Limber ladies crammed into a car, charity stunts and thousands of children stacking cups are just some of the events on Guinness World Records day.
The 28 women limbering up on the south bank of London's River Thames gave morning commuters a giggle as they broke the world record for the most people crammed into a Mini car.
Faces and body parts squashed against windscreens, toes perilously close to door hinges belonged to a group of fitness enthusiasts whose successful stunt followed a new didgeridoo-playing record set in Australia and the largest number of women – more than 2 500 – dancing a traditional Kaikottikali in India earlier in the day.
"The adrenaline is amazing, but it's like the worst thing ever because there's no air – you just have to zone out," said Jayne Brockwell, one of the car-cram record-breakers whose carefully choreographed position earned her the nickname "Gearstick Girl".
Even more uncomfortable record attempts are scheduled for later on Thursday. Among the hopefuls is Manjit Singh, the "iron man" from the English city of Leicester, who will try to lift more than 23.5kg using only his eye sockets.
"I think it's a sort of fundamental human need to set yourself challenges and push yourself," Craig Glenday, Guinness World Records editor, told Reuters.
Raising money for charity
"What differentiates us from animals is that we do things that are distracting and fun – it's just about having fun ... raising money for charity."
Volunteers in Italy will try to create the largest chocolate coin to raise money to restore a primary school near Modena destroyed in an earthquake.
Across the Atlantic, 420 000 US schoolchildren will participate in a "speed-stack", aiming to break the record for the highest number of people simultaneously building pyramids of paper cups.
"It sounds a bit silly ... but in fact what you do find is they use these things to improve kids' motor skills and hand-eye coordination," Glenday said.
"We're hoping with that 420 000 ... that makes it our biggest event of all the Guinness World Record day events we've ever done." – Reuters