Warsaw, Poland – “Record breaking is a serious business”, the Guinness World Record Association warns on its website. Be that as it may, it can sometimes be challenging to keep a straight face while scrolling through the list of those broken records.
Here’s our selection of the most fascinating, wacko or just plain weird Guinness World Records that Poland can brag about (they were either achieved in Poland and/or by Polish people).
THE WEIRD ONES: The largest gathering of people with medical ear implants, achieved in 2012 in Poland by 557 people as part of a bid to raise awareness on how implants can help people whose hearing has been impaired. It was organized by a leading Polish audiologist, Prof. Henryk Skarzinski who, quite coincidentally, and on that very same week, set another, completely unrelated record: gathering the largest collection of snail items (1.377 snail-related artifacts).
The most bodies painted record was broken in 2015 by 497 people at the 21st annual Woodstock Festival Poland in Kostrzyn nad Odra. Staying in theme, Polish DJ Norbert Selmaj aka Norberto Loco also managed to hold the longest marathon club DJ-ing in the Underground Temple Bar of Dublin back in 2014 (200 hours). Although it seems too obvious to even mention it, the largest polonaise dance was also organized in Poland.
Another one we should mention is the largest underwater wedding held at the Koparki Diving Base in Jaworzno back in 2011: 303 people attended the ceremony, where the lucky couple and the priest used sign language and water-proof texts to communicate.
THE SPORTY ONES: Granted, this first one could have been included in the previous category. Nevertheless: the most people lifted and thrown – in the woman category – in 2 minutes was achieved by Aneta Florczyk around ten years ago (she lifted and threw no less than 12 people); On a more serious note, Wanda Rutkiewicz became the first woman in the world to reach the summit of K2, the world’s second highest mountain back in 1986. Regarded as one of the greatest female climbers, she died during a climb six years later.
One of Poland’s greatest football stars Robert Lewandowski also holds a number of Guinness records thanks to a single, legendary match back in 2015 with the Bayern Munich against Wolfsburg: most goals scored by a substitute in a Bundesliga match (5 goals, scored within the space of nine minutes), the fastest hat-trick in a Bundesliga match (3 min and 22 seconds), the fastest four goals (5 min and 42 seconds) and five goals (8 min and 59 seconds) in a Bundesliga match. On a more leisurely note, the city of Krakow has also been the witness of the most people keeping a football in the air (1.444 enthusiastic kickers) last June to celebrate the World Cup.
Poland can also boast of the most wins of the World’s strongest man and woman: four wins in the woman category for Aneta Florczyk (yes, the same as before) in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2008; and five wins in the man category for Mariusz Pudzianowski in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2008.
THE BRAINY ONES: The world’s longest chess marathon (50 hours, 1 minute and 7 seconds) was achieved by two Poles, Jacek Gajewski and Mojciech Waruga in December 2017 in the city of Katowice. They were playing fast chess, in which the winner was awarded one point per win and 0.5 point for a draw.
Poles also stand out for how well they can solve Rubik’s cubes: the fastest average time for a Skewb solve in 4.58 seconds by Jonathan Klosko (the Skewb solve is a specific type of Rubik’s Cube, where the axes of rotation pass through the corners of the cube rather than the centres of the faces); but also the fastest time to solve a 2x2x2 Rubik’s Cube (0.49 second) achieved by Maciej Czapiewski and the fastest average time to solve a Rubik’s Cube blindfolded by Marcin Kowalczyk in 28.87 seconds in 2013.
And finally, although it’s more an organizational achievement that a truly intellectual one, the longest representation of pi digits was achieved last year in Warsaw, with 627 people queuing up and holding signs of pi digits – despite pouring rain – as part of the International Pi Day.
THE FOODY ONES: Quite expectedly, a couple of records relate to food and eating: among many others, we could mention the largest meat stew (4.087 kg) that was made by a Polish chef in 2012, as well as the longest black pudding (226.67 m).
Poland also holds the record of most people cooking simultaneously (2.853), achieved in 2015 as part of the European Barbecue Championships – the local fire brigade was standing on hand nearby just in case something (or someone) caught fire.