What Makes a World Record?

Guinness World Records documents and holds records for record-breaking WORLD achievements. World records are a serious business and to ensure we maintain the high standards we have strict policies governing what makes a world record.
What is a 'world' record?
All Guinness World Records must also fulfil some key criteria including:
  • Measurable - Is it the fastest / longest / heaviest / most?
  • Breakable - Can the record be broken or repeated by someone else? All our record titles must be open to being challenged.
  • Standardizable - Can the record title be done universally? For example, it cannot be related to something restricted to a region.
  • Verifiable - Can the claim be proven? For example, a claim such as ‘the man who never drank water’, can never be verified unless the man spent his whole life from birth under surveillance by a witness.
  • One Variable – We can verify the Largest painting but would not consider the largest painting by the most people.
  • Universal - The proposal must be something, or about something that is known to the world’s majority. It cannot be too specific / regional.
Beyond that, the world of record-breaking is wonderfully diverse and as broad as your imagination!
As a good rule of thumb - if you can't measure / weigh / count it - then it's probably not a record!
A few other things worth noting before you submit an application:
  • We do not accept applications based on subjective measures for example - beauty, kindness, loyalty.
  • Other activities that are not records include those which are not sufficiently challenging, those which are too specific to a single person or anything that is unbreakable.
  • We do not endorse unsuitable activities or those which could cause potential harm or danger to spectators / animals.
  • We do not permit people under the age of 16 to attempt or hold records which are considered unsuitable for minors. In these instances Guinness World Records works in association with the official regulatory body for the particular skill / sport.
  • If you have any other questions, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page