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Graham Hughes Visits Every Country, But Loses Guinness World Record On Technicality

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A British man completed his mission to visit every sovereign state on the globe without taking a single plane in order to earn himself a Guinness World Records title. However, recognition for his round-the-world jaunt is in jeopardy because of a technicality.

Graham Hughes, 33, took off the record-breaking trip in 2009. By Nov. 26, 2012, he had reached his goal of visiting all 193 United Nations member states -- plus Taiwan, Vatican City, Kosovo, the Palestinian territory, and Western Sahara -- all by train, bus, taxi or ship.

However, in February the Guinness Book of World Records rejected Hughes because he crossed into Russia illegally, according to the Mirror. “Due to media reports that described you snuck into some countries, we cannot accept your application, as we do not accept any illegal activity," read a letter sent to him from the judges.

“They said I’d waded across a river to get into Russia which wasn’t official, and they were correct really. I knew it was a bit dodgy," the Liverpool native admitted to the Mirror.

So he hopped on a bus to Poland, entered Russia legally and is hoping his effort will be reevaluated. “I was a little annoyed that it happened to be Russia, which is so easy and not a big deal to get into, compared to the island nations,” Hughes told Fox News on Friday.


Graham Hughes
Visa, stamp, signed, sealed, delivered! No dodgy river wading shenanigans this time! I is OFFICIALLY in !! Next stop: Kaliningrad.

Still, the Guinness Book of World Records is iffy about Hughes's attempt.

Spokesman Jamie Panas told Fox, “Guinness World Records does not encourage anyone to engage in illegal activity in order to achieve a record. Regardless of the illegal activity involved, we do not currently even have a record designation for the record in question.”

World record or not, Hughes hopes to do this for the rest of his life. "Whenever a new country gains independence, I want to head there overland from the UK," he told the Telegraph in January, "and continue the journey.”

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