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How To Set a World Record

Set or Break a Guinness World Record

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Lucky Diamond Rich holds the Guinness World Record for

Lucky Diamond Rich holds the Guinness World Record for "the world's most tattooed person".

TOONMAN_blchin, Creative Commons License
Have you ever wanted to set a world record? Setting a world record is free and actually quite straightforward. Here is what you need to do!
  1. The first step is the hard part. Come up with an idea for a record you wish to set or to break. One way to get ideas is to browse the existing World Records at the Guinness World Record website.

  2. Determine the present record. If this is a pre-existing world record, you can simply look it up in the most recent edition of Guinness World Records. If it is a new record, search online and in published literature to see if there are existing unofficial records.

  3. Once you have an idea, make sure it meets the criteria for a world record. There are certain restrictions for applying:
    • You need to be over the age of 13.
    • The record must be quantifiable. You need to be able to measure the record somehow (longest, heaviest, fastest).
    • The record must be breakable.
    • The record shouldn't cause harm to anyone.

  4. Make sure you can break the record. Just because you can do something one time doesn't mean you can do it again. Some records may be single attempts, but most of the time, you want to set a record for a feat you know you can perform. It would not be fun to fail during your official attempt!

  5. Apply for the record. This involves going to the Guinness World Record site and filling out a form. Basically, you enter your contact information, a title for the record you are setting or breaking, a description of how you intend to break the record, an explanation of how the record will be measured, and a reason for why you want to set the record. You'll need to sign various contracts, which is why you need to be over the age of 13 to apply.

  6. Once the form is submitted, you'll hear back from Guinness World Records, either declining your proposal or else sending you to the next step.

  7. The next step is for Guinness World Records to tell you exactly what they require in order for you to verify your claim. In addition to written records or video, they may also require you follow safety protocols during the attempt.

  8. Submit your documentation.

  9. Once it's approved, you have set a new Guinness World Record! Congrats!
Note that there are other ways to set a world record aside from registering it with Guinness World Records. For example, Recordsetter.com also documents world records. Recordsetter is newer than Guinness World Records, but follows similar rules. They accept a somewhat wider range of records than Guinness World Records.

As an alternative to officially setting a record, you may wish to simply make a video of a record and post it on YouTube. However, verifying a world record with a reputable source lends more prestige to your accomplishment and sets the standards for others to attempt to break your record, which is more fun! Setting the Record for the World's Biggest Smoke Bomb

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