Making the decision to try and break one of the many Guinness World Records certainly gets people thinking. There are plenty of established records out there, just waiting for someone to have a go, but some people prefer to play on their own strengths or get creative and come up with their own.

While, in the early days, Guinness World Records tended to consist of the fastest this or the heaviest that, there is now a new wave of spectacular and imaginative records being established. Let’s take a look at the world’s five coolest records.

1) When Estee Lauder wanted to raise awareness of its Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, some bright spark came up with the idea of illuminating major landmarks across the globe. The result was the record-breaking ‘Global Landmarks Illumination Initiative’, which saw 38 structures such as the EmpireStateBuilding in New York and the Taj Mahal Hotel in India lit up like Christmas Trees. As far as the coverage went, 24 four countries reported on the event, spreading the word to over six million people, and boosting the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign around the world.

Television journalist Takashi Yanagisawa holds a measuring tape from atop a step ladder while interviewing Japanese fashion designer Kazuhiro Watanabe in New York

2) Kazuhiro Watanabe put in 15 years of hard work before finally achieving a world record in 2011. For hard work, read… growing his hair; Kazuhiro is now the proud bearer of the World’s Tallest Mohican. The previous owner measured up at 31.5 inches. Kazuhiro trumped that by a further 13 inches, coming in at a towering 44.68 inches.

3) This is one of those Guinness World Records that will probably make you scratch your head and ask ‘why?’ The answer, as with most of these is: because it’s cool. In 2009, a dog handler by the name of Uchida Geinousha set the world record for the most number of dogs skipping on the same rope. As part of a Japanese TV special, Uchida and his Super Wan Circus successfully got 13 record-breaking canines to skip over one length of rope, all at the same time.

4) 2011 seems to have been a good year for breaking Guinness World Records and while this one might not technically be one of the coolest, it’s certainly one of the hottest! On 11th January, that year, Antonio Restivo, an American fire-breather broke the world record for the Highest Flame blown by a Fire Breather. The previous record, set by Tim Black, came in at an eyebrow-scorching 7.2 metres. However, Antonio topped that by blowing a flame that reached 8.05 metres. Do not try this at home!

5) Kevin Shelley’s world record is not to be sniffed at. In 2007 he set record bar for the Most Toilet Seats Broken by the Head in One Minute. You may want to reread that, but that’s what he did: in 60 seconds, Kevin successfully broke 46 toilet seats, using the ancient art of head butting. It’s probably fair to say that his exertions left him feeling a little flushed…

So there we have it: the Top 5 Coolest Guinness World Records. Think you could do better? Maybe it’s time to put your thinking cap on!