On May 22, 2007 Katsusuke Yanagisawa became the oldest person to summit Mt. Everest. This 71 year old former school teacher has since joined the ranks of Bear Grylls and Lance Armstrong as "People Whose Achievements Invalidate Your Pathetic Existence."
This is the stuff of a worthwhile world record, a moment highlighting the richness of human potential. Of course, as any quick study of the Maury studio audience will attest, that potential is rarely exercised by the masses. And the folks who put out the Guinness Book of Records (GBR) have a lot of blank pages to fill ...
#8. Greatest Distance Thrown in a Car Accident
As Newton once postulated, a body will remain at rest, or continue to move at a constant velocity, unless an external net force acts upon it. That law should now be renamed Matthew McKnight's law, as no one has demonstrated it as spectacularly as he did the day he was standing around and a car hit him going 70 mph, flinging McKnight a distance equal to more than a third of a football field.
McKnight was struck when he pulled over to help accident victims on Interstate 376 on October 26, 2001. His kindness was repaid with an involuntary flight of 118 feet as well as a broken shoulder, pelvis, leg and tailbone. Luckily he was quickly surrounded by a crack medical staff who, seeing how far the man had been flung, knew that Guiness must be contacted STAT.
From then on, no matter what else McKnight may have accomplished in his life, he would forever hold the record for Greatest Distance Thrown In a Car Accident. Congrats, Matthew!
It was actually McKnight's emergency room physician, Dr. Eric Brader, that submitted paperwork for the record, because nothing in the Hippocratic Oath specifically bars you from "just being kind of a dick".
#7. Longest Ear Hair
This next honoree was actually the inspiration for John Mayer's seminal hit (double entendre intended) "Your Body Is A Wonderland". Of course, it was a much earlier iteration of the song, back when the working title was "Your Body Is A Monument To All That is Vile And Unholy".
Radhakant Bajpai of Naya Ganj, Uttar Pradesh, India, was "blessed" with extraordinarily long hair sprouting from the center of his outer ears. The record actually specifies the hair originates from the "middle of the pinna", meaning that GBR has had to maintain separate records for the longest hairs from multiple regions of the ear. Radhakant's ear hair/tendrils measure an incredible 13.2 cm (about 5.25 inches) at its longest point, though it is slightly shorter when pulled back into pigtails.
"Making it to Guinness World Records is indeed a special occasion for me and my family," said Radhakant. "God has been very kind to me." It's not clear exactly how God compensated Radhakant for the grotesquely long ear hair though most experts postulate that it would take at least three extra inches of penis to consider the deal even.
Or, maybe we're misreading the man's comments and he really is proud of his ear hair; perhaps in his culture it is a trait to be treasured and the hair represents the gentle, fluffy kitten that lives inside a man's skull. Regardless of why he's thankful, he should probably be thanking the shameless Guinness editors, or perhaps all of the people who failed to set any sort of impressive record that year, but probably not God.
#6. Largest Collection of Traffic Cones
Not all collections are equal. For some, completing a collection involves scouring the planet for rarities that all would envy. For others, it involves yanking mundane bits of municipal property off the road and appropriating it for their own uses. Guess which one David Morgan opted for when he assembled his collection of traffic cones?
David has a collection of 137 different, presumably stolen, traffic cones. Based on the picture, this includes "The orange conical one", the "off-orange conical one" and the rare "yellow pointy one that someone drew a penis on the side of."
David owns approximately two thirds of all the types of traffic cones ever made, which is more impressive when you realize that means someone out there is actually a traffic cone historian and can thus validate the scope of his collection. We'll take their word for it.
#5. Greatest Distance Moonwalked in One Hour
The people of the Balkan states are best known for their indomitable spirit and their adoption of pop culture trends 20 years after they've expired in America. The sum of these two qualities coalesced on September 10, 2006 when Krunoslav Budiselic set the world record for the greatest distance moonwalked in one hour.
Krunoslav managed to cover 5.255 km (3.265 miles) moonwalking at the Athletic Stadium Mladost, in Zagreb, Croatia on that fateful day. Witnesses to the event described it as both "plodding" and "impressively fruity" according to our translation. As news of Krunoslav's triumph spread across the land, the people celebrated his victory by overthrowing the local government in a bloody coup.
The excitement from this accomplishment even managed to trump the buzz surrounding The Removal Of The World's Largest Appendix (measuring at 26 cm/10.24 in), occurring in Zagreb just a month prior.
Zagreb is now petitioning to the U.N. to be formally recognized as the "WTF Capital Of The World".