More unlikely records set in 1996:

Thai tie: In honour of King Bhumibol's 50th year on the throne of Thailand, tie-maker Boonlue Lorpipat made a tie of a world record 99.64-metre length.

Mugging: At the first conference of muggers in Bangladesh, delegates awarded the title "Master hijacker" to Mohammad Rippon for setting a record of 21 muggings in two hours.

Carrot: Bernard Lavery from Glamorgan staked a claim for growing the biggest ever carrot, which weighed in at 7.095kg.

Corkscrew: An 1842 wooden-handled corkscrew fetched a record pounds 10,925 at Christies.

Beer: Two new records were set at the Finnish beer-drinking championships: Maati Puustinen downed eight bottles in 1 min 10.36 sec; Risto Saikkonen won the Small Tankard event in 1.61 sec.

Record record record: Jeanne Calment, at 121 the world's oldest person, recorded her first disc, "Mastering Time" which was released on her birthday.