It’s Guinness World Record day. Here are six astonishing records from London


Most millionaires ever, biggest fig ever, it’s all happening in the capital of England

The 13th of November is apparently Guinness World record day – the time when the citizens of earth all come together in peace and harmony and warped one-upmanship.

It’s that special day of the year when you can legitimately have your nut freaked out by the flamboyant and futile efforts of the more eccentric members of our doomed species.

So if your boss reprimands you for cackling like a witch at a video of a man speed-typing with his nose, then you can look them dead in the eye and remind them that it’s Guinness World Record Day, and ask them if they hate existence and all that has ever been achieved.

Of course, London is home to some of the most twisted examples of humanity that have ever scrabbled about on the earth’s crust. And as such, our dank, dark capital has thrown up some noteworthy specimens. Here are some of their depraved achievements:

Oldest criminal gang

If London does something dependably, it is to produce gangs. With our brutal feudal and imperialist past, we’ve arguably exported this successful, albeit illegal, model to cities across the globe. Rule Britannia.

Old habits die hard, as they say, and that will undoubtedly be the fate of the members of the world’s oldest criminal gang, which was caught and banged up in London. According to Guinness, in March 2009, a group of pensioners with an average age of 57, and the oldest being 83 years old, pleaded guilty to counterfeiting. The Serious and Organised Crime Agency said that the wrinkly gangsters could produce a finished batch of notes worth £800 in half an hour. Officers were able to recover more than £4.4 million worth of faked Euros and £600,000 worth of bogus £20 notes, bringing the total amount linked to the group over £5 million.

Largest gathering of millionaires

This is just the City on a daily basis isn’t it? Apparently that doesn’t count. The official largest gathering of millionaires occurred last month in a place called Bernie Spain Gardens, (which is on the South Bank in case you were wondering).  A grand total of 110 millionaires arrived to break the record, and then they broke another world record by popping the most champagne corks in relay. Yes, it’s true. If only they’d followed it up by giving the world’s biggest relay charity donation.

Heaviest fig

Heaviest fig

London grew the world’s heaviest fig ever weighed. It had a gravity-challenging mass of 290 grams. Just look at this thing. It could pass for an onion, and that’s what every fig dreams of. That, and being the eponymous ingredient in a figgy pudding during the festive period.

Fastest marathon by a marching band

Huddersfield marching band

In most marathon-hosting cities, athletes from across the world come and display their running prowess. The same happens in London; however, the professional competitors here are joined by a wealth of eccentrics whose ambitions, though inexplicably peculiar, are often just as serious as those of the pros.

Step forward Huddersfield Marching Band, who hold the Guinness World Record for becoming the world’s fastest marching band to complete a marathon while playing music. In 2014, this group of fast-moving musicians beat their own record, after completing the London marathon in 6 hr 56 min 48 sec. Encore?

Most stinging nettles eaten in one minute

This one is truly wonderful. Imagine proudly framing the Guinness World Record certificate and putting it on the wall at home.

“I have eaten the most stinging nettles in one minute ever recorded, and here’s the hard evidence,” you would say to your awestruck guests.

This king among men is a chap called Alex Williams, who in April 2005, gobbled five feet of stinging nettles in a minute in London. What a hero.

Deepest Santa hohoho

There is a record for dressing up and saying particular words at the lowest possible frequency, and the holder of it is Mr James Gower, who, while dressed as Father Christmas, said the chimney-traveller’s catchphrase, “hohoho”, at a sub-woofing 62.81Hz. Well done James.

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