Guinness World Records that have never been broken
By Ivan Blanco at DoYouRemember
"Records are made to be broken."
We've all probably heard that little nugget more than once, and for the most part, it's true: Every time something becomes a "New World Record," it's usually followed up with, "For Now."
Still, there are a select few records that, for whatever reason, withstand the test of time despite all things being equal. We're not talking about sports records that will never be touched, like Cy Young's 511 victories as a pitcher, because today's game is wildly different than it was a century ago. Nor are we talking about things in raw dollar amounts, because inflation all but guarantees that every year will be a record breaking year.
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No, we're talking about those records that peaked generations ago, and have almost crossed into the realm of legend: The kind of records that will appear in the 2016 edition of Guinness World Records, same as they did in the original edition in 1955.
And after 60 years of record breaking achievements, the people at Guinness World Records still stand in awe of a select few milestones. "The fact that records involving music, movies, and personal wealth have remained unbeaten into the 21st century is truly amazing," says Peter Harper, Senior Vice President for Guinness World Records, Americas. "Breaking any of these would truly be a global accomplishment."
But as you'll see, that's going to be easier said than done. Here now are the World Records from the 1955 Guinness Book of Records that Have Yet to Be Broken.The Air Up There (The World's Tallest Man)
The world's tallest man, as confirmed by the Guinness Book of Records, is Robert Pershing Wadlow, who was born in 1918 in Alton, Ill. Standing at a colossal 8'11.1″ (2.72 m) and weighing in at 491 lbs. (222.7 kg) at his heaviest, Wadlow was in fact still growing at the time of his death on July 15, 1940. Because of his massive size, Wadlow's clothing were provided to him by the companies he worked for, free of charge, in exchange for promotional material.
While a few disputed challengers have laid claim to being members of the 8-Feet-Tall-Club, none have surpassed Wadlow, who has held onto his record for 75 years.
Yuletide Cheer (The World's Best-Selling Single)
The thing about popular music is it's as dispensable as it is infectious, which is what makes Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" so alluring. Today, the internet allows us to buy multiple tracks at once, adding to the feeling that pop music is not only readily accessible, but that it's shelf life is as equally short as it's cool factor (I'm looking at you, Macarena).
But that wasn't the case for most of music history, when people had to go out and *gasp!* purchase physical copies of music for their home enjoyment. "Rihanna is the biggest selling digital artist, having sold 45.57 million digital tracks," Peter Harper adds. "Yet Bing Crosby's record of 50 million copies [sold] of his single 'White Christmas' shows just how popular and timeless that tune still is."
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For a song that was recorded in just 18 minutes, it's incredible to think that a tune released in 1942 is still so iconic, it's become the unofficial theme song of an entire holiday season. Not bad when your little pop diddy has a staying power of 72 years. That's the kind of longevity The Macarena could only dream of having (though we here at DoYouRemember are certainly glad it didn't).
Frankly My Dear...(World's Highest Grossing Movie (Adjusted for Inflation))
When adjusted for inflation, it isn't even close: Though Gone with the Wind first premiered in 1939, it still managed to take in an astonishing $393.4 million in box office revenues, or about $3.4 billion when adjusted for inflation. How big was this film in its time? So big that an estimated 300,000(!) people came out for the film's premier at Loew's Grand Theater in Atlanta, GA.
While the film has the advantage of having a 70 year head start and multiple re-releases over the second highest grossing film, 2009's Avatar, it's the "adjusted for inflation" part of the record that makes this film remarkable. Why? Because when based on ticket sales alone, Gone with the Wind sold almost three times as many tickets (225.7 million) than Avatar (78.3 million).
When you have that many viewers in the seats, it's little wonder why this film remain the gold standard by which all other box office success is measured...whether Rhett Butler gives a damn or not.
Classified Information (The World's Largest Office Building)
Built in 1943 during the height of World War II, the Pentagon was never intended to hold the record for the world's largest office building 72 years later. Racking in at over 6 million square feet, over half of that is used for office space. Most impressive, though, is that the building manages to pack in more square footage than the Empire State Building despite being only four stories tall.
When the 1955 Guinness World Records came out, the confirmed total number of employees at the Pentagon sat at 28,500. By 2008, that number had been upped to 31,000 personnel, showing that this is not a record that plans to rest on its laurels just yet.
Standard Oil and Fat Cheddar (World's Richest Person (Adjusted for Inflation))
Some facts of life are just unavoidable: You'll never find that missing sock in the dryer, and you'll never find a Rockefeller in a bread line. That said, certain members of America's richest family have done it better than others, and Standard Oil's co-founded, John D. Rockefeller, has set the bar high for his fellow billionaires.
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For comparison, there's rich,and then there's "I control 90% of the oil in the United Sates" rich, which is exactly what Rockefeller could claim in 1913, when he banked a total of $900 million. Adjusted for inflation, that's $189.6 billion. "Bill Gates is currently the wealthiest person alive with $79.2 billion," Harper notes. "Which makes his net worth less than half of John D. Rockefeller's at his peak."
Forget about standing in a bread line: With that kind of money, Rockefeller could've given out a sackful of diamonds with each loaf. Speaking of diamonds...
Bling Bling (World's Largest Diamond)
When you've got bling, you flaunt it. When you've got the Cullinan diamond on your hands, you call Guinness World Records, because you've just made history. Discovered all the way back in 1905 at the Premier Diamond Mine in Cullinan, South Africa, this mammoth weighed in 3106.75 carats. Today, experts estimate that the gem is worth upwards of $400 million.
While the Guinness Book of Records wasn't around then, no other stone has been able to come close to matching the Cullinan diamond in size or value, making its claim the longest running record on this list.
Do you know of any more long-lasting records that have stood for at least 60 years? Have any personal connections to the people or topics featured in this article? Let us know on Facebook and in the comments section below we'll be sure to talk about it soon.