When Hugh Beaver and the McWhirter brothers produced the first ever Guinness Book of Records in 1954, it contained facts about the likes of Europe’s fastest game bird and the cow that had produced the most milk during its life. Fast forward 64 years, and many of the records in it reflect the way technology has changed our lives in recent years.
On the official Guinness World Records (GWR) website, a search for the word ‘internet’ brings up 389 results. With today being Guinness World Records Day and the 2019 edition of this iconic annual no doubt beginning to find its way into many people’s Christmas shopping trolleys, let’s take a look at three of the most fascinating and surprising records to do with our industry.
1. Most used hashtag within 24 hours
With us being primarily wrapped up in British and American media, you might assume the hashtag to have been hammered the most over a 24-hour period would be connected to a familiar TV series, reality show or sporting event on either side of the Atlantic. On the contrary, it’s connected to something very few of us will be familiar with.
Between October 24 and 25, 2015, the somewhat unwieldy-looking hashtag #AlDubEBTamangPanahon was used over 40 million times. It relates to AlDub, the popular name for a celebrity couple in the Philippines.
In May this year, it was thought that fans of the South Korean boy band BTS may have broken that record, but the GWR Twitter account confirmed that the Filipino record still stood.
BTS fans, after investigation we're sorry to announce that the attempt at 'Most used hashtag on @Twitter in 24 hours' was not successful on this occasion. Inc. retweets and quote tweets, the total has been calculated at 21.9 million uses of #iVoteBTSBBMAs https://t.co/w9QEp5SuKk
— Guinness World Records (@GWR) May 17, 2018
2. First plant discovered on Facebook
In an interesting coming together of the natural and digital world, July 2015 saw a new species of plant identified through social media.
A picture of the plant was posted to Facebook by Reginaldo Vasconcelas, who had spotted it while in a Brazilian jungle three years earlier. It was analysed by scientists who travelled to the location and confirmed that it was indeed a new species. Not only that, but the Drosera magnifica, as it is named, is able to catch large insects, making it the Americas’ second largest carnivorous plant.
GWR confirms it to be the first plant species to be discovered through Facebook.
3. First live tweet from space
Why confine social media to planet Earth? In 2010, a NASA astronaut put together an out-of-this-world Tweet that made it into GWR.
Hello Twitterverse! We r now LIVE tweeting from the International Space Station — the 1st live tweet from Space! 🙂 More soon, send your ?s
— TJ Creamer (@Astro_TJ) January 22, 2010
TJ Creamer’s tweet was the first to be composed and sent by an actual person live from space, although an unmanned spacecraft had managed to submit one from Mars in 2008.
Are you ready to celebrate? Well, get ready: We have ICE!!!!! Yes, ICE, *WATER ICE* on Mars! w00t!!! Best day ever!!
— MarsPhoenix (@MarsPhoenix) June 20, 2008
If you fancy having a go at setting or being part of a record yourself, these examples show that you can really push the boundaries of exploration through social media. Alternatively, you could just idly retweet something and be one of a record-breaking number of people to do so.