Guinness World Records 2012
How did it all start?
On May 4, 1951, Sir Hugh Beaver, then the managing director of the Guinness Brewery, went on a shooting party in North Slob in County Wexford, Ireland. He became involved in an argument over which was the fastest game bird in Europe, then later realized it was impossible to confirm in reference books. He then thought that a book supplying answers to such questions could be popular.
The first 197-page edition of the "Guinness Book of Records" was bound on Aug. 27, 1955, and went on to the top of the British best-seller list by Christmas. Over 400 million copies have sold since.
From biggest to smallest, wackiest to weirdest, check out some of the world record breakers honored in the latest Guinness book.
Longest ears on a dog
A Black and Tan Coonhound named Harbor has the longest ears of any living dog, with measurements of 12.25 inches for the left ear and 13.5 inches for the right.
The Vogtland masters of violin- and bow-making in Germany created a violin that is 14 feet long and 4 feet 6 inches at its widest. This fantastic fiddle – plus its 17 feet bow – is seven times larger than the real thing. It takes three people to play a tune on it – one to press the strings and two to move the bow.
Longest fingernails on a pair of female hands
The longest fingernails on a pair of female hands belong to Chris "The Dutchess" Walton and measure in at 10 feet 2 inches for her left hand and 9 feet 7 inches for her right hand for a total of 19 feet 9 inches as measured in Las Vegas, Nev., on Feb. 21, 2011.
Most dogs skipping on the same rope
Who knew dogs could skip rope -- much less 13 of them at the same time. The record was achieved by Uchida Geinousha's "Super Wan Wan Circus" in Japan.
Largest collection of penguins
Birgit Berends had amassed a collection of 11,062 different penguin-related items as of March 14, 2011. From Germany, she started her collection at the age of 18 when she was inspired by the animated series Pingu. Her very first penguin dates back to her days in elementary school.
Fastest wedding chapel
The fastest wedding chapel, nicknamed The Best Man, achieved a speed of 62 miles per hour in Shelbyville, Illinois. The mobile chapel includes stained-glass windows, pews, a pulpit, a pipe organ, a 1,000-watt stereo system and a three-tiered back porch with wrought-iron hand railings.
Youngest person to fly solo around the world
Barrington Irving, a 23-year-old aerospace student at Florida Memorial University, braved snow, storms and monsoon rains to circumnavigate the globe in his single-engine plane Inspiration, becoming the youngest person, and first black pilot, to achieve the feat. When Barrington found that nobody would lend him an aircraft for his journey, he had one built instead. The Columbia 400 he flew was made entirely from donated parts and assembled for free by the Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Company.
Largest chocolate bar
Workers and guests at the World's Finest Chocolate company in Chicago admire a 12,290 pound chocolate bar they created to set a new Guinness World Record on Sept. 13, 2011. The bar, which stands nearly 3 feet high and measures 21 feet long, beats the previous record chocolate bar by more than a ton.
Longest domestic cat (and longest domestic cat tail)
At 48.5 inches long, Stewie is the world's longest domestic cat. The 5-year-old Maine Coon is owned by Robin Hendrickson and Erik Brandsness and was measured on Aug. 28, 2010. He also has the longest domestic cat tail at 16.34 inches.
The largest afro measures 7.3 inches high, 7.7 inches wide and 4 feet 4 inches in circumference. It was achieved by Aevin Dougas, who lives in New Orleans.
Longest tongue on a female
Chanel Tapper, pictured from California, has a tongue that measured 3.8 inches from tip to top lip, earning her the title of longest tongue on a female. The outright longest tongue record, though, is held by Stephen Taylor from the U.K. His lengthy licker measured 3.86 inches from tip to lip.
Largest collection of cows
Denise Tubangui, from the U.S., has a collection of 2,429 cow-related items as of March 2011. Denise started collecting in 1990 when she saw a cow figurine in her mother's kitchen. Her favorite item is the life-sized calf that her neighbors gave her as a present.
The shortest cat is Fizz Girl, a 2-year-old female munchkin cat, who measured 6 inches from the floor to the shoulder. She's owned by Tiffani Kjeldergaard, who lives in San Diego, Calif.
The longest moustache measures 14 feet and belongs to Ram Singh Chauhan from India.
Largest crocodile in captivity
Cassius, an Australian saltwater crocodile named after Cassius Clay, has been declared the largest crocodile in captivity by the Guinness Book of Records. Cassius measures an impressive 17 feet 11.75 inches and weighs more than 2,000 pounds.