New Zealand's weirdest world records

MICHELLE COOKE
Last updated 14:23 17/11/2011

New Zealand world record breakers

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New Zealand milestones in women's suffrage, mountain climbing and athletics are rightly celebrated.

We're the first country to give women the vote, and the home of the first person to climb Mt Everest and the first athlete to run a mile under three minutes and 50 seconds.

But less well known is that New Zealand is also home to a number of other world records.

Whether it's squeezing three people into a small box, throwing washing machines and people the furthest distance, or eating the most sausages in one minute - New Zealanders know how to break records.

About 100 records have either been broken by New Zealanders or in New Zealand, according to the Guinness World Records website.

Today is Guinness World Records Day, where thousands of people worldwide attempt to break records.

Last year on Guinness World Records Day 300,000 people tried to break records across the globe.

Today, Australia is trying to break the record for the most ABBA impersonators in one place, Italy will try to create the longest chocolate bar and Dublin is hoping to become the home of the largest ever gathering of leprechauns.

We've devised a top 10 list of crazy Guinness World Records that New Zealanders hold.

* Candle-lighting, side-jumping, clapping Alastair Galpin has dedicated his life to breaking records. The South African, who now resides in Auckland, is one of the top Guinness World Record holders. He's broken records for the most side jumps in a minute (90), the most gloves on one hand in a minute (13) and the most lit candles in the mouth (8). He's also clapped the loudest (113 decibels), created the largest bottle cap sculpture and flicked a coin the furthest distance (12.11 metres).

* Contortionists Skye Broberg, Nele Siezen and Jola Siezen hold the record for staying in a small box for the longest time. The friends spent just over six minutes in a box, smaller than one square metre, in 2009.

* Martin Reuben de Jong smashed a record in 2009 when he ran through 15 panes of glass consecutively. His record-breaking feat was broadcast on the NZ Smashes Guinness World Records show, which featured a number of New Zealanders record-breaking attempts.

* New Zealand is also home to an unintentional record - 'the greatest distance between same offence, arresting officer and offender'. In 2010, a British man received a ticket for speeding from Police Constable Andy Flitton near Christchurch. The offender recognised the constable as the same officer who had given him a ticket for speeding near London in the UK in 2008. Both had migrated to New Zealand.

* Hopefully Stefan Paladin likes sausages, because he stuffed eight whole sausages into his mouth and ate them all within one minute - earning himself a place in the Guinness World Records. Paladin broke the record at Ericsson Stadium on July 22, 2001.

* Clint Hallman holds a record, though it's probably one he'd rather not have. Hallman lost his hand in a chainsaw accident in the mid 80s. He was the first person to have a hand transplant operation. He received the hand from a dead motorcyclist in 1998 but told the BBC that his body rejected it a year later.

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* Jonathan Macfarlane has a strong arm, but instead of throwing balls, he's more experienced in throwing people. Macfarlane holds two records - one for throwing a person (4.87 metres), and the other a washing machine (4.015m), the furthest distance. He broke both records in 2009 and Andrew Rainford sacrificed his bones when he volunteered to be the object of Macfarlane's throw.

* New Zealand is also home to a couple of group records. Three hundred and 50 people walked over fire, one after the other, at the New Zealand International Fire Festival in 2004, breaking the record for 'most people firewalking consecutively'. Two years later, 772 people throughout New Zealand had their heads shaved during a Child Cancer Foundation fundraiser, breaking the record for 'most heads shaved in one hour'.

* Bet you didn't know that New Zealand-born Jeannie Reiman was the oldest female racing driver. Reiman still holds the record, eight years after she secured it, at the age of 90.

* The largest wasp nest ever recorded was discovered in 1963 and was 3.7m long and 1.75m in diameter. It was discovered on a farm at Waimaukau and was so heavy that it had fallen from the tree and had split in two. It had probably been constructed by introduced German wasps.

These are just some of the records New Zealanders hold. There are plenty more to add to the list, including the fastest text message sent while blindfolded, the furthest distance climbed on a ladder, the largest scone and the largest game of leapfrog. Who knows what record will come next...

- Stuff

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