Who holds the Guinness Record for the most records held at the same time by an individual? Ashrita Furman has broken more than 700 Guinness records since 1979. He currently holds more than 120 records. Over the years, many of the records have been either broken by Ashrita himself or others, or in some cases, the category has been retired.
Born in 1954 in Brooklyn, New York, as Keith Furman, he was fascinated with the Guinness Book of World Records as a child but never thought he could ever break a record since he was not an athlete. As a teenager, he became interested in spirituality and in 1970 became a devout follower of the spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy. He inspired Furman to participate in a 24-hour bicycle race in New York City’s Central Park in 1978. With only two weeks’ training, Furman tied for third place, cycling 405 miles.
I feel great. I feel that I achieved self transcendence. I pushed beyond what I had done before by a lot and I’m very, very happy.Ashrita Furman (euronews.com, June 23, 2017)
He changed his first name to Ashrita (“protected by God” in Sanskrit). In 1979 he set his first official record by doing 27,000 jumping jacks. He has set records on all seven continents, the last was when he set the mile hula hoop record at Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) in the Australian desert in 2003. Later he balanced a milk bottle on his head while running 80.95 miles in the U.S.
Maybe the fact that I was born four days after the Guinness World Records book was first conceived, in September 1954, has something to do with it. That was also the year Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile. Or maybe it was the sense of perfection about being the best in the world at something that attracted my interest. Whatever the reason, I remember poring through the book as a kid, filling my head with all those spectacular superlatives.Ashrita Furman
In Indonesia, he has the fastest mile with a milk bottle on his head at 7 minutes, 47 seconds. He once carried 9 pounds of bricks with one hand for the longest continuous distance ever at 85.05 miles. He broke the record for bowling backward in 2005 with a score of 160 for the game. Furman spends his days meditating, working at his health food store, and training for his next big attempt. Most recently, he went to Greece and broke a record for balancing stacked traffic cones on his chin. In 2013, he broke the record for most eggs caught in the mouth in one minute.
I brought the cones with me, I had an interesting time getting through immigration.Ashrita Furman on bringing traffic cones to Greece from the U.S.
Also in 2013, he set the record for catching the most ping pong balls in one minute with chopsticks (32). He holds the world record for the largest popcorn sculpture at 20 feet, 10 inches. He also balanced a pool cue on his chin for a record distance of 5472 feet, 9 inches. He set the record for mountain climbing on stilts, the highest peak climbed at 9,398 feet. He set the record for the fastest time, in 10 kilometers, sack racing at 1 hour, 22min, and 2 seconds. Ashrita hula hooped underwater for 2 minutes and 38 seconds capturing that record.
Failures come with the victories like when Furman tried (and failed) to balance 22 milk crates on his chin in Pisa, Italy. while trying to break the record for underwater juggling in an aquarium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Ashrita’s attempt ended when a large shark deliberately bumped into him and knocked the balls out of his hands!
Meditation gives you the capacity to overcome obstacles and go beyond your limitations.Ashrita Furman
in Mongolia, Ashrita set the mile sack-racing record while racing against a yak. Ashrita won by a nose. He set a record for the fastest marathon while juggling even with a bug in his eye for the last eight miles of the race. His injuries have been few, but he did have a spear wound while setting the world record for catching the most spears underwater.
I admit that most of my records are silly, but they do require serious training.Ashrita Furman
You may be asking, does this guy ever have time to eat? Well, he set the record for the most Smarties/M&Ms eaten in one minute, blindfolded, using chopsticks. He also set the fastest time to peel and eat a lemon at 8.25 seconds on May 3, 2010. The lemon weighed 5.2 ounces and he beat his own previous record of 9.84 seconds. Ashrita ate 186 grapes over the course of three minutes, averaging 62 a minute for the world record. He also set the record for the most boiled eggs peeled and eaten in one minute at 6.
Some are crazy, like the most blow torches extinguished with the tongue in one minute in Leiria, Lisbon, Portugal, was set by Ashrita at 102. He also has chopped 26 watermelons on his stomach with a samurai sword in one minute setting that world record.
- The Guinness Book of Records is a reference book published annually, listing world records both of human achievements and the extremes of the natural world. The brainchild of Sir Hugh Beaver, the book was co-founded by twin brothers Norris and Ross McWhirter in Fleet Street, London, in August 1955.
- Sri Chinmoy was an Indian spiritual leader who taught meditation in the West after moving to New York City in 1964. Chinmoy established his first meditation center in Queens, New York, and eventually had 7,000 students in 60 countries. A prolific author, artist, poet, and musician, he also held public events such as concerts and meditations on the theme of inner peace. Chinmoy advocated a spiritual path to God through prayer and meditation. He advocated athleticism including distance running, swimming, and weightlifting. He organized marathons and other races, and was an active runner and, following a knee injury, weightlifter.
- Sanskrit is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had diffused there from the northwest in the late Bronze Age. Sanskrit is the sacred language of Hinduism, the language of classical Hindu philosophy, and of historical texts of Buddhism and Jainism.