Tis the season of resolutions and goal-setting, and as new diets, workouts, and sobriety regimens have taken hold, there’s perhaps no better time to be inspired by our fellow Atlantans’ accomplishments. Think your new gym membership is going to be tough to maintain? Try three days straight of playing Guitar Hero. Atlanta’s entries into the Guinness Book of World Records offer not just a window into the zaniest corners of our fair city, but also proof that we can do anything we put our minds to. After all, not just any city can boast the “Largest Simultaneous Whoopie Cushion Sit.”
You probably already know Atlanta has the busiest airport (both in terms of number of aircrafts and passengers) as well as the longest freestanding escalator (looking at you CNN Center), but let’s focus instead on Atlantans who devote themselves to a wholly uncommon vision. Enter: The “Largest Biscuit / Cookie Mosaic (Flag).” This title was earned this past June at Congregation Beth Jacob. The cookie version of the Israeli flag measured 3,224 square feet and raised more than $100,000 for Israeli charities. Perhaps most incredibly, the fact that it won only the sub category of “cookie flag” indicates a wealth of competitors in the broader giant cookie mosaic business.
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In general, “huge foods” seems to be a category Atlanta is pretty good at, further evidenced by our world record for “Most Pancakes Made in 8 Hours by a Team.” On May 9, 2009, 175 volunteers used 37 griddles to make 76,382 pancakes for approximately 20,000 people. The math on that works out to almost four pancakes per person, which in itself is pretty impressive, as is the fact that the same group also holds the record for “Most Omelettes Made by a Team.”
Along similar but even sweeter lines, Coca-Cola got in the world record game in 2007 with “Largest Soda Float,” which featured 3,000 gallons of soda poured in a 15-foot tall glass over 7,200 scoops of ice cream. That they used Vanilla Coke over the classic formula may feel unforgivable to some Coke purists (and also hints at the marketing behind the endeavor), but a world record is a world record.
We’re not just big eaters though, we’re also athletes. But look past Josef Martinez’s goal scoring, Deion Sanders’s various dual-sport records, and the whole of the ‘96 Olympics to find perhaps ATL’s most impressive sporting triumph: the title for “Largest Cupid Shuffle Dance.” On August 25, 2007, 17,000 people danced for eight minutes as a part of the Ebony Black Family Reunion Tour, a group also previously responsible for “Largest Line Dance.”
In terms of other unusual coordinated group records, the National Exchange Club set up the “Most Valuable Line of Coins” at the Marriott Marquis on July 25, 1992. It was comprised of 1,724,000 quarters, which—save yourself the math—works out to a 25.9-mile line of change with a value of a whopping $431,000. If this strikes you as money not particularly well spent, let’s remember world records aren’t about rational or utilitarian goals. Which brings us back to the “Largest Simultaneous Whoopee Cushion Sit” title, earned by 5,983 hometown heroes on October 6, 2005.
Beyond these group efforts, we also have several exceptional individual records, including the “Largest Pendant (Non-religious),” which was earned by our very own Lil Jon. The gold pendant weighs over 5 pounds, is 7.5 inches tall, and features the words “Crunk Ain’t Dead” in 3,576 white diamonds.
Beyond Lil Jon’s 73-carat, $500,000 pendant, Atlanta has a few other music-related records, including Outkast’s 2003 hit “Hey Ya” holding the “Longest Number of Consecutive Weeks at #1 or #2.” The late musician Jane Little also earned a record for “Longest Career as a Player for a Symphony Orchestra;” she played bass for the ASO for an astonishing 71 years and 101 days. And in the world of virtual music, Atlantan Patrick Young put his fingers on the line to obtain the record for “Longest Video Game Marathon on Guitar Hero,” which lasted an epic 72 hours and 17 minutes and raised money for the American Heart Association in the process.
Finally, those compelled by the most obscure of world records will be thrilled to hear that an Alpharetta dentist, Val Kolpakov, holds the title for “Largest Collection of Toothpaste Tubes.” His collection features 2,037 toothpastes from around the world and, of all ATL Guinness World Records, is perhaps the most steadfast testament to living your own personal truth. It’s 2019, Atlanta. Shoot for the stars, go for the gold, make a gigantic dessert, and collect as much toothpaste as you want.