LONDON (Reuters) - Limber ladies crammed into a tiny car, charity stunts and thousands of schoolchildren stacking cups are just some of the events happening around the globe on Thursday to celebrate Guinness World Records day.
The 28 women limbering up on the south bank of London's River Thames gave morning commuters a giggle as they broke the world record for the most people crammed into a Mini car.
Faces and body parts squashed against windscreens, toes perilously close to door hinges belonged to a group of fitness enthusiasts whose successful stunt followed a new didgeridoo-playing record set in Australia and the largest number of women - more than 2,500 - dancing a traditional Kaikottikali in India earlier in the day.
"The adrenaline is amazing, but it's like the worst thing ever - there's no air, you just have to zone out," said Jayne Brockwell, one of the car-cram record-breakers whose carefully choreographed position earned her the nickname "Gearstick Girl".
Even more uncomfortable record attempts are scheduled for later on Thursday - among the hopefuls is Manjit Singh, the "iron man" from the English city of Leicester, who will try to lift more than 23.5 kg (51 lb) using only his eye sockets.
"I think it's a sort of fundamental human need to set yourself challenges and push yourself," Craig Glenday, Guinness World Records editor, told Reuters.
"What differentiates us from animals is that we do things that are distracting and fun - it's just about having fun ... raising money for charity."
Volunteers in Italy will try to create the largest chocolate coin to raise money to restore a primary school near Modena destroyed in an earthquake.
From New Zealand to Hawaii, hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren were "sport stacking," aiming to break the world record of 412,259 people simultaneously building pyramids from specially designed plastic cups.
The goal is 450,000, said Corey Oliver, global logistics and records manager for the World Sport Stacking Association. At just after 0200 GMT on Thursday, 244,549 people had taken part, almost 90 percent of them Americans, he said.
"It won't be a record until it's confirmed by Guinness, and that can take a few weeks," Oliver said.
(Additional reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Paul Casciato and Eric Walsh)