A good year for ...

Beginning a listing of some of the more unlikely records set in 1996.

Record record: Martin Guttierez Sandoval, a retired factory worker from Mexico, made a Volkswagen Beetle out of 2,142 record players in an attempt to get into the Guinness Book of Records.

Bottle record: A message in a bottle thrown into the sea at Bognor Regis in 1993 was picked up three years later nearly 10,000 miles away in Geraldton, Australia.

Record toy fire: A 21-million-piece toy pyramid which had taken 12 days to build went up in flames in Taiwan, ignited by sparks from the fireworks launched to celebrate its completion.

Cake record: 2,000 eggs, 110lb of butter and two crates of marzipan went into a record 23ft "world's largest fountain torte" built (with planning permission) in Frankfurt.

Slimming record: In Shanghai, Geng Hongda, 17, slimmed from 337lb down to 183lb to break the Chinese record for losing weight.

More records tomorrow.

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