5 World Records Broken By Accident

Breaking a World Record is no easy feat and requires a high level of commitment and skill in most cases. Sometimes though, record setters stumble into breaking a record without even realizing they did so. Whether they were trying to do something else, or just going about their day, the following individuals  had no idea they were setting World Records with these exploits:

5. Super Mario 64 Speedrun 

Speedrunning, in which players try and get through video games as fast as they can, has become a popular gaming pastime thanks to easy-to-use streaming services like Twitch. One of the most interesting speedrunning records was set by a player who wasn’t even trying to break a record! A speedrunner called Nero was given a challenge by fellow speedrunner puncayshun to see who could finish Super Mario 64 the quickest by collecting 120 of the game’s “stars” (incidentally, puncayshun held the previous fastest time). Nero ended up finishing before puncayshun with a time 23 seconds better than the previous record. Incredibly, Nero wasn’t even trying to break the record, as he got up and left the game a few times during the challenge, which is not something a serious speedrunner would even consider doing. The proof of Nero’s accomplishment can be found here, but note that Nero’s time has already been beaten, showing how quickly these gaming records come and go.

4.Biggest Ski Cliff Jump 

Norwegian skier Fred Syversen was in the middle of shooting a ski video in the French Alps when he veered off course of a planned jump and hit a much bigger cliff jump instead. In the process, Syversen accidentally set a new record for biggest ski cliff jump thanks to the 107 meter cliff he careened off of by mistake. Amazingly, Syversen avoided any hazards and landed in deep snow, sustaining minor damage to his liver in the process.

3. World’s Thinnest Glass

Researchers at Cornell University and Germany’s University of Ulm were in the middle of  creating graphene, an extremely thin, strong material, when they discovered that a glass layer measuring only 2 atoms thick had been accidentally created in the process. It’s believed that the discovery will help solve some mysteries of the nature of glass, which is a rather baffling material because it is technically both a solid and liquid. Researchers also believe that the amazingly thin glass could be used in future nanotechnology applications.

http://i.livescience.com/images/i/000/056/803/i02/glass-structure.jpg?1378997027 Source: livescience.com

http://i.livescience.com/images/i/000/056/803/i02/glass-structure.jpg?1378997027 Source: livescience.com

2. First Solo Flight Across The Pacific Ocean

It will probably come as a surprise to many to learn that the first true solo flight across the pacific wasn’t achieved until 1959 and was done with almost no fanfare. Richard Wiese was a Pan Am navigator and first officer in the US air force when he made the long distance flight from San Antonio to Sydney, Australia. Many other flights across the pacific had been achieved before Wiese set the record, but they were never truly solo flights. The problem was, by 1959, air travel was a mundane reality of modern life and nobody really cared about flight distance records anymore. Still, Wiese achieved a pretty amazing accomplishment, even if the public at large didn’t notice.

http://www.airspacemag.com/ist/?next=/history-of-flight/accidental-record-setter-180952128/ Source: airspacemag.com

http://www.airspacemag.com/ist/?next=/history-of-flight/accidental-record-setter-180952128/ Source: airspacemag.com

1. Greatest Distance Thrown In A Car Accident

A record that nobody wants to set (well, any sane person anyway), Matthew McKnight has the unfortunate distinction of holding the record for “Greatest Distance Thrown in a Car Accident”. On October 26, 2001, McKnight was struck by a car travelling at 70 mph while attempting to assist accident victims along Interstate 376 15 miles east of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. McKnight flew 118 feet and suffered 2 dislocated shoulders, and a broken shoulder, pelvis, leg, and tailbone. Incredibly, McKnight not only survived, but made a full recovery and returned to his job as a hospital communications specialist.