Everyone wants to be the best at something and Guinness World Records has created an outlet of recognition for even the most bizarre feats, including:
- Largest bubblegum bubble,
- World’s heaviest onion,
- Largest house of cards,
- Longest fingernails.
While some world records are more innocuous than others, some people are willing to go to extremes to solidify their place as the best. In attempt to push the limits like never before, some world record hopefuls have lost their lives.
Here are 10 people who passed away trying to break world records.
1. 17-year-old Haris Suleman attempted to fly around the world to promote education and break the world record for the “youngest pilot-in-command in history to circumnavigate the earth in a single-engine plane in 30 days.”
Suleman started the expedition in the United States with his father, Babar Suleman, as his co-pilot. Tragically, the plane ended up crashing in the Pacific Ocean. Haris’s body was recovered, but his father and the wreckage of the plane was never found.
2. 56-year-old Guy Garman, also known as “Doc Deep,” attempted to set the world record for the deepest recreational scuba dive of 1,200 feet.
Everything went as planned when Garman descended into the waters off the Saint Croix coast, however, he never reached the rendezvous point. When his body and equipment were eventually recovered, it was determined that Garman’s cause of death was drowning.
3. Stuntman Sailendra Nath Roy had already achieved two world records before attempting his third. Roy successfully set the record for farthest distance traveled on a zip wire using hair and for pulling a train with his ponytail.
Unfortunately, Roy met his demise when he attempted to beat his own record of farthest distance traveled on a zip wire using hair. The 49-year-old got stuck mid-way on the zip wire and ended up having a heart attack.
4. Air race pilot, Lowell Bayles, flew in what was considered the “Golden Age of Air Racing.” The accomplished pilot won the 1931 Thompson Trophy flying the Gee Bee Model Z.
However, Bayles died when he attempted to break the world land-plane speed record when he crashed flying a Model Z at over 300 miles per hour.
7. Speed demon Donald Campbell successfully broke eight absolute world speed records in the 1950s and 1960s. Additionally, he remains the only person to set both land and water speed records in the same year.
Campbell attempted to break his own water speed record of 276 mph, targeting 300 mph. To do this, Campbell attached a Bluebird K7 with a Bristol Orpheus engine from a jet. Unfortunately, Campbell’s rocket-powered boat ended up lifting off of the water and crashing. He died from the impact, but unofficially reached 330 mph.
8. 48-year-old cyclist Juan Francisco Guillermo was attempting to set an incredibly ambitious world record by cycling 155,000 miles. It was supposed to be a five year trip.
Tragically, Guillermo was coming close to the end of his journey when he was struck by truck in northeast Thailand and died.
9. Diana Paris was a seasoned skydiver with over 1,500 jumps under her belt. She joined 220 people from 28 countries to attempt the world record for the largest group to free-fall from an airplane in formation.
Unfortunately, Paris’ parachute malfunctioned and her reserve parachute was deployed too late. The 46-year-old plummeted to her death and was declared dead at the scene.
10. Sri Lankan record hopeful, Janaka Basnayake, attempted to endure the longest time spent buried alive. He dug a 10 feet deep trench and was sealed within wood and soil. The 24-year-old was buried on an early Saturday morning and dug back up the following afternoon.
Unfortunately, Basnayake was found unconscious and died when he arrived at the hospital. The autopsy was unable to determine what the cause of death was. Even worse, Guinness World Records doesn’t recognize being buried alive as a record holding event in order to not promote dangerous stunts.