Lara Nunan (Australia) is a superfan of superheroes and she's crazy about cartoons.
The 16-year-old Sydney schoolgirl has broken two world records:
- Most Marvel characters identified in one minute: 88
- Most cartoon characters identified in one minute: 102
Lara’s scores are so high that not only did she break both records, she may have put them out of reach for anyone else to ever achieve again.
Lara smashed the previous totals by unprecedented margins.
The most Marvel characters identified in one minute was previously 55, achieved by Shrish Nirghav in June 2021. Before Shrish, the record was 47.
Then along came Lara, who was able to push past the barrier of naming more than one per second, correctly identifying 88 characters within the minute.
In 2020, Shrish was also the first person to set the record for the most cartoon characters identified in one minute, with 50.
A year later, the record had changed hands twice and belonged to Mark Agarwal, who achieved 60 in December 2021.
Lara blew this total out of the water, identifying 102 cartoon characters during her official attempt on 6 January 2022.
Lara has always enjoyed a challenge.
She used to do a lot of sports, showing particular talents for tennis, Aussie rules football and cross country running. Impressively, at just 10 years old, she entered a 5 km race and placed higher than most of the adults.
However, a few years ago, Lara had to give it all up after fracturing her foot twice.
Rendered unable to do the things she loved, Lara was "left feeling sad and frustrated".
That was until 2020, when she discovered the Guinness World Records website and the vast array of talents on display.
"I started reading about all the incredible achievements of people around the world, and I became inspired to be a record holder," Lara said.
Lara is a self-confessed "huge Marvel fan", so the first record she set her sights on was the most Marvel characters identified in one minute.
"Since I also loved watching cartoon programs and movies when I was younger, the second Guinness World Records title I wanted to achieve was for the most cartoon characters identified in one minute," she said.
Her family are amazed by her ability to recall information, but Lara knew that memory mastery was only half the battle.
"It’s not just about having the skills to achieve a Guinness World Records title, you need to have the motivation to want to be able to achieve it, as it requires a lot of hard work."
In preparation for both record attempts, Lara "watched Marvel movies again, as well as lots of cartoon shows."
"I learnt many different characters for each record attempt and practiced consistently each day. I spent many hours talking to myself." - Lara
As someone who knows virtually every single Marvel character, Lara is well placed to provide her opinions on them.
Though she relates to Spider-Man’s ability to juggle schoolwork with saving the world, Lara's favourite superhero is "strong, powerful female" Captain Marvel.
Her favourite cartoon characters are Oso, Pink Panther, Snagglepuss and Hokey Wolf.
"As a child I grew up watching many Hanna-Barbera cartoons, Nickelodeon and Disney shows," she said.
With all the hard work done, Lara’s greatest challenge on the day of each official attempt was simply to keep herself calm.
And keep calm she did - Lara obliterated the two previous record totals, claiming both titles for herself.
It could be a long time before we see Lara’s scores beaten, if ever.
"It feels amazing to hold two Guinness World Record titles. I hope that I inspire others, especially young people like myself when faced with health challenges or stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, to try something different." - Lara
As most serial record breakers would tell you, collecting Guinness World Records certificates can be addictive.
Taking inspiration from Thanos' unstoppable pursuit of all six Infinity Stones, Lara is preparing to break as many world records as possible in the future.
She is also focused on her studies, as she would like to follow in her parents footsteps and become a medical scientist or work in pharmaceutical medicine.
With her favourite fields of science being anatomy, pharmacology and quantum mechanics, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Lara invent a super suit of her own and become an actual superhero one day!