Entries in World Record (3)


Dutch Teen Completes Solo Journey Around the World

MARCEL ANTONISSE/AFP/Getty Images(PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten) -- A Dutch teen sailed into the record books Saturday as she ended her yearlong journey, supposedly becoming the youngest person to ever circumnavigate the globe.

Laura Dekker, who was born on a boat  in a New Zealand port and says she spent the first four years of her life at sea, celebrated her 16th birthday on her 38-foot yacht “Guppy” during her voyage. She sailed into port on the island of St. Maarten after travelling 27,000 nautical miles around the world.

Dekker claims to be the youngest person to have completed the trip, but the Guinness Book of World Records and the World Sailing Speed Council refuse to certify her claim because they say they don’t want to encourage any future, dangerous attempts by younger and younger sailors.

“Since (I left) a lifetime of experiences have gone by. It feels like it was just yesterday, but at the same time, it seems like it was an eternity ago,” Dekker wrote on her blog on Friday.

Dekker was greeted by her mother, father, and grandparents, as well as dozens of others who cheered her on as she stepped foot on the dock. She started her journey from the same port in St. Maarten on Jan. 20, 2011.

Dutch officials tried to prevent the trip when a court blocked her original departure at age 14 in 2009. Child welfare authorities asked that Dekker be removed from the care of her father, Dick Dekker, and be placed under state supervision to prevent risks to her safety, but on July 29, 2010, Dekker wrote, according to a translation from the Dutch, “After a one year ‘battle,’ I am allowed to go!! This is so great!”

The round-the-world trip was highlighted with multiple stops in ports around the world. As her trip came to an end, Dekker reflected on her experience.

“I am looking forward to my arrival and to officially end my journey even though I feel like I already accomplished what I set out to do a long time ago,” Dekker wrote. “I have already learned very much about myself along the way and I also have learned very much from all the different places and the many different people that I came in contact with in so many different countries.”

Other teens to have completed the trip include Jessica Watson of Australia at age 16, Michael Perham of England at age 17, and Zac Sunderland of America at age 17.

Abby Sunderland, Zac’s sister, attempted to complete the trip in 2010 at the age of 16, when her boat capsized and was dismasted in the Indian ocean, and she had to be rescued.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


UK Scientists Break Record for Writing Smallest Periodic Table

Jason Reed/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Scientists from Nottingham, England, officially broke the Guinness World Record for writing the world’s smallest periodic table — engraving it on a single strand of hair.

The scientists from the University of Nottingham’s Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Center placed the table of elements on the hair of Martyn Poliakoff, a chemistry professor, using a beam of accelerated gallium ions. It’s so small that a million tables of the same size could fit on a typical Post-it note.

Guinness confirmed that it was the smallest periodic table in existence.

“I am delighted.  In my wildest nightmares, I have never imagined being in the Guinness World Records, least of all in connection with my hair,” said Poliakoff. “The fact that I am is a tribute to the University’s Nanotechnology Center.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gaza Kids Shatter Kite-Flying World Record

Pixland/Thinkstock(GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip) -- More than 15,000 kites flew above a northern Gaza beach on Thursday, breaking the world record for the most kites flown simultaneously.

The world record was the seventh that children from Gaza have broken in two years, part of an ongoing effort by the United Nations to provide summer entertainment for hundreds of thousands of children in Gaza and to draw attention to the effects of Israel's blockade.

Fifteen thousand young Palestinians spilled out of buses dressed in matching t-shirts and sneakers as electronic music blared in the background. The children went to their assigned sections along a 1.2-mile stretch of sand to collect their kites under the blazing late-afternoon sun.

Shortly after 6 p.m. local time, a speaker onstage announced the start and the sky was suddenly filled with kites -- plastic Spider-man kites and paper kites with the colors of the Palestinian flag. The goal was to beat the record set in China in April of 10,465 kites, a record that had bested the Gaza record set last summer.

As the sun set, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) -- the agency that manages the U.N.'s work with Palestinians -- announced that the record had been broken, with an unofficial tally of more than 13,000 kites and the official count to follow Friday.

"For them to be number one in the world is an extraordinary thing," UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness told ABC News. "They're seen as victims, they're seen as locked up, they're seen as people who are living in this strange enemy enclave. Here they are suddenly being happy -- smiling faces like kids anywhere in the world enjoying summer games."

Indeed, Gaza is more often synonymous with violence than children at play. The Israeli military said Thursday that 24 rockets were fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza into Israel in July. Overnight, UNRWA said 10 militants attacked the beach site, burning a U.N. flag, billboard and stage.

UNRWA has ruffled the feathers of Islamists in the region, including Hamas, many of whom don't believe boys and girls should be playing together.

It is the extremists that UNRWA is trying to keep the children away from. Israel has had a land and sea blockade of Gaza since Hamas took over in 2007, deemed illegal by the United Nations.

This is the third year running that UNRWA has been holding its "Summer Games." This summer saw a quarter of a million Gaza children sign up.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio