During an 1951 afternoon shooting party in County Wexford, Ireland, Sir Hugh Beaver was asked a simple question: What is the Europe’s fastest game bird? Despite a heated argument and an exhaustive search with the host’s library, the answer could not be found.
This type of question that has been repeated around the world in pubs, bars, social occasions, classrooms, and other places where people are concerned and interested in trivia. Questions such as, What is the tallest living dog? Sir Hugh, the Managing Director of the Arthur Guinness Breweries, realized that similar questions were going unanswered all around the world, and that a definitive book containing superlative facts and answers would be of great use to the general public.
With the help of the London-based fact-finding twins Norris and Ross McWhirter, he set about bringing this definitive collection of superlative facts to reality. On August 27, 1955, the first edition of “The Guinness Book of Records” was bound and, by Christmas that year, became Britain’s number one bestseller. Over the intervening years, copies of The Guinness Book of Records – later renamed Guinness World Records – have continued to fly off bookshop shelves.
During this time, it became clear that a world record is more than a simple fact: it’s a means of understanding your position in the world… a yardstick for measuring how you and those around you fit in. Knowing the extremes – the biggest, the smallest, the fastest, the most and the least – offers a way of comprehending and digesting an increasingly complex world overloaded with information.
Why Do Audiologists Care?
Other than for interest in trivia and other world records, let’s say that your car or truck stops on the highway, maybe a repair issue or maybe out of gas. Or perhaps you are in the air flying your chopper and it suddenly quits–forcing you to land away from the airport. Whom would you call for a tow?
Never fear you can always call Lasha Pataraia (some places his name is spelled Pataraya) a strongman from Georgia in the former Soviet Union. Free-style wrestler Pataraia set his first record for dragging heavy weights with strings attached to his ears in October 2003, when he pulled a 2.35-ton microbus for 135 feet (41.1 meters). He is also famous for breaking a Chinese-held record for carrying a 115 pound (52.5 kg) weight by his ears for 19.9 seconds.
Mr. Pataraia, who claims to have the world’s strongest ears, set a Guinness world record by pulling an MI8 helicopter 26.3 meters (about 86 feet). The 27-year-old set the record on his third attempt, Encouraged by family, friends and other supporters, Pataraia attached a rope to his ear. The other end of the rope was tied to the front wheel of the massive helicopter, which weighed over 17,000 pounds. Followed by cheering crowd, the former Georgian wrestling champion, pulled it for about 20 seconds, setting a new record.
“I am very happy and satisfied,” he said afterward. He added that he hoped to break his own record in the near future: “I intend to double the weight and pull the helicopter with two ears. I hope to do that in one year’s time.” Check out the Video
And 5 years later…..
Lasha Pataraia, now 32, is waiting to hear from the Guinness Book of Records after his latest feat of strength was filmed for Georgian TV and watched around the world. The video shows Pataraia warming up by slapping and pulling the skin around his left ear and hooking a cable over his right shoulder. He then hauls the 8.5-ton truck using a wooden ladder as a raucous crowd in the tiny town of Rustavi, Georgia cheers from the sidelines.
After finishing his pull, Mr Pataraya grimaces, but minutes later gives an interview to the camera explaining himself. “I’ve taken this challenge to beat my previous record,” he says. “Today I moved eight and a half tons.” As one story put it, “ear today, gone tomorrow”. Check out the Video
According to the experts, the auricular muscles are involved in facial expressions and yawning, but are not necessarily known for their ability to pull helicopters or trucks. Although Pataraia trained for months before his successful pull of an 8-ton truck, our guess at Hearing International is that it is extremely difficult to achieve this level of strength and it probably does not do too much for your physique. Although the jury is still out as to whether Pataraia will make it into the coveted Guinness record book, probably the biggest question for him is not, How far did you pull that truck? or How did you do that? or How did you train your auricular muscles? …….but rather……………