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How to break a world record, as told by Guinness World Record holders

Sweet Pea (left) and Silvio Sabba (right) are both Guinness World Record holders after going through the official process. (Guinness World Records)

Ever since 1954, the Guinness World Records has been compiling and maintaining an impressively comprehensive list of people, animals and institutions that hold the record in just about any category you can think of. Nov. 11 marks Guinness World Records Day, where the latest and greatest accomplishments and records from the year are honored.

If you think you have what it takes to join the ranks of those being recognized by Guinness, follow these steps on your way to official record holding.

  1. Pick a record

    Sweet Pea the Australian shepherd/border collie holds the record for ''Most steps walked down by a dog facing forwards balancing a glass of water.''


    There are countless records out there waiting to be broken. If you've ever wondered how oddly specific categories like "most steps walked down by a dog facing forwards balancing a glass of water" came into existence, it's because anything that can be measured, weighed or counted is eligible to be a category.

    Search through the massive amount of records to see what you have to beat, and if you somehow don't see your category, you can suggest one after registering with Guinness.

  2. Already broke a record? Prove it!

    Corduroy, who is 26 years old, was officially named the oldest living cat in the world in July.


    While you're combing through the categories for inspiration, if you see a category and think, "But I've already beaten that!" you just need to prove it. If, for example, your cat is older than Corduroy, who was born on Aug. 1, 1989, then start copying that birth certificate and register with Guinness to complete the application. Also please ask your cat about the secret to longevity.

  3. Make sure it's something you can accomplish
    If you don't qualify yet, all it takes is picking the right category and a little practice, or in some cases, a lot of practice. Unexpected categories, like "Most socks put on in one minute," can get pretty competitive. A man in Slovakia can cram on 47 socks before the clock runs down -- definitely not his first attempt.

  4. Tell Guinness about your attempt
    Your quirky talent will never be an official record if Guinness doesn't know about it. If you have a fun talent or a large event that you want Guinness to witness in person, you can indicate that in your application. It costs money, but some record-breakers, like eating champion Furious Pete, prefer to put that extra touch on their record-breaking events.

  5. Execute your attempt

    Silvio Sabba, who uses the Guinness World Record Challengers site to send in videos and verify his records, has broken more than 200.


    Your attempt can be done with as much or as little fanfare as you want. Some can even be broken from the comfort of your own home. Recording your attempt and submitting it on the Guinness Challengers website is so easy that some people have broken dozens of records that way -- Silvio Sabba from Italy has broken more than 200! So what are you waiting for? Good luck and happy record breaking!

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