yoga at a pace that would put someone a third of her age to shame.
And South Dakota's own Raul Meza is the only one set to attempt to break the record for the "Most Martial Arts Kicks in One Minute."
Meanwhile, Wim Hof, better known as "The Iceman," plans to attempt to break his record for "Full Body Ice Contact Endurance" by sitting in a vat of ice for more than 2 hours, and a man named Isaac Louie (aka "Louie Foxx") plans to try for immortality by getting the "Most Bounces of a Soap Bubble."
Although many of the records that usually make the Guinness Book require some kind of actual ability, things like that don't matter as much on Guinness World Records Day, according to editor-in-chief of Guinness World Records Craig Glenday.
"You don't need to have a unique talent or possess super skills to take part in a world record attempt," Glenday said. "That's the spirit of Guinness World Records Day -- getting involved and having some fun. There are so many record attempts going on around the world on this one day that people won't have to look far for some first-hand record breaking excitement."
Along with the record attempts in America, there will be similar attempts in Germany, where a person will attempt the "Longest Underwater Walk By An Individual In 24 Hours," and in England, where the "Largest Tea Bag" will be constructed in Portsmouth, and a group of Londoners will strip down and squeeze into an oversized pair of underpants for the "Most People in a Single Pair of Underpants."
Down under, more than 200 Australian ABBA fans will go for the record for "Largest Gathering of ABBA Impersonators," while France will unveil a 15-foot rag doll in hopes of capturing the title for "World's Largest Rag Doll."
In addition, 800 Chinese singles will participate in what is being billed as the "World's Largest Speed Dating Event," and Ireland will try to find 300 people willing to dress in green suits to set the record for "Largest Gathering of Leprechauns."
It's very possible that this year's Guinness World Records Day could set a record for the "Most Records Set In One Day," but some Guinness officials like Stuart Claxton are on the record saying they don't want to necessarily give an award to themselves.
Claxton said during the last Guinness World Records Day that the organization hasn't kept tabs on whether the record-setting actually breaks a record because it's "so self-serving, and this day is all about the people."
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