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Jaw-Dropping Guinness World Records

The latest edition proves you’re never too old to set a record

  • Courtesy of GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS 2018 IS OUT NOW

    Ageless Wonders

    The annual release of the Guinness Book of World Records is a yearly reminder that the boundaries of human achievement are always being tested, often in ever more laughable ways. The 2018 edition, available now, lives up to that promise — and then some. This year’s crop of world record holders proves that imagination — certainly not age — is the only limit to record-breaking. We salute their timeless milestones: some brand new and some well-established.

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  • Courtesy of GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS 2018 IS OUT NOW

    Largest Teddy Bear Collection

    When she turned 50, Jackie Miley owned only one. Since then, the 68-year-old from Rapid City, S.D., has more than made up for lost teddy bear time, amassing the world's largest collection of 8,000-plus. It takes an entire house — dubbed Teddy Bear Town, and open to visitors — to hold all the stuffed animals, which hail from each of the 50 states as well as 29 different countries.

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    Oldest Bodybuilder

    Jim Arrington, 85, has entered more than 60 bodybuilding competitions and now finds himself easily ahead of his competition — often because he’s the only competitor in his age group. The octogenarian lives in Venice Beach, Calif., and has been a regular at nearby Muscle Beach for decades. He still works out two to three times a week.

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    Longest Eyelashes

    If nothing else, the impossibly long eyelashes possessed by You Jianxia of Changzhou in the Jiangsu province of China, must also make her the person with the world’s largest mascara budget. Jianxia, 50, has a left eyelash that measures 4.88 inches long. That easily outdistances the previous record holder, Canadian Gillian Criminisi, whose longest lash grew to 3.17 inches.

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    Largest Ball of Paint

    In 1977, Michael Carmichael painted a baseball with his son. In the subsequent 40 years, Carmichael, 70, has applied at least one more coat of paint to the ball each day. When it was first recorded as a record back in 2004, the ball had nearly 18,000 coats of paint. It now weighs two and a half tons and has become a bona fide roadside attraction to people traveling through Alexandria, Ind., many of whom stop in and add another coat of paint themselves. The only rule? The new coat of paint can’t match the color of the previous one.

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  • Courtesy of GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS 2018 IS OUT NOW

    Longest Fingernails

    One of the more famous gross-out Guinness categories has a new record holder this year: Ayanna Williams, 60, of Houston, whose nails cumulatively curlicue a mind-bending total of 18 feet, 10 inches. Williams told USA Today that it can take up to a full week to paint her nails, and that her nails make it especially difficult to pull up her pants. Her nails, which have been growing for 24 years, don’t keep her away from her job: She’s a manicurist, naturally.

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    Most People in a VW Van

    Ready for a road trip and wondering how many people you can cram inside a VW bus, that iconic boomer mode of transportation? The answer, believe it or not, is 50, a feat achieved by a group of presumed contortionists in 2015 at a Volkswagen festival in England. Your vehicle comfort level may vary — and good luck reading a map.

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