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Embracing the odd for place in Guinness history

Several Canadians were among the chosen few who in 2005 earned Guinness World Records recognition by showcasing oddball talents or traits for a place in the history books.

Stuart Claxton of Guinness World Records said tens of thousands of people apply every year to get into the tome, which is published in more than 100 countries in 20 languages.

"People can read about you in Russia or India or South America -- that's kind of a kick," Mr. Claxton said. "People do want to make their mark."

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There might be no record stranger than what made Tyler Ing of London, Ont., known.

The 20-year-old University of Western Ontario engineering student got Guinness's attention by presenting evidence of the world's longest nipple hair. The hair hangs 8.89 centimetres from his right nipple, roughly the height of a medium Tim Horton's coffee cup.

Mr. Ing applied to Guinness after teasing from friends and the encouragement of his girlfriend. "After you've been made fun of enough in the hockey change room, you might as well put it in Guinness," he said.

Equally odd, but not quite as long, was the tooth of nine-year-old Mark Henry. The Grade 4 student from Francis Lake, Ont., was recognized by Guinness for the largest human tooth: an incisor 2.28 centimetres long and 1.2 centimetres wide.

Gabriela Gandila, a dentist from Owen Sound, Ont., labelled it "the horse tooth" and suggested the boy's family contact Guinness to have the record documented.

Dr. Gandila said the size of the tooth was "remarkable" for a person of any age. The boy's other teeth are of normal size, and no one could explain why the record-setting incisor grew so large.

Mark thought his huge tooth and the surrounding attention was "awesome."

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Suresh Joachim has no freakish growths, so he had to get into Guinness by foregoing sleep and participating in some wacky stunts.

Mr. Joachim set five records in 2005, perhaps the most dubious being his bid to be the world's most persistent couch potato.

As seen on the Live with Regis and Kelly daytime TV show in the United States, Mr. Joachim stared at a television for 69 hours and 48 minutes, breaking the former record by 19 hours and 41 minutes.

The rules allowed him to take a five-minute break every hour, as well as a 15-minute break every eight hours.

Mr. Joachim also set records for longest time spent ironing continuously -- 55 hours and 5 minutes; the longest dance marathon -- 100 hours; and the longest 10-pin bowling marathon -- 100 hours.

The 36-year-old has broken 32 records and holds 21 records. He hopes one day to have broken 150 records.

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Mr. Joachim said he sets records to benefit charities, collecting money when he can.

Charities often benefit from record attempts, as was the case with two Winnipeg men who pushed a car 68 kilometres to raise money for cancer research.

Rob Kmet and A.J. Zeglen stayed awake for 24 hours and pushed a 1,180-kilogram Dodge SX 2.0 around a 1.6-kilometre track 42 times.

The record has not been officially recognized, but the pair raised several thousands of dollars for the cause.

There could be serious intestinal injuries in store for anyone brave enough to tackle the world's biggest hamburger, available at Ian's Kitchen and Soda Shoppe in Kingston, Ont.

Ian Sarfin's creation -- it takes more than three hours to cook, has to be ordered 48 hours in advance and costs $99.99 -- weighs almost 10 kilograms, is 38 centimetres across and five centimetres high.

"There's a pound of cheese. There's a pound of onion. There's a pound of pickles. There's two pounds of tomatoes and five cups of sauce," Mr. Sarfin said.

His burger is the equivalent of more than 100 quarter-pounders and is designed to feed a large group of people.

If someone can chow down on the sandwich all alone, Mr. Sarfin says he'll give it away free.

And if that happens, Guinness will surely get another call.

Other remarkable feats by Canadians

Some Canadian records in the Guinness World Records book:

The record for fastest talker belongs to Shaun Shannon. He recited Shakespeare's 260-word "to be or not to be" Hamlet soliloquy in 23.8 seconds.

The youngest person to trek over land to the South Pole was Sarah Ann McNair-Landry, 18.

The longest ice hockey game was in Edmonton -- 240 hours.

The record for the longest baseball throw still belongs to Glen Edward Gorbous, who set the mark in 1957. The former major leaguer threw a baseball 445 feet and 10 inches, about 136 metres.

Canadian Press

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