Ashrita Furman holds the most current Guinness World Records (GWR), with 124 titles under his belt, from setting records for juggling underwater while surrounded by sharks in a Malaysian aquarium to bouncing on a kangaroo ball on the Great Wall of China. In fact, his latest title was officiated by GWR judges just two days ago. (May 13).
Furman, 56, is nicknamed “Mr. Versatility” because of his ability to set new records in a wide range of GWR categories. He’s been breaking and setting records since 1979, when he did 27,000 jumping jacks in a row. After setting the record, he noticed that the entry listed directly underneath his new title in the gymnastics section of the Guinness Book was for somersaulting.
“‘Wow,’ I thought, ‘it would be cool to have two records right next to each other,'” Furman says on his website. In 1980, he gained the title by continuously somersaulting for 10 miles through a park in New York City. Six years later, he broke his own record when he somersaulted for 12 miles and 390 yards from Lexington to Charlestown, Mass., along the length of Paul Revere’s historic ride. [Click here for the full list of titles currently held by Furman]
Furman, a health food store manager from Queens, N.Y., describes somersaulting as the hardest record he’s ever set, which is saying a lot, considering all of the strenuous and physically challenging titles he’s achieved. He has set records in all seven continents, often traveling to exotic locales for his record attempts. These include hula hooping for the fastest mile at Ayers Rock in Australia, standing on a stability ball for the longest time at Stonehenge in England and walking the longest distance while balancing a pool cue near the pyramids of Egypt.
Over the years, Furman has set 342 world records, many of which have since been beaten, but he continues to hold about a third of the titles. We contacted GWR to confirm his 120 current titles, and they gave us the full official rundown, following up to tack on an additional record.
“You can add one more to Ashrita’s list, just approved today, for a total 121 current Guinness World Records – most lemons caught blindfolded in one minute by a team of two,” Sara Wilcox, a Guinness World Records representative, told Life’s Little Mysteries. [Ashrita Furman via LiveScience, The Telegraph (UK) and Life’s Little Mysteries