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BIG LIST: Enduring Insanity

Running in a hot air balloon might be pretty amazing, but it’s also an exercise in futility, considering the whole point of a hot air balloon is to enable effortless long distance travel. But it’s nowhere near as pointless as the following feats of human endurance.

Friday 25 May 2012, 02:59PM

Lord of the Rings:

In 2006, Kam Ma decided he was nowhere near famous or metallic enough for his liking. So he located tattoo artist Charlie Wilson, and the pair went about attempting to break the world record for most piercings in 24 hours. They succeeded, at a staggering 1,055 piercings in just under eight hours.

Ma, apparently not wanting to waste time on ridiculous things like preventing pain, took every one of the piercings without anesthetic, making himself as figuratively metal as he is now literally metal. It comes as no real surprise then that no one has yet successfully challenged the record, probably because all the viable candidates are locked up in padded cells somewhere.

Pac it in:

If you’ve ever sunk way too much time into completing a video game, you can at least feel better for not being Billy Mitchell. Ol’ Billy is the first person to ever get the highest possible score in Pac-Man, at 3,333,360 points. He set the record in 1999 after coming out of a 14-year retirement so he could focus on things like real life.

In order to get this perfect score, he had to eat every pellet, fruit and blue ghost on the screen for every level. All 256 of them. Mitchell described the task as “tremendously monotonous”, which sounds like the biggest understatement ever stated, since after you complete level 20, you have to play the exact same level over 200 times in a row.  

(Star)bucking the trend:

Rafael Antonio Lozano Jr. prefers to go by the name Winter. We like to call him ‘Mentally Deficient’, because for the past 15 years, he has undertaken a quest of epic and ridiculous proportions: to consume a coffee from every single Starbucks on Earth.

Winter has visited 8,651 stores in North America with only 46 to go, while he’s also had drinks at 2,134 stores in other countries – he’s even visited the seven Starbucks here in Phuket. Oh, and he refers to it as ‘Starbucking’, which is one of those cases where it seems wholly unnecessary to invent a verb to describe an activity no one else is doing but you.

Numbers game:

Marva Drew was a good mother, and anyone who said anything to the contrary could go screw themselves. So when her young son came home from school one day and said his teacher told the class that it was impossible to count to a million, she just wasn’t going to take that crap. But Guinness World Records usually likes some sort of proof, and “I promise I thought them all in my head” wasn’t going to fly.

So, like anyone else in the 1960s on a mission, Marva sat down at her typewriter and began typing. For the next six years. The result was almost 2,500 pages full of numbers. Drew completed her book and would have been a world record holder – except she missed out that tiny little detail of having a witness to her six years of riveting typing.

Mole man:

A quick hypothetical: Your parents die when you’re 37, leaving you a house worth over B30 million. Do you: a) Sell the house and spend all the money on booze, drugs and hookers? b) Be responsible and do some DIY home improvements to help secure your future?

Or c) Dig a vast network of underground tunnels like some sort of one-man Vietnamese resistance group for no apparent reason? London man William Lyttle chose ‘b’. But then he got bored and ventured right on into ‘c’, digging tunnels up to 10m deep and more than 20m long under his property for 40 friggin’ years, all on his own, using only a shovel and a pulley.



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