If you’ve never heard of Hot Wheels, it’s basically a brand of 1:64, 1:43, 1:18 and 1:50 scale die-cast toy cars introduced by toy maker Mattel in 1968. The original Hot Wheels were made by Elliot Handler, and conceived to be more like “hot rod” cars, as compared to Matchbox cars which were more like small-scale models of production cars. Mattel Inc. wanted to enter the record books, so they built the longest Hot Wheels track, measuring a massive 560.30 m (1,838 ft 3.05 in) in length – making it longer than the height of New York’s Empire State Building. Read more for various geeky Guinness World Records you probably never knew existed.
5. Largest Rideable Hexapod
British engineer Matt Denton from Hampshire, UK watched Star Wars as a seven-year-old and inspired him to create Mantis, a two-ton robot that has walked into the record books, as the “largest rideable hexapod robot”. It measures 2.8 m x 5 m (9 ft 2 in x 16 ft 4 in) and can be driven from inside its cockpit or operated remotely by Wi-Fi, all powered by a 2.2-litre Perkins turbo diesel engine, enabling it to walk at a top speed of just over 1 km/hr (0.6 mph).
“It boasts 18 degrees of freedom via two three-axis joysticks and 28 buttons, and has a Linux PC as its ‘brain’. The Linux PC uses HexEngine software to control the movements each leg; the unit receives commands from the hexapod’s Operator Interface and sends feedback,” according to GWR.
4. Fastest Jet-Powered Kart
Tom Bagnall from Cheadle, Staffordshire always wanted to become the first person to reach the fastest speed in a jet-prowered go-kart after joining a jet-car team as one of the pit crew. That became a reality when he teamed up with engineer Andy Morris to design and construct the zippy beast you see in the video above.
“There’s been quite a few up and downs along the journey, mainly things setting on fire, blowing up or exploding – it’s all a big learning curve. Every time you step into that kart you’re always slightly nervous. It’s scary until you get into that seat and let go of the brake and plant the throttle,” said Tom.
3. Largest Anamorphic Painting
This 3D-looking anamorphic painting in South Korea stretches across 4,775.7 m² (51,405 ft² 28 in²) of concrete on the Peace Dam located on the Bukhan River. It covers nearly the same surface area as four Olympic-sized swimming pools, and took a team of painters about two months to complete. The illusion depicts a hole framed by a stone arch going through the dam towards the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in which the Bukhan River and surrounding scenery can be seen and is officially named the “Door to Unification”.
“Computer-aided design (CAD) mensuration using GPS was used to determine the area of the painting. Measurement was also taken using GPS, a light wave measuring instrument, and a tape measure,” reports GWR.
2. Highest-Altitude Pop Up Restaurant
If you don’t mind a meal at 5,585 m (18,323 ft) up on Island Peak (Imja Tse) mountain, then you’ll love dining at Triyagyoni, which is currently the “highest altitude pop-up restaurant” in the world. The pop-up is operated by Indian chefs Sanjay Thakur and Soundararajan, and its name means “organic nature” in Sanskrit and requires an eight-day climb before you can enjoy your meal. The motivation behind Triyagyoni is to raise awareness of sustainability of the Himalayas’ natural resources through the use of wooden furniture as well as solar energy
“The restaurant provides an eight-course meal, with dishes that include: shishno garlic, Himalayan roll, dal bhatt, fish salad, chicken, panacota by nak milk, bassa fillet and cheese platter…the team have made efforts to make the journey more comfortable and safe for customers, providing paramedics and making a helicopter available to transport guests,” reports GWR.
1. Largest Model Train Set
Miniatur Wunderland, located in Hamburg, Germany, has taken the title of the “largest model train set,” spanning 15,400 m (50,525 ft), or in other words, the length of the train set is enough to get you to the top of Mount Everest – and 6,000 m back down the other side. It occupies 1,499m² of floor space, and includes miniature versions of Germany, the US, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, parts of Finland, Switzerland as well as Italy. Consisting of 2,633 figurines, 4,340 buildings, 130,000 trees, rivers, mountains, city-scapes and more, it’s truly an expedition around the world, but on a miniature scale.
“The attraction has roads, with 11,000 moving cars, its own airport, with 60 planes that take off and land, and of course trains for their tracks – 1,300 of them! It took five years to fine tune the programming for the cars and aeroplanes, ensuring they ran smoothly and largely autonomously. Miniatur Wunderland has its own dedicated control centre, with 50 computers that track and control the planning,” reports GWR.