What does the Guinness Book have to do with an Irish beer?

People are already used to the bizarre news about some new Guinness Book record, but when did this story start? Why are we so interested in the most bizarre things in the world, even just as readers of them?

It all started in Ireland, that supersympathetic country close to England. The local beer on that icy island is Guinness, popular with Irish and English for its creamy look, dark color and striking flavor. The name Guinness comes from Arthur Guinness, the creator of beer.

It was in 1951 that Guinness Brewery Director Sir Hugh Beaver asked a strange question during a hunting festival in Ireland. He wanted to know, basically, which was the fastest European bird in this kind of competition. Hence the name of the book, the result of this union of brewery, birds and doubts.


Book of Records first edition cover Image source: Reproduction / Etsy

Although they searched through countless books and libraries, the answer about the bird did not appear. And just as he was faced with an unanswered question, Sir Hugh realized that there were many other unresolved questions. He then enlisted the help of investigating twins Norris and Ross McWhirter to create a book that would bring together various kinds of bizarre questions and their interesting answers.

The first edition of the Book of Records was released on August 27, 1955 and by Christmas of that year was the best selling book in the whole of the United Kingdom. Since then, the book has been published annually, with new records set. The curious on duty thank you.