2014: A record-breaking look back at the year

By Kevin Lynch
2014 review main

From World Cup scoring sensations to the fastest dog on two legs - as the year draws to a close, we look back over an incredible 12 months.


The year kicked off in spectacular style with Dubai smashing the largest fireworks display world record with a New Year’s spectacular.

The history-making performance saw 479,651 shells fired in just six minutes, at a rate of almost 80K shells per minute and 1,332 fireworks per second.

The start of the year traditionally sees the movie world gear up for the Oscars, but Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street had already made its own piece of film history after it was confirmed it had set a new Guinness World Records record title for most swearing in one film. GWR-Wolf-of-Wall-Street---BlankSlider-Article-580-327The movie, starring Scorsese's regular go-to star Leonardo DiCaprio, and based on a memoir by Wall Street trader Jordan Belfort, features the f-word expletive 506 times – an average of 2.81 times per minute.

The month also saw baseball phenomenon Masahiro Tanaka sign with the New York Yankees in a 7-year, $155 million (£93.5 million) deal, setting a record for the largest-ever contract for an international free agent heading to Major League Baseball as well as the largest ever contract for a free agent pitcher. Tanaka-Article-580-327

Elsewhere, daredevil bike racer Guy Martin set a new world record for the fastest speed on a gravity-powered snow sled following a white knuckle attempt at the ski resort of Grandvalira in Andorra.

The 32-year-old motorbiker and lorry mechanic from Lincolnshire reached 83.5mph in the challenge, beating German racer Rolf Allerdissen record of 62.25 mph set at the Pitztal Glacier in Austria in 2010.

To set the record, Guy took on a 984ft run with a massive 360ft drop, which was at times steeper than the main climbing route on Everest.

There was sad news towards the end of the month, with the passing of the athlete, journalist and politician Sir Chris Chataway, at the age of 82.

On top of setting the 5,000m world record in 1954, and famously acting as pacemaker for Sir Roger Bannister as he broke the four-minute mile barrier the same year, Sir Chris also played a key role in establishing The Guinness Book of Records. To read more about Chris’s life, click here.


TV star and expert record breaker Rob Dyrdek went backwards into history for MTV's "Fantasy Factory" finale, by setting a new record for the farthest reverse ramp jump by a car.

Driving a Chevrolet Sonic, Dyrdek cleared a distance of 89 feet 3.25 inches (27.21 m). Watch here as he talks about, and pulls off, this stunning achievement. 

Marking Valentine’s Day in perfect style, seven couples each broke for the longest marathon hug record during a successful attempt at Sydney’s Darling Harbour.hugmain

The cuddly event originally began with 12 couples hugging it out to win a $20,000 diamond ring. Within the first hour four couples were disqualified for moving their hand positions, leaving the remaining eight to settle in for the long haul. After exactly 26 hours and 5 seconds of hugging, the couples released their arms simultaneously. The previous record of 25 hours, 22 minutes and 36 seconds had been smashed by over half an hour.

The month also saw Arturo Licata from Enna, Sicily, officially recognised as the world’s Oldest Living Man. Arturo-Licata-oldest-Living-Man-mainThe Italian, born on 2 May 1902 was aged 111 years and 302 days when he was confirmed as the record holder, before sadly passing away two months later.


Hengqin Ocean Kingdom, a huge aquatic theme park in Guangdong Province, China marked its official opening back in March with confirmation that it has set five new Guinness World Records titles.

As well as being recognised as the world’s largest aquarium, the attraction also set records for largest underwater viewing dome, largest aquarium tank, largest aquarium window and largest acrylic panel.

The month also saw one of the one of the holy grails of track and field achieved , when Sergei Bubka’s 21-year-old world record for highest pole vault (male) (indoors) was finally broken.

French Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie was the man to pull off the seemingly impossible, reaching an incredible 6.16m during the Pole Vault Stars meeting in Donetsk, Ukraine on Saturday – a full 1cm higher than Ukranian Bubka’s benchmark leap set in 1993.

Proving just how much TV viewing habits have changed, viewers of the 2014 Academy Awards helped TV star and comedian Ellen DeGeneres break a record.  

Host of the 86th Oscars, DeGeneres crammed in a host of A-listers into a selfie photographed by American Hustle star Bradley Cooper, and broke a new record - with the help of millions of Twitter users worldwide. 
As of 15.00 GMT the following day the message on the micro blogging social network had gained over 2.6 million retweets. Oscars Elen Degeneres selfieThe informal snap, featuring a huddle of Hollywood stars including Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep, smashed the previous record for most re-tweeted message on Twitter, set by a message sent by Barack Obama shortly after his re-election as US President in November 2012.


April saw confirmation that Disney’s Frozen has edged past Toy Story 3 to become the highest box office film gross for an animation.

Loosely based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale "The Snow Queen", the hit musical which was first released in the US in November 2013 has so far earned US$1,072,391,611 (£650,222,000) globally. 

Marking its Easter celebrations, the Brazilian company Senac-RS took to the city of Gramado's annual "Chocofest" and helped construct the largest chocolate rabbit. Here it is in its full 3,850 kg (8,488 lb) glory. In typical Brazilian fashion, he looks pretty much in control with a soccer ball at his feet!

Chocorabbit article main

For many reluctant gardeners, cutting the lawn is a time-consuming chore, but that surely wouldn’t be the case if you had this super-charged grass trimmer unveiled by Honda back in April.

Named the Mean Mower, the high-performance garden vehicle set a new world record for fastest lawnmower, after being driven at an incredible 116mph (187kph).

Driven by Top Gear writer Piers Ward for the attempt, the 1000cc 109HP mower’s average speed broke the previous record by almost 30mph.

Arguably the one of the 2014’s most spectacular records came when two Skydive Dubai daredevils set a new highest BASE jump from a building world record with a leap from the Burj Khalifa.

Veteran French jumpers Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet leapt off a 3 X 1 meter platform at the very top of the 828 meters tall building to earn their place in history


The sky was the limit for a group of Official Lego Builders who travelled from Denmark to Budapest, Hungary back in May.

Their mission was to participate in a Guinness World Records title attempt for The Tallest Structure Built with Interlocking Plastic Bricks.

With a bit of help from a group of local school children and the placement of the final piece from district mayor Antal Rogán success was achieved and a new record set.

Construction of the “modern obelisk” took from four days. Stood in front of Saint Stephen’s Basilica, the impressive structure reached an incredible 34.76 metres high, using over 450,000 blocks.

Standing at equally impressive height was Verrückt. Located in Kansas City, Kansas, USA, it took the title for the world’s tallest water slide. Officially verified by Guinness World Records prior to its opening, the Verrückt stands at a record-breaking height of 51.38 m (168 ft 7 in).


Commonly referred to as ‘America’s Favorite Quiz Show’, game show Jeopardy! reached its 30 th season in May, with its host Alex Trebek also reaching a major milestone.

Presenting the show for the 6,829th time Trebek set a new world record for most game show episodes hosted by the same presenter (same programme).

Film, TV star and founder of GISHWHES (Greatest International Scavenger Hunt The World Has Ever Seen) Misha Collins notched up another mass participation record in the summer when thousands of his followers across the globe cuddled their way to the largest online photo album of hugs. 


A total of 108,121 photos for the campaign 'GISHWHES Hugs The World 2013!' helped set the new benchmark with Mischa now looking to set another record in 2015.



For sports fans, the summer was dominated by arguably the best FIFA World Cup in recent memory. Germany turned out the eventual winner, with their striker Miroslav Klose making his own piece of history by becoming the title holder for Most FIFA World Cup finals goals by a football (soccer) player.

The 36-year-old German striker netted his side's second goal in the semi-final against Brazil to become the record holder outright with 16, in a memorable match which saw the tournament hosts lose 7-1.

Click here to check out all the other records set during Brazil 2014.

The World Cup also set the scene for a new social media benchmark for Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira.Shakira-main

The pop star set a new record for first person to reach 100 million likes on Facebook after posting a photo of herself in the Maracanã Stadium in Rio, prior to her performance during the closing ceremony of the tournment. 

Meanwhile, in the world of E-Sports, Chinese team Newbee bagged the record for greatest prize money in a videogame competition (team) after scooping $5,028,308 at a tournament in the US.

The five-man team took home the record-breaking prize after beating rival Chinese team Vici Gaming during The International 4 (TI4) at the KeyArena, in Seattle, Washington while playing multiplayer online battle arena game Dota 2.



August saw confirmation that LUHAN, a member of pop group EXO has set a new social media world record for most comments on a Weibo post.

The singer’s football-themed post, originally published on 10 September 2012, had achieved 13,163,859 comments as of 5 August 2014 – almost double that of the second most commented post on the Chinese social network.

Luhan-mainThe month also saw an officially amazing animal join the Guinness World Records family, when super talented Jiff was officially recognised for achieving two new world records for dogs: the Fastest 10m on hind legs (6.56 seconds) and Fastest 5m on front paws (7.76 seconds).

In addition to his record-breaking talent, the Pomeranian from Los Angeles is also able to shake hands, bow, ride a skateboard and even stamp his own autograph!

The month was also marked by an incredible record by a very different sort of dog. In August, the Tokyo Dog food truck in Seattle, Washington, USA, unveiled the world’s most expensive hot dog commercially available – with a staggering retail price of $169 (£101.69).

The ingredients list for the footlong frank include smoked cheese bratwurst, butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, shaved black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayonnaise, all served up in a brioche bun.


UK music festival Bestival grooved its way to a new world record in suitable style during September by having the largest ever disco ball on site.


Measuring a huge 10.33 metres in diameter (nearly 33 feet), the super-sized mirrored orb was created as part of challenge to Bestival’s organizer Rob Da Bank by Nile Rogers, frontman of the event headliners Chic.

There was also plenty of the party spirit in the GWR offices as we celebrated the release of the latest edition of the Guinness World Records annual.

Among the new record holders to make an appearance in the book was Nick Stoeberl, owner of the world's longest tongue!


The walking dead hit the streets of the Warehouse District in Minneapolis in October to set a new world record for the largest gathering of zombies.

A grand total of 15,458 flesh-hungry participants shuffled along closed off streets as part of the annual Zombie Pub Crawl event.

Elsewhere this month, a 464.826 kg (1,024.76 lb) explosive blasted its way into the history books in Japan, setting a record for largest aerial firework shell.

Produced by Alps Fireworks Industry Co., Ltd, the huge banger was launched during the 13th Kounosu fireworks festival organised by Kounosu Junior Chamber of Commerce in, Saitama, Japan on 11 October 2014.

Meanwhile Chinese handset maker Gionee’s, the Elife S5.1, was officially recognised by Guinness World Records as the world’s slimmest smartphone.Thinnest smartphone 1

It measures just 5.31 mm (0.209 in) at its widest point, making it over a millimetre slimmer than the 6.9mm iPhone 6 and the newly released 6.7mm Samsung Galaxy Alpha.  


Chinese wheelman Han Yue maanged the seemingly impossible in November by breaking the tightest car parallel parking record.

The stunt driver managed to neatly slide his way into a gap measuring just 8 cm (3.15 inch) longer than the MINI 3 Door Hatch he was driving for the attempt at Chongqing Olympic Park.

His feat shaved off 0.6cm from British driver Alastair Moffatt’s record set back in July 2013 of 8.6 cm (3.4 inch) – a measurement many motoring experts had thought unbeatable.

Hot on the heels of Han Yue’s stunning feat was another spectacular motoring stunt to make the history books.

Mike Ryan, an experienced HGV stunt rider, pulled off the longest ramp jump by a truck and trailer after achieving a distance of 83 feet, 7 inches after flying through the air over an F1 racing car.

The month also saw the tenth annual Guinness World Records Day take place, which saw thousands of people around the world come together to celebrate the international day of record-breaking.

This year’s event was marked by the first ever meeting of Sultan Kösen and Chandra Bahadur Dangi, the world’s tallest and shortest living men.UK_Tallest-&-Shortest-men-meet-(2)

Click here to read a full recap on what proved to be an incredible day of record-breaking. 


Christmas came early for avid Guinness World Records collector Martyn Tovey, this year when he was awarded two official records for the ‘Largest collection of Guinness World Records Memorabilia’ and ‘Largest Collection of Guinness World Records Annuals’.

The 57-year-old from Somerset, UK, owns over 2,164 unique Guinness World Records items of memorabilia and over 353 unique Annuals including rare first editions signed by both Norris and Ross McWhirter.

Christmas was also marked in a big way in LaGrangeville, New York.

The Gay family regained the Most Lights on a Residential Property world record after decorating their house with an incredible display consisting of 601,736 lights.

Finally, Guinness World Records ended the year with the launch of a special video series to mark its 60th anniversary.

Sir Richard Branson Sir Roger Bannister Usain Bolt were just some of the big name record breakers to feature in the YouTube specials which chart the history of the record-breaking organization. Click the playlist below to watch the series in full.

Here’s to more amazing feats and achievements in 2015!