Guinness Book of World Records

  • Prime Minister Modi’s leadership of a yoga session at the United Nations headquarters on the 9th International Yoga Day resulted in the establishment of a Guinness World Record for the highest participation of people from various nations in a yoga event.
  • This article delves into the history, relevance, and critics of Guinness World Records.

The History of Guinness World Records

  • The concept of Guinness World Records arose from a bar conversation in the 1950s, when Sir Hugh Beaver, Managing Director of Guinness Brewery, sought a definite solution to resolve a debate.
  • Sir Hugh conceived the idea of a book giving full and authoritative records in response to the necessity to settle conflicting facts.
  • Norris and Ross McWhirter, two researchers, were engaged to create the first edition of the Guinness Book of Records, which proved an unexpected hit.
  • The book grew into an annual publication that updated old records and established new ones.

Guinness World Records Scope and Coverage

  • Guinness World Records documents and lists a wide spectrum of human accomplishments as well as extraordinary natural phenomena.
  • The organisation now has 62,252 active records, including the tallest skyscraper in the world (Dubai’s Burj Khalifa) and the longest fingernails ever (Lee Redmond).
  • Its presence has grown through television shows and a robust internet platform, and it has a sizable social media following.

Creating and Validating Records

  • Guinness World Records has a worldwide network of over 75 adjudicators who determine record-breaking efforts.
  • Individuals might invite an adjudicator to observe and validate the record through an application process.
  • Criteria such as objective measurability, breakability, standardizability, verifiability, and being the finest in the world must be met.
  • Guinness World Records received over 56,000 record enquiries from 171 countries in 2022, with over 7,300 records being granted.

Policy Changes and Criticism

  • Guinness World Records has been chastised for its business model, which involves setting records as publicity stunts for companies and individuals, leading to charges of supporting dangerous behaviour.
  • In 2019, comedian John Oliver chastised the organisation for accepting funds from autocratic nations for vanity projects.
  • Guinness World Records updated its regulations in reaction to the criticisms and rejected records that harmed animals, endangered participants or spectators, or resulted in food waste.
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