Guinness World Records shares 13 amazing eye-popping archive images

Guinness World Records
Kim Goodman (US) can pop her eyeballs to a protrusion of 12mm (0.47in) beyond her eye sockets. Measuring the 'pop' is an exact science that has to be done by an optometrist using a device known as a proptometer; an average of three measurements gives the final, eye‑watering result. 'Proptosis' is the term for eyeball displacement or bulging eyes. Kim discovered her talent when she was hit on the head by a hockey mask, but can now pop out her eyes on cue. (Image credit: Guinness World Records)

To celebrate National Photography Month, Guinness World Records has opened up its photography archives to share an exclusive collection of its most historic and noteworthy images. 

Known for publishing the most marvellous, extraordinary and shocking events, achievements and phenomena in its annual Guinness Book of World Records, it is no surprise that this collection comprises some unbelievable imagery. 

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The collection of 13 images includes such suitable superlatives as the stretchiest skin; the heaviest spider; the longest place name in use; the tallest rideable motorcycle; the tallest dog (male); the tallest horse and smallest horse; and of course the world's tallest man.

There are also some pretty obscure records, including the heaviest right hand deadlift – bar; the fastest time to ignite five targets by squirting milk from the eye; the most ice cream scoops balanced on a cone; the farthest eyeball pop; the most Oscar wins – makeup; and the most tattooed senior citizens.

Don Koehler (US) held the title of tallest man living throughout the 1970s. He stood at 2.48m (8ft 2in). Born in 1925, he lived in Denton, Montana, and had a twin sister who stood at 1.74m (5ft 9in). Don is pictured here with the McWhirter brothers in 1974 on a trip to New York to film with David Frost for the Guinness World Records TV show. Don died in 1981 in Chicago. (Image credit: Guinness World Records)

At the annual Gelatimo ice-cream festival in Forno di Zoldo, Italy, Dimitri Panciera achieved the Guinness World Records title for the most ice-cream scoops balanced on a cone with 125 scoops. (Image credit: Guinness World Records)

The tallest dog ever is Zeus (US), a Great Dane who measured 1.12m (44in) tall. Zeus weighed 70.30kg (155lb) and ate approximately 13.6kg (30lb) of food every two weeks. When standing, Zeus reached an astonishing 2.23m (7ft 4in) tall. (Image credit: Guinness World Records)

Floridian couple Charlotte Guttenberg and Chuck Helmke (US) currently have 97.5% of their bodies covered in intricate tattoos which have helped them become known to the world as the most tattooed senior citizens. The pair first became interested in tattoos well over the age of 50, and met by fate when Chuck helped Charlotte get through the pain of her first tattoo session. Chuck now has the record for most skulls tattooed on the body, at an incredible 376. (Image credit: Guinness World Records)

Garry Turner (UK) is able to stretch the skin of his stomach to a distended length of 15.8cm (6.25in) due to a rare medical condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a disorder of the connective tissues affecting the skin, ligaments and internal organs.  (Image credit: Guinness World Records)

A previous record holder for the longest place name in use, Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu (85 letters) is located at Southern Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. The unofficial name of a hill, the translation from Maori means 'The place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as landeater, played his flute to his loved one.' (Image credit: Guinness World Records)

The original Guinness Book of World Records started out in the 1950s as an idea by the managing director of the Guinness Brewery, Sir Hugh Beaver, who thought a book of facts to solve arguments in pubs would be popular. It was first published in 1955, illustrated with black and white photography, and has gone on to become an all-time best seller and one of the most recognised and trusted brands in the world.

The Guinness Book of World Records is still published annually and has evolved to reflect the times we live in – or at least the most extraordinary aspects of it. It is unlikely that when Sir Hugh came up with the idea he envisaged the book still being published more than 65 years later, recording the likes of the world record for the fastest time to ignite five targets by squirting milk from the eye, or for the youngest e-sports millionaire from a single tournament.

The complete collections can be found on the Guinness World Records website.

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Laurence McJannet

Laurence is an NCTJ-trained journalist with nearly 20 years' editorial experience gained on a wide range of publications, from The Beirut Times in Lebanon to The Sunday Times, and including recent freelance engagements with Future's cycling and automotive portfolios, Outdoor Fitness, and The English Home. He has recently been undertaking a sports broadcast journalism MA at Southampton Solent, gaining valuable TV and radio experience, and am currently videographer for Frome Town FC soccer team. He is the author of Bikepacking (Wild Things Publishing, 2016).