The desire to break world records–the need to be the best in the world at something–seems to be part of basic human nature. People will go to great, even insane, lengths to push the boundaries of human capability.
On November 15, people around the globe will test their limits and celebrate the annual Guinness World Record Day. In the spirit of record-breaking, we’ve rounded up 12 world records that were either set by Alabamians or took place in the Yellowhammer State. Now would be a good time to start brainstorming what record you’re going to try to break on the 15th.
1. Largest fishing tournament
The Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo on Dauphin Island, Alabama, currently holds the Guinness World Records title for the world’s largest fishing tournament. The event reportedly includes 3,000 anglers.
2. Largest inflatable airship
In 2010, E-Green Technologies – 21st Century Airships revealed its 235-foot long airship, the Bullet 580, in Montgomery, Alabama. The craft was so large that it took 5 hours to fill with helium.
3. Largest K’NEX sculpture
The Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama is home to the world’s largest sculpture made completely out of K’NEX, a plastic construction toy. Space Camp crew trainers used 160,000 K’NEX pieces to create the T-REX sculpture, which is over 12 feet high and 33 feet long.
4. 72 of 72 free throws in 2 minutes
On March 7, 2009, Rick Rosser set a world record by making 72 free throws in 2 minutes at the Legacy YMCA in Bessemer, Alabama. The previous record was 60 free throws.
5. Largest motorcycle museum
Earlier this year, Guinness World Records recognized Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, Alabama as the largest motorcycle museum in the world. According to al.com, in 2013 270,000 people visited the museum.
6. Largest bubblegum bubble
On April 24, 2004, a man named Chad Fell blew a bubble with a diameter of 50.8 cm at Double Springs High School in Winston County, Alabama. It was the largest bubble ever blown, according to Guinness World Records.
7. Largest pot of baked beans
On September 4, 2010, the largest pot of baked beans in the world was prepared at the Alabama Butterbean Festival in Pinson, Alabama. So just how many beans were made? 1,010.65 gallons.
8. Largest alligator
On August 15, 2014, an alligator weighing 1,011.5 pounds and spanning 15-feet, 9-inches was captured out of the Alabama River in Thomaston, Alabama. Officials from the Safari Club International said it set a new world record. It took 5 hours to catch the alligator. Check out the video to get an idea of just how massive this thing was.
9. Largest office chair
Anniston, Alabama is home to the world’s largest office chair. Created in 1981 as a promotional tool for Miller’s Office Supply, the chair stands at 33 feet tall.
10. Largest penny collection
In 2005, Edmond Knowles took his penny collection to Escambia County Bank in Flomaton, Alabama, and dumped all 1,308,459 ($13,084.59) of his pennies in the bank’s Coinstar machine. The previous record for most pennies cashed-in by a Coinstar machine was 1,048,013. According to cnn.com, Knowles’ collection weighed more than 4.5 tons. He had been saving pennies for 38 years.
11. Youngest university graduate
Michael Kearney received a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Alabama when he was 10 years old. By 21, he had four undergraduate degrees, and a year later he got a doctorate degree in chemistry just for kicks. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized Kearney as the youngest university graduate.
12. Fastest thru hike of the Appalachian Trail
In 2011, Samford University graduate Jennifer Pharr Davis hiked all 2,181 miles of the Appalachian Trail in 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes, which means she averaged around 47 miles a day. In Called Again, Davis writes about her journey of becoming the world record holder.