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Here at Visit My Smokies, we have always said that Gatlinburg, TN is an exceptional place – and the folks at Guinness can prove it! Our Smoky Mountain city has hosted an unusually high number of Guinness World Record setting events. Some of Gatlinburg’s record breaking feats were organized by the city’s Guinness World Records Museum, but others were just the result of determined individuals who lived in or were visiting the Smokies.
The Guinness World Records Museum was recently visited by professional juggler Neils Duinker, who
attempted to break four international juggling records on October 25, 2016. Unfortunately, we won’t know if Duinker was successful until a video of his performance is reviewed by the Guinness World Record officials in New York. In the meantime, you can learn all about five world records that were set in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains:
1. Highest vertical height walked on stilts
At 6,593 feet tall, Mount LeConte is the highest peak completely in the state of Tennessee. This mountain is challenging enough to climb under normal circumstances, but Ashrita Furman made his way to Mount LeConte’s summit while wearing stilts! On July 6, 2011, Furman took the Trillium Gap Trail all the way to the very top of the mountain using peg stilts made of rubber tubing that were over 3 feet tall. Furman climbed 4,018 feet in 3 hours and 45 minutes.
Ashrita Furman is no stranger to setting world records. In fact, Furman holds more Guinness World Records than anyone on the planet! In addition to hiking Mount LeConte on stilts, Furman has also climbed Mt. Fuji on a pogo stick, crossed the Great Wall of China on a kangaroo ball, and inflated 28 balloons with his nose in 3 minutes. You can hear more about Furman’s incredible exploits in the video below:
2. Largest human image of an arrowhead
To celebrate the 100th birthday of the National Park Service, the staff of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park decided to set a world record! On August 10, 2016, park rangers, other park employees, and Gatlinburg residents came together to form the shape of a giant arrowhead, which is the National Park Service logo. 323 people stood in the plaza outside of Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies to create the arrowhead.
3. Most cherry stems knotted in one minute
Al Gliniecki has an unusual talent: he can use his tongue to tie cherry stems in a knot at lightning speeds. On June 14, 2014, Gliniecki came to the Guinness World Records Museum in Gatlinburg to put his skills to the test. In just one minute, Al successfully knotted 14 cherry stems! Known as “TongueTyed Al”, Gliniecki holds four world records and has appeared on The Tonight Show, America’s Got Talent, The Today Show, and many other TV programs.
4. Fastest time to make a pasta necklace
If Nicole Moreno was told not to play with her food as a child, she certainly didn’t listen! On July 19, 2013, Moreno secured her place in history when she used 25 penne pasta tubes to create a necklace in 39.25 seconds at the Guinness World Records Museum in Gatlinburg. However, we don’t know whether the pasta necklace went on to be worn as jewelry or served with a nice tomato sauce and parmesan cheese.
5. Heaviest watermelon
Gatlinburg native and current Sevierville resident Chris Kent has always had a green thumb. Kent’s talent for gardening paid off when he set the Guinness World Record for the heaviest watermelon on Earth. Weighing in at 350.5 lb, Kent’s watermelon officially set the record at the Operation Pumpkin Festival in Hamilton, Ohio on October 4, 2013. Chris claims the secret to his success is not mowing his grass and taking all of that time and effort and putting it into his garden.
To learn about all of the most fascinating world records, we suggest visiting the Guinness World Records Museum in Gatlinburg. When you buy your tickets through Visit My Smokies, you’ll save $1.75 and get free cancellation. Click on the box below to order your tickets!
For more fun attractions in the Smokies, check out our Things to Do in Gatlinburg page!