An athlete made history with his balls this year by setting one of the strangest world records imaginable: Completing a triathlon while juggling the whole time.
Joe Salter, a 31-year-old public school counselor from Pensacola, Fla., pulled off the incredible achievement on April 21 when he swam a quarter-mile while juggling three balls, then biked 16.2 miles while juggling two balls in one hand and ran four miles, also juggling.
Even more amazing: He did this all in 1 hour and 57 minutes, according to The Huffington Post.
The ballsy record earned Salter a certain amount of fame and now the honor of being the person who set the weirdest world record of 2012, according to RecordSetter.com, an adjudicating agency that has found a niche in the competitive world record recording business by allowing people to submit their own wacky world records for consideration.
Salter's amazing stunt is still garnering praise and admiration around the world, but especially from fellow "jogglers" like Perry Romanowski, who runs JustYourAverageJoggler.com, a website dedicated to the sport.
"Before him, no one was able to figure out the swimming part of the triathlon," Romanowski told The Huffington Post. "He was the first one. He's like Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute mile. Now that he's done it, other people will do it too."
However, it wasn't easy picking the weirdest record of the year, according to RecordSetter.com co-founder Dan Rollman.
"Selecting the Record of the Year was an extremely difficult decision," he told The Huffington Post by email. "There was heated debate in our office about which feat deserved the recognition. That said, a juggling triathlon is a landmark human achievement, right up there with putting a man on the moon. We were proud to bestow it with the top spot honor."
Salter's achievement was worth celebrating, but his record was just one of many weird ones, Rollman said.
Besides Salter, other weird record-holders include Pete Moyer, who performed 10 chin-ups in a row while swiveling a hoop around his hips; Zakk Shanks, who managed to ride his unicycle 30 feet along the floor of a swimming pool; and rapper Street Light, who managed to freestyle rap for 13 hours in a row.
"Every year, we are surprised and delighted by the creativity of the RecordSetter community. 2012 brought our most outlandish, unique and extraordinary submissions ever," Rollman said.
Patting your head while rubbing your belly is a challenge. Doing chin-ups while hula-hooping is the stuff of a fevered imagination unconstrained by earthly physics. But try telling that to Pete Moyer, who can perform 10 chin-ups in a row while swiveling a hoop around his hips.
Set at 20 in 2010 and broken nine times since, this tricky record requires patience, a steady hand, unwavering concentration, and a calm mind. Oh, and a bucketful of skill. Current record holder Mamuka Kucia, from the nation of Georgia, has long been engaged in a gripping rivalry with Vermont's Tony Duncan. While admitting that Kucia's abilities are "scary," Duncan believes that, with a few solid months of intense training, he could reclaim the title. Until then, the skittering sound of a dropped ping-pong ball haunts his dreams.
Clint Poore of Albany, Kentucky, is a strongman with a soft side. Best known for his physically demanding feats, such as breaking apples in half with his bare hands and bench pressing a giant pumpkin, Poore also holds the record for holding the most kittens in one hand.
The great advantage of unicycling underwater is that it's almost impossible to fall off. The great disadvantage is that it's almost impossible to pedal -- that pesky force by the name of buoyancy gets in the way. However, using a combination of SCUBA gear, science, and sorcery, Zakk Shanks this year managed to ride his unicycle 30 feet along the floor of a swimming pool.
Belgian pair Ward Versonnen and Sirdan Dalle are especially fond of Angry Birds, a fact they demonstrated when they devoted 48 hours of their lives to a non-stop gaming session.
In a whirlwind 60 seconds, Eric Smyth used his trademark two-handed flinging technique to score nine strikes at his local bowling alley. Though most of his balls initially looked to be heading for the gutter, all but one of Smyth's throws resulted in a strike.
When you call yourself CoolJuggler, you'd better have the skills and charm to back it up. Thankfully, the Californian behind this record lives up to his name. Riding in the bike lane on a quiet street -- a set of conditions we recommend if attempting the feat -- CoolJuggler casually tossed three balls in the air behind his back as he pedaled. He kept it up for four minutes and 19 seconds, a new world record.
13 hours can feel like eternity. Imagine having to talk the whole time. Imagine there's a backbeat, and your words, which you make up on the spot, have to match the rhythm of the music. With only three-second breaks at a time. For 13 hours. It seems beyond human capabilities, but rapper Street Light did it this year.
A deserted field; a man holding a red hand mirror; a crossbow in the grass and the curled remains of a burst balloon. This is not the set of a David Lynch film, it is the setting for one of Doug McManaman's many impressive world records. Displaying enviable patience and steadiness of hand, the Canadian crossbow enthusiast took careful aim over his shoulder at a balloon pinned on a board 25 yards behind him. With only the small mirror to guide him, McManaman shot his projectile smack-bang into the balloon, rupturing it with a satisfying pop.
Exhaustion; chafing; sand in multiple bodily crevices -- these are just some of the hindrances your standard triathlete has to deal with during a race. It's a tough sport, but not tough enough for Joe Salter, who this year completed the Mullet Man triathlon in Florida's Perdido Key while juggling. Swuggling (swimming while juggling), buggling (biking while juggling), and joggling (guess!) do not make for the most efficient triathlon, but Salter finished the race with a very respectable sub-two-hour time.