The Guinness Book of Records or in recent editions Guinness World Records is a book published annually, containing an internationally recognized collection of superlatives: both in terms of human achievement and the extrema of the natural world.
Recent editions have focused on record feats by human competitors. Competitions range from obvious ones such as weightlifting to the more entertaining ones such as longest egg-throwing distance or the number of hot dogs that can be consumed in 10 minutes. Besides competitions, it contains facts such as who holds the record for being the tallest person in the world, the most poisonous plant, and so on.
The Guinness Book no longer however accepts eating contest style entries, possibly for fear of litigation.
Each edition contains a subset of the larger set of records in the Guinness database, and the choice reflects the year of publication.
It first appeared in Britain in 1955, having been commissioned by the Guinness brewery as a book for settling bar bets. It was written by Ross and Norris McWhirter, twins and noted British athletes and journalists, who continued to publish it and related books for many years.
A number of spinoff books and television series have been produced.