Guiness World Record Attempt: Zip Line Terror
Indian stuntman Sailendra Nath Roy held two of the most bizarre World Records, both of which were hair-related. In 2011, he traveled 82.5 meters on a zip wire, attached only by his hair. The following year, he pulled a locomotive with his ponytail for a record 2.5 meters.
Sailendra Nath Roy was famous for stunts using his hair.
Not satisfied with his unconventional achievements, Sailendra Nath Roy wanted to better his zip line record. In August 2013, Sailendra Nath Roy attempted to cross the Teesta river in West Bengal state on a zip wire using his ponytail. 91 meters into his stunt, Sailendra Nath Roy`s hair got stuck on the line. It took 45 minutes before rescuers could retrieve him, by which time he was already dead. An autopsy revealed that he had suffered a trauma-induced heart attack.
Guiness World Record Attempt: Free Falling
During the Cold War, American Nick Piantanida, a truck driver from New Jersey with a dangerous appetite for high-risk adventure, was determined to outdo Russian cosmonauts, who had set a world record for the longest free-fall jump at 24,500 meters.
In May 1966, Nick Piantanida ascended to over 36,000 meters and began his jump. Disastrously, after 17,000 meters, his specialized suit depressurized. Immediately realizing the danger he was in, the US control room remotely released his parachute early. By the time Nick Piantanida reached the Earth, a lack of oxygen had left him permanently brain damaged and he slipped into a coma. He died four months later.
Guiness World Record Attempt: The Fastest Human in History
Lowell Bayles was born in Mason, Illinois on January 24, 1900 and was working as an electrician in various mines around Illinois. Lowell Bayles soared to fame in the late 1920s as a stunt pilot, performing all around the US.
At the 1931 National Air Races, Lowell Bayles attempted to break the official 3km World Landplane Speed Record. Almost reaching speeds of 482 kilometers an hour, Lowell Bayles was on the verge of success when disaster struck. The plane`s fuel cap came loose, flew through the windshield and knocked the pilot out. The plane crashed in a huge ball of fire, throwing Lowell Bayles’s body almost 100 meters from the cockpit.
Guiness World Record Attempt: Water Speed Record
By 1964, Englishman Donald Campbell had become the only person ever to hold both the land and water speed records. But, he still wasn’t satisfied. In 1967, he tried to break his own water speed record. As his jet-powered boat neared a record-smashing 480 kilometers per hour, things suddenly went very wrong. The boat momentarily lifted into the air, then Donald Campbell was slammed back into the water with tremendous force. He died immediately but his body wasn’t found until 34 years later. Many people have hypothesized that the crash was entirely avoidable and was the result of the boat being too light due to a lack of fuel.
Guiness World Record Attempt: Buried Alive
Despite there not being an official world record for the longest time spent buried alive, 24-year-old Sri Lankan magician Janaka Basnayake wanted to set one.
In 2012, he had some of his friends bury him in a 3-meter deep pit. After being buried for 7 and a half hours, Janaka Basnayake was dug back up. To the horror of his friends, the ground had suffocated him and he was no longer breathing. CPR was attempted at the scene and he was taken to a hospital, but he was sadly pronounced dead just a few hours later.
Guiness World Record Attempt: Largest Group Skydive
In 2014 in a bid to overtake the previous record of 110 people, 222 ascended to 6,000 meters to take part in the world’s largest formation skydive. Tragedy occurred, however, when the parachute of 46-year-old Diana Paris failed to open and she was too close to the ground for the back-up parachute to work. Paris was a very experienced skydiver, with 1,500 dives under her belt. Despite the efforts of emergency services, she was declared dead at the scene.
Guiness World Record Attempt: Balloonfest
In what was supposed to be a spectacular publicity stunt, a world record-breaking 1.4 million helium balloons were released into the skies of Cleveland, Ohio. Inteded to be a thing of beauty, the 1986 event ended up having disastrous consequences, causing millions of dollars of damage. Most tragically, emergency helicopters were unable to travel through the balloon-filled sky to come to the aid of two fishermen, who drowned after their boat capsized. What’s more, rescuers struggled to locate the men, as it was difficult to differentiate between the balloons bobbing in the water and a human head.
Guiness World Record Attempt: Deep Sea Diving
The world record depth that a diver has swum to – without fins or breathing equipment – is now a whopping 124 meters.
In 2013, 32-year-old Nicholas Mevoli attempted to become the first American to surpass the 100-meter mark. Spectators waited with trepidation as Mevoli remained underwater for 3 minutes and 38 seconds. He had only reached a depth of 74 meters. Although he initially seemed fine upon returning to the surface, the diver fainted soon after CPR was administered for 90 minutes, but Mevoli was declared dead at the scene.
Guiness World Record Attempt: Around the World in 30 Days
In 2014 father-and-son duo Babar and Haris Suleman attempted to break the world record for flying around the Earth in a single-engine airplane. Admirably, their flight was intended to raise money for Pakistani children in need of education. The planned to land for fuel just 25 times over the course of the 43,000 km journey, which they hoped to undertake in just 30 days. Tragically, disaster struck and the 17-year-old pilot lost control over the Pacific Ocean. The resulting crash killed both men, and the body of Babar, Haris’s father, was never recovered.
Guiness World Record Attempt: Motorcycle Jump
In 2005, 44-year-old Javad Plizbanian from Iran tried to break the world record for jumping over the greatest number of buses. In 1975, Evel Knievel had jumped 40 meters over 14 buses and, in 1999, Bubba Blackwell surpassed that record, clearing 15 buses.
Javad Palizbanian’s attempt was much more ambitious, as he aimed to jump 22 buses, the equivalent of about 63 meters. Tragically, the stuntman crashed into the 13th bus, dying instantly on impact.