The map Never mind the Commonwealth Games, how many peas can you eat with a cocktail stick? Michael Booth catches up with this year's record- breakers
The Guinness Book of Records receives more than 100 claims a day from people around the world convinced that their heroic (or just plain daft) endeavours have earned them a place among the temporarily immortal. Many, like the hundreds who gathered recently on the hard shoulder of the M61 to participate in the world's biggest Macarena, are rejected on the grounds that their attempt could endanger others. Some, like the man who buried himself alive for a month, are rejected for fear they encourage others into dangerous pursuits, while most are simply unable to provide sufficient evidence.

If, however, you still fancy your chances, the main criteria for a legitimate record are that the attempt must be witnessed by two independent, upstanding members of the community (policemen are good), and that any media coverage, or video recording of the event, should be submitted. Which means that, sadly, Norris McWhirter no longer has to be on hand to give you the thumbs up.

Fastest tennis serve

of all time

Britain's Greg Rusedski holds this ballistic honour. Rusedski

unleashed the 149mph serve while playing at the ATP

Champion's Cup at Indiana

Wells, California, on 14 March.

Pea consumption with a cocktail stick

On 16 January Mark Crawley of

Plymouth, Devon, ate 207 tinned peas with a cocktail stick in three minutes.

Most expensive book

On 8 July Christie's of London (on behalf of book dealers Maggs Brothers) sold a first edition of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer for pounds 4,621,500, more than nine times its estimate. The book, part of a run of 200, was the first major book printed in England, by William Caxton in late 1476 or early 1477.

Highest mountain bike bunny hop

On 16 April, at the NEC, Birmingham, Germany's Oliver Grossman achieved the leap of a lifetime - 112cm - over a horizontal bar.

Most expensive sports


Built at breakneck speed for the World Cup, the pounds 270m Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, seats 80,000. Opened in January, it boasts steelwork weighing as much as the Eiffel Tower.

Most intricate jigsaw puzzle

A jigsaw consisting of 209,250 individual pieces was completed on 28 June at a jigsaw contest held in Taipei, Taiwan.

Longest power cut in a major city during peacetime

On 9 February the first warnings that something was seriously amiss with the power supply to Auckland, New Zealand, came when the second of four main power cables supplying the city centre broke. Within four days the other two had crashed resulting in a power cut lasting 66 days, costing the country's economy a total of NZ$300m, and affecting more than 7,500 business and domestic users.

Largest representation of a human figure

The current largest human image appeared at Finniss Springs in the south Australian outback in July.

Heaviest cauliflower

On 4 March a cauliflower grown by Karen Roman of Jerusalem, Israel, was officially weighed at 10kg.

Longest moving

advertising billboard

To publicise the launch of its second channel on 11 May this year, South African Broadcasting sponsored a 268.25 metre-long train to be covered with a 1072.19 square metre poster.

Most recently discovered people

Discovered this spring by a Brazilian government agency flying over a remote area of unexplored forest in south-west Brazil, this as yet unnamed tribe has already been charged with the killing of some trappers. Contact is expected to be made next year.

24-hour hopscotch record

Breaking his own record (of 394, set in 1995), Ashita Furman completed 434 games of hopscotch in 24 hours at the Western Regina Hotel, Cancun, Mexico, on 12 January.

Oldest person

Following the death of Louise Febronie Meilleur on 16 April, Sarah Clark Knauss of Allentown, Pennsylvania, became the world's oldest person. Knauss was born on 24 September, 1880 (making her 118 years old this month), married Abraham Lincoln Knauss in 1901 (he died in 1965), and has one daughter, one grandson, three granddaughters, five great great grandchildren and one great great great grandson.