14 weird and wonderful world records broken in the Middle East

Published March 20th, 2014 - 07:39 GMT

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Twenty-six countries walked out of Sochi sporting shiny new medals, but MENA nations weren’t part of that elite club. Kudos to our athletes for their courage and stamina, but the Olympics are yesterday’s news and we don’t need no stinkin’ medallions to show our competitive prowess!

Middle East contenders have been setting Guinness World Records (GWR) for as long as the records have been kept. Last year, GWR, the global authority on record breaking achievement, set up Middle East operations with a Dubai office dedicated to working with future record-breakers from across the region. Continue reading below »

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Egypt 2012: The world's largest biceps belong to Mostafa Ismail, whose left arm measure 25.5 inches! The 26-year-old told GWR, “People always say ‘you remind me of Popeye the sailor man’. But the truth is I don’t have any spinach in my diet, I can’t stand the stuff!”
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Image 1 of 14:  1 / 14Egypt 2012: The world's largest biceps belong to Mostafa Ismail, whose left arm measure 25.5 inches! The 26-year-old told GWR, “People always say ‘you remind me of Popeye the sailor man’. But the truth is I don’t have any spinach in my diet, I can’t stand the stuff!”

Enlarge
Jordan 2012: 10 Jordanian chefs cooked up the world’s largest falafel weighing 74.75kg. The record-breaking falafel was made with 80kg of chickpeas, 5kg of onions, 2kg of fresh parsley and coriander, 1.2kg of garlic, and was deep fried in 350 litres of vegetable oil. It was eaten as a starter during an iftar attended by 600 people.
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Image 2 of 14:  2 / 14Jordan 2012: 10 Jordanian chefs cooked up the world’s largest falafel weighing 74.75kg. The record-breaking falafel was made with 80kg of chickpeas, 5kg of onions, 2kg of fresh parsley and coriander, 1.2kg of garlic, and was deep fried in 350 litres of vegetable oil. It was eaten as a starter during an iftar attended by 600 people.

Enlarge
Iraq 2012: Taking patriotism to new heights, Fareed Lafta of Iraq broke the record for the largest flag flown whilst skydiving, carrying an Iraq flag measuring 13,199.49 ft². The previous record was held by Turk Gazali Peltek, who flew a Turkish flag measuring 5,717.9 ft² whilst parachuting in 2005.
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Image 3 of 14:  3 / 14Iraq 2012: Taking patriotism to new heights, Fareed Lafta of Iraq broke the record for the largest flag flown whilst skydiving, carrying an Iraq flag measuring 13,199.49 ft². The previous record was held by Turk Gazali Peltek, who flew a Turkish flag measuring 5,717.9 ft² whilst parachuting in 2005.

Enlarge
Lebanon 2010: The record for the world's biggest wine glass was won by Lebanon in 2010, who snatched it from Portugal. Measuring 1.51 meters tall and 1.46 meters wide, it holds an incredible one hundred bottles of vino! National producers had donated the drinks as part of a bid to promote Lebanese wine. Bottoms up!
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Image 4 of 14:  4 / 14Lebanon 2010: The record for the world's biggest wine glass was won by Lebanon in 2010, who snatched it from Portugal. Measuring 1.51 meters tall and 1.46 meters wide, it holds an incredible one hundred bottles of vino! National producers had donated the drinks as part of a bid to promote Lebanese wine. Bottoms up!

Enlarge
Saudi Arabia 2013: KSA broke 24 world records last year including “fastest time to type the Arabic alphabet on an iPad” (it took 7.35 seconds!) and a new benchmark for “most flip flops held in one hand in one minute” with a record-setting 22! A handy talent when carrying your family’s gear to a Jeddah beach club.
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Image 5 of 14:  5 / 14Saudi Arabia 2013: KSA broke 24 world records last year including “fastest time to type the Arabic alphabet on an iPad” (it took 7.35 seconds!) and a new benchmark for “most flip flops held in one hand in one minute” with a record-setting 22! A handy talent when carrying your family’s gear to a Jeddah beach club.

Enlarge
Israel 2010: Israel attacked Iran - on the chessboard - and grandmaster Alik Gershon played a marathon match against 520 simultaneous players winning 80% of the games. 'Hopefully all our wars against Iran will be on the chessboard,' said Gershon, 'for such wars, I am prepared.'
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Image 6 of 14:  6 / 14Israel 2010: Israel attacked Iran - on the chessboard - and grandmaster Alik Gershon played a marathon match against 520 simultaneous players winning 80% of the games. "Hopefully all our wars against Iran will be on the chessboard," said Gershon, "for such wars, I am prepared."

Enlarge
Turkey 2010: Sultan Kosen reigns supreme as the world’s tallest person standing 8 feet 3 inches and clinching the title in 2011. Kosen also has the largest hands and widest handspan! His compatriot Mehmet Ozyurk has the world’s longest nose; at 3.46 inches from bridge to tip, his schnozz snagged the 2010 record.
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Image 7 of 14:  7 / 14Turkey 2010: Sultan Kosen reigns supreme as the world’s tallest person standing 8 feet 3 inches and clinching the title in 2011. Kosen also has the largest hands and widest handspan! His compatriot Mehmet Ozyurk has the world’s longest nose; at 3.46 inches from bridge to tip, his schnozz snagged the 2010 record.

Enlarge
Bahrain 2013: Manama broke the record for most number of people planting flowers simultaneously - 800 schoolkids planted 40,000 petunias in 11 minutes in a floral tribute to His Majesty King Hamad. This is the fourth record for Bahrain, who also holds the record for the largest special edition magazine. (Was it on gardening?)
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Image 8 of 14:  8 / 14Bahrain 2013: Manama broke the record for most number of people planting flowers simultaneously - 800 schoolkids planted 40,000 petunias in 11 minutes in a floral tribute to His Majesty King Hamad. This is the fourth record for Bahrain, who also holds the record for the largest special edition magazine. (Was it on gardening?)

Enlarge
Oman 2012: The Sultanate of Oman made a football 10.08m in diameter and weighing 750kg, breaking the record for world’s biggest football previously held by Mexico and setting a new world record! The the mega soccer ball roused support for the national team on the occasion of 42nd National Day of Oman.
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Image 9 of 14:  9 / 14Oman 2012: The Sultanate of Oman made a football 10.08m in diameter and weighing 750kg, breaking the record for world’s biggest football previously held by Mexico and setting a new world record! The the mega soccer ball roused support for the national team on the occasion of 42nd National Day of Oman.

Enlarge
Lebanon 2010: Supersize me! Lebanon cooked up the world’s biggest bowl of hummus, snatching the title from Israel in a powerhouse display of its culinary expertise. The nation also holds world records for the biggest servings of kibbeh and tabbouleh. Someone pair these with a giant falafel, STAT!
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Image 10 of 14:  10 / 14Lebanon 2010: Supersize me! Lebanon cooked up the world’s biggest bowl of hummus, snatching the title from Israel in a powerhouse display of its culinary expertise. The nation also holds world records for the biggest servings of kibbeh and tabbouleh. Someone pair these with a giant falafel, STAT!

Enlarge
Iran 1972: Iran set a record in 1972 for the world’s deadliest blizzard when 10 feet of snow killed 4,000 and wiped 200 villages off the map. It’s a tragic title no other nation has since claimed, although the second deadliest blizzard on record hit Afghanistan in 2008, killing an estimated 926 people.
Reduce

Image 11 of 14:  11 / 14Iran 1972: Iran set a record in 1972 for the world’s deadliest blizzard when 10 feet of snow killed 4,000 and wiped 200 villages off the map. It’s a tragic title no other nation has since claimed, although the second deadliest blizzard on record hit Afghanistan in 2008, killing an estimated 926 people.

Enlarge
Egypt 2009: Cairo boasts the world’s first zoo! Discovered in 2009, the Luxor-area menagerie held beastly remains of over 112 animals including hippos, elephants and baboons and is believed to date back to 3500 BC. I am an Ancient Egyptian, hear me roar!
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Image 12 of 14:  12 / 14Egypt 2009: Cairo boasts the world’s first zoo! Discovered in 2009, the Luxor-area menagerie held beastly remains of over 112 animals including hippos, elephants and baboons and is believed to date back to 3500 BC. I am an Ancient Egyptian, hear me roar!

Enlarge
Jordan 2012: Jordan’s Tourism Board scored with the world’s largest sand art structure created to mark the 200th anniversary of the re-discovery of the historic city of Petra. This is one souvenir from the Red City you can't take home to your family!
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Image 13 of 14:  13 / 14Jordan 2012: Jordan’s Tourism Board scored with the world’s largest sand art structure created to mark the 200th anniversary of the re-discovery of the historic city of Petra. This is one souvenir from the Red City you can't take home to your family!

Enlarge
Morocco 2011: Of all the impressive records shattered across the Middle East, none is as great a feat as the great feet of Brahim Takioullah whose left foot measures 1 foot 3 inches (his right foot is fractionally smaller).  Those dogs won him the title in 2011, and no one’s yet tread on his record.
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Image 14 of 14:  14 / 14Morocco 2011: Of all the impressive records shattered across the Middle East, none is as great a feat as the great feet of Brahim Takioullah whose left foot measures 1 foot 3 inches (his right foot is fractionally smaller). Those dogs won him the title in 2011, and no one’s yet tread on his record.

Enlarge

1

Egypt 2012: The world's largest biceps belong to Mostafa Ismail, whose left arm measure 25.5 inches! The 26-year-old told GWR, “People always say ‘you remind me of Popeye the sailor man’. But the truth is I don’t have any spinach in my diet, I can’t stand the stuff!”

Image 1 of 14Egypt 2012: The world's largest biceps belong to Mostafa Ismail, whose left arm measure 25.5 inches! The 26-year-old told GWR, “People always say ‘you remind me of Popeye the sailor man’. But the truth is I don’t have any spinach in my diet, I can’t stand the stuff!”

2

Jordan 2012: 10 Jordanian chefs cooked up the world’s largest falafel weighing 74.75kg. The record-breaking falafel was made with 80kg of chickpeas, 5kg of onions, 2kg of fresh parsley and coriander, 1.2kg of garlic, and was deep fried in 350 litres of vegetable oil. It was eaten as a starter during an iftar attended by 600 people.

Image 2 of 14Jordan 2012: 10 Jordanian chefs cooked up the world’s largest falafel weighing 74.75kg. The record-breaking falafel was made with 80kg of chickpeas, 5kg of onions, 2kg of fresh parsley and coriander, 1.2kg of garlic, and was deep fried in 350 litres of vegetable oil. It was eaten as a starter during an iftar attended by 600 people.

3

Iraq 2012: Taking patriotism to new heights, Fareed Lafta of Iraq broke the record for the largest flag flown whilst skydiving, carrying an Iraq flag measuring 13,199.49 ft². The previous record was held by Turk Gazali Peltek, who flew a Turkish flag measuring 5,717.9 ft² whilst parachuting in 2005.

Image 3 of 14Iraq 2012: Taking patriotism to new heights, Fareed Lafta of Iraq broke the record for the largest flag flown whilst skydiving, carrying an Iraq flag measuring 13,199.49 ft². The previous record was held by Turk Gazali Peltek, who flew a Turkish flag measuring 5,717.9 ft² whilst parachuting in 2005.

4

Lebanon 2010: The record for the world's biggest wine glass was won by Lebanon in 2010, who snatched it from Portugal. Measuring 1.51 meters tall and 1.46 meters wide, it holds an incredible one hundred bottles of vino! National producers had donated the drinks as part of a bid to promote Lebanese wine. Bottoms up!

Image 4 of 14Lebanon 2010: The record for the world's biggest wine glass was won by Lebanon in 2010, who snatched it from Portugal. Measuring 1.51 meters tall and 1.46 meters wide, it holds an incredible one hundred bottles of vino! National producers had donated the drinks as part of a bid to promote Lebanese wine. Bottoms up!

5

Saudi Arabia 2013: KSA broke 24 world records last year including “fastest time to type the Arabic alphabet on an iPad” (it took 7.35 seconds!) and a new benchmark for “most flip flops held in one hand in one minute” with a record-setting 22! A handy talent when carrying your family’s gear to a Jeddah beach club.

Image 5 of 14Saudi Arabia 2013: KSA broke 24 world records last year including “fastest time to type the Arabic alphabet on an iPad” (it took 7.35 seconds!) and a new benchmark for “most flip flops held in one hand in one minute” with a record-setting 22! A handy talent when carrying your family’s gear to a Jeddah beach club.

6

Israel 2010: Israel attacked Iran - on the chessboard - and grandmaster Alik Gershon played a marathon match against 520 simultaneous players winning 80% of the games. 'Hopefully all our wars against Iran will be on the chessboard,' said Gershon, 'for such wars, I am prepared.'

Image 6 of 14Israel 2010: Israel attacked Iran - on the chessboard - and grandmaster Alik Gershon played a marathon match against 520 simultaneous players winning 80% of the games. "Hopefully all our wars against Iran will be on the chessboard," said Gershon, "for such wars, I am prepared."

7

Turkey 2010: Sultan Kosen reigns supreme as the world’s tallest person standing 8 feet 3 inches and clinching the title in 2011. Kosen also has the largest hands and widest handspan! His compatriot Mehmet Ozyurk has the world’s longest nose; at 3.46 inches from bridge to tip, his schnozz snagged the 2010 record.

Image 7 of 14Turkey 2010: Sultan Kosen reigns supreme as the world’s tallest person standing 8 feet 3 inches and clinching the title in 2011. Kosen also has the largest hands and widest handspan! His compatriot Mehmet Ozyurk has the world’s longest nose; at 3.46 inches from bridge to tip, his schnozz snagged the 2010 record.

8

Bahrain 2013: Manama broke the record for most number of people planting flowers simultaneously - 800 schoolkids planted 40,000 petunias in 11 minutes in a floral tribute to His Majesty King Hamad. This is the fourth record for Bahrain, who also holds the record for the largest special edition magazine. (Was it on gardening?)

Image 8 of 14Bahrain 2013: Manama broke the record for most number of people planting flowers simultaneously - 800 schoolkids planted 40,000 petunias in 11 minutes in a floral tribute to His Majesty King Hamad. This is the fourth record for Bahrain, who also holds the record for the largest special edition magazine. (Was it on gardening?)

9

Oman 2012: The Sultanate of Oman made a football 10.08m in diameter and weighing 750kg, breaking the record for world’s biggest football previously held by Mexico and setting a new world record! The the mega soccer ball roused support for the national team on the occasion of 42nd National Day of Oman.

Image 9 of 14Oman 2012: The Sultanate of Oman made a football 10.08m in diameter and weighing 750kg, breaking the record for world’s biggest football previously held by Mexico and setting a new world record! The the mega soccer ball roused support for the national team on the occasion of 42nd National Day of Oman.

10

Lebanon 2010: Supersize me! Lebanon cooked up the world’s biggest bowl of hummus, snatching the title from Israel in a powerhouse display of its culinary expertise. The nation also holds world records for the biggest servings of kibbeh and tabbouleh. Someone pair these with a giant falafel, STAT!

Image 10 of 14Lebanon 2010: Supersize me! Lebanon cooked up the world’s biggest bowl of hummus, snatching the title from Israel in a powerhouse display of its culinary expertise. The nation also holds world records for the biggest servings of kibbeh and tabbouleh. Someone pair these with a giant falafel, STAT!

11

Iran 1972: Iran set a record in 1972 for the world’s deadliest blizzard when 10 feet of snow killed 4,000 and wiped 200 villages off the map. It’s a tragic title no other nation has since claimed, although the second deadliest blizzard on record hit Afghanistan in 2008, killing an estimated 926 people.

Image 11 of 14Iran 1972: Iran set a record in 1972 for the world’s deadliest blizzard when 10 feet of snow killed 4,000 and wiped 200 villages off the map. It’s a tragic title no other nation has since claimed, although the second deadliest blizzard on record hit Afghanistan in 2008, killing an estimated 926 people.

12

Egypt 2009: Cairo boasts the world’s first zoo! Discovered in 2009, the Luxor-area menagerie held beastly remains of over 112 animals including hippos, elephants and baboons and is believed to date back to 3500 BC. I am an Ancient Egyptian, hear me roar!

Image 12 of 14Egypt 2009: Cairo boasts the world’s first zoo! Discovered in 2009, the Luxor-area menagerie held beastly remains of over 112 animals including hippos, elephants and baboons and is believed to date back to 3500 BC. I am an Ancient Egyptian, hear me roar!

13

Jordan 2012: Jordan’s Tourism Board scored with the world’s largest sand art structure created to mark the 200th anniversary of the re-discovery of the historic city of Petra. This is one souvenir from the Red City you can't take home to your family!

Image 13 of 14Jordan 2012: Jordan’s Tourism Board scored with the world’s largest sand art structure created to mark the 200th anniversary of the re-discovery of the historic city of Petra. This is one souvenir from the Red City you can't take home to your family!

14

Morocco 2011: Of all the impressive records shattered across the Middle East, none is as great a feat as the great feet of Brahim Takioullah whose left foot measures 1 foot 3 inches (his right foot is fractionally smaller).  Those dogs won him the title in 2011, and no one’s yet tread on his record.

Image 14 of 14Morocco 2011: Of all the impressive records shattered across the Middle East, none is as great a feat as the great feet of Brahim Takioullah whose left foot measures 1 foot 3 inches (his right foot is fractionally smaller). Those dogs won him the title in 2011, and no one’s yet tread on his record.

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The Dubai office is a direct response to exceptional growth in world-record-smashing from MidEast countries, typified by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia (KSA) where record applications increased by 130% and 105% respectively. UAE record holders soared 171% and KSA titlests grew 66%!

"The Middle East is ready to lead the world with record-breaking achievements and we have only scratched the surface in the region's talents," said Talal Omar, head of the GWR Dubai office, in a press release.

Guinness World Records ™Challenge Fairs have been held in the region’s poshest shopping malls. “At every challenge fair location we've seen large crowds, excited and ready to put their skills to the ultimate test," said Tom Ibison, Guinness World Records official adjudicator, who was present at the KSA fairs,“The people of Saudi Arabia have been among the most passionate and tenacious competitors I've seen.”

Alistair Richards, GWR Global Managing Director added, "By establishing an official presence, I hope we're signalling our commitment to helping the region achieve even greater world record fame." He plans to launch a new website dedicated solely to Middle East record-breaking news, giving fans greater insight to records being broken in the region and introducing the people behind the headlines.

So we may be hopeless at hockey, and our skating skills are sad, but look at how we tear it up on wider world records!

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