Who doesn't like a nice, passionate kiss? We spend an average of two weeks kissing in our lifetimes. That's 336 hours of locking lips, folks! Kisses can run anywhere from mind-blowing to extremely awkward. Does the extreme kiss from the Go Daddy Super Bowl ad from a few years back ring a bell, anyone?
Here are 10 unbelievable stories of kisses and kissing as we give our salutations to smooching.
1The girl who died after kissing her friend for the first time
Jemma Benjamin was a shy and athletic 18-year-old student who attended the University of Wales and hoped to travel the world teaching English and sports.
In April 2009, however, tragedy struck. Benjamin was spending time with fellow student and friend Daniel Ross, 21. According to Ross, the two were going to a bar to get some food, but returned to his house to retrieve a credit card. They chatted and the shared their first kiss by Ross' front door. While sitting on the sofa, Ross noticed that Benjamin's eyelids suddenly “began to droop” and her mouth started to froth just before she collapsed.
Ross called Jemma's mother to see if the young woman, who was the picture of health, had epilepsy. He called paramedics, and was given instructions in administering CPR, but was unable to revive Benjamin. Jemma Benjamin arrived DOA at the hospital and a post-mortem examination could find no medical reason for Miss Benjamin's death.
An inquest, it is believed that Benjamin died from SADS – Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome. SADS is caused by a disturbance in the heart's rhythm that effects the electrical functioning of the organ, rather than the structure. The electrical fault is caused by defects in the DNA, which may be inherited. SADS can only be detected in life, not after death.
A tragic end to what should have been a new beginning.
2The longest kiss on the silver screen
Up until recently, Jane Wyman and Regis Toomey held the record for sharing the longest kiss in the 1941 film, You're In the Army Now.
The kiss made movie history. Wyman and Toomey smooched for three minutes and five seconds in the film, taking up 1/25th of the film's total running time. This comedy film is about two vacuum cleaner salesmen who are accidentally inducted into the army and the hijinks that follow. Vacuum cleaner salesmen? There's gotta be a joke in there somewhere!
In 2010, filmmaker Nicole Conn – inspired by the kiss in You're In the Army Now – decided to break that record after having a conversation with her partner. Conn wrote and directed Elena Undone, starring Necar Zadegan and Traci Dinwiddle, which tells the story of a lesbian writer who falls for the wife of a pastor.
Conn broke the previous record with a three-minute and twenty three-second steamy liplock between Zadegen and Dinwiddle. The take that made the film is one of three takes, which perfectly conveyed Conn's feeling of encapsulating a first kiss.
3The silly laws involving kissing
Who knows how some preposterous laws ever get passed? There are a few out there in serious need of getting updated, amended or even done away with, and there are more bizarre laws on the books about kissing than you realize.
In Indiana it is illegal for men with mustaches “to habitually kiss human beings.” (So, any other species is fair game then?) In Colorado's Logan County, a man is forbidden to kiss a woman while she's asleep. We also can't forget a law in Hartford, Connecticut, where men are apparently prohibited from kissing their wives on Sundays. I've heard of Sunday being the day of rest, but this is ridiculous!
4The people who kissed the longest on record
Over the years, many people have tried to hold the title of kissing the longest, but nobody beats Ekkachai and Laksana Tiranarat's efforts. The two kissed for a whopping 58 hours, 35 minutes, and 58 seconds on February 12-14, 2013.
The couple joined eight other couples at the Ripley's Believe it or Not event in Pattaya, Thailand. The Tiranarats broke a previous world record for longest kiss held by two gentlemen for 50 hours. For their liplocking efforts, they took home a cash prize, two diamond rings, and a Guinness Book of World Records title for having the longest kiss on record.
Now, that is one event that would be fun to participate in. Well, at least at first…
5The birds that kiss and vomit as a sign of affection
Let's hear it for the white-fronted parrot. A beautiful species of birds with bright-red rings around their eyes, they are also known as spectacled Amazons.
After selecting a suitable partner, these parrots are one of the few animals to engage in the act of kissing.These birds not only lock beaks but they French kiss, playing with each other's tongues. If the two really have chemistry, the male will then vomit into the female's mouth offering this “gift” as a sign of intimacy.
Hey, it could be worse. To choose their mating partners, female giraffes urinate into the mouths of the males of their species. Delightful.
6The Disney copycats who got ill from kissing a frog
In the original 1812 version of the Brothers Grimm's classic The Frog Prince Story, there was no kiss from the princess to turn the frog into a handsome prince. Instead, the princess chucks the frog into a wall and, voila, the spoiled princess gets her prince. In 1823, English translator Edgar Taylor made the princess a little more romantic by breaking the prince's spell with a kiss. Since then, the story of a princess kissing a frog to and turning him into a prince has enchanted children.
In 2010, Disney released the animated feature, The Princess and the Frog. Unfortunately, an outbreak of salmonella emerged after young children who saw the film kissed a frog after seeing Princess Tiana kiss one in the film. Over 50 children were taken to the hospital shortly after the film's release. No word if Princess Tiana is also on antibiotics.
7The lipstick pistol that is known as the "kiss of death"
The term “kiss of death” has several meanings. You could be talking about Judas's betrayal of Jesus with a kiss in the Garden of Gethsemane, you could be talking about the Mafia signal when someone has been marked for death, or you could be talking about the kiss of death – the “lipstick pistol" used by the KGB during the Cold War. This pistol was a single shot 4.5 mm pistol hidden inside a lipstick holder that could easily fit into a purse. One of the pistols sits alongside (what else) James Bond's Aston Martin automobile in the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.
8The man who put a cobra into a trance to kiss it
Some people know how to handle snakes, but some aren't so lucky.
In Burma, there is a ritual where a woman kisses the head of a cobra three times in order to please the god of fertility.
In Kentucky, Jamie Coots, a snake-handling pastor who appeared on the National Geographic show Snake Salvation, died after being bitten by a rattlesnake in 2014. The pastor believed in a passage from the Gospel of Mark that suggests a poisonous snakebite won't harm him if he was anointed by God's power.
The opposite side of that coin is an incredible 22 year-old snake handler who works at the Krabi Snake Farm in Thailand. This gentleman has a sort of staring contest with a king cobra during his show and puts the snake into a trance. Once he knows the serpent is under his control, he kisses it.
9The television kiss that became iconic
One of television's most groundbreaking kisses in history was the one between Star Trek's Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), resulting in the first interracial kiss shown on TV. The kiss wasn't originally meant to be shared between Uhura and Kirk, however. The lieutenant was originally supposed to kiss everybody's favorite Vulcan, Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy).
In an interview with the Vancouver Sun, Ms. Nichols recalled that during rehearsals, "Bill Shatner saw what was going on and he said, ‘Woah, woah, woah. If anybody is gonna get to kiss Lieutenant Uhura it's gonna be me.'”
In true Shatner spirit, William certainly got into the role. As Nichols added, "Bill wanted to rehearse all the time. He said he wanted to get this right! I said to him, ‘It's right, it's right. I promise you, it's right.'”
According to Nichols, Dr. Martin Luther King was a fan of Star Trek and personally praised her for her work on the show.
10The most bizarre things about the band Kiss
Hey, since we're talking about kisses, how about we talk about one of the most popular rock ‘n' roll bands of all time? Of course I'm talking about the heavy rock, makeup-wearing band, Kiss, formed by Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss in the early 1970s.
• Kiss had to change the famous logo of their band name in Germany because the "SS" looks like the “SS” of the SchutzStaffel Nazi army. The band uses a modified logo when touring there.
• Kiss' outfits would get so sweaty that the band members had to hang their leather costumes to dry. If the band had a few days off, mold would grow in their boots. To keep the it, the guys had to spray Lysol in them.
• Guitarist Ace Frehley once superglued virtually every piece of furniture in his hotel room to the ceiling while on tour.
• In 1983, Gene Simmons turned down the romantic lead role in the film, Flashdance. He feared taking it would hurt his image.
• Right before joining Kiss in 1982, Ace's replacement, guitarist, Vinnie Vincent was a staff songwriter for the TV program, Happy Days. He helped to write the songs that Joanie and Chachi sang on the show.
• Gene's tongue has been measured at over 7 inches long.
• Marvel Comics printed a Kiss comic book in 1977. Blood from each band member was drawn and poured into vats of red ink used for printing the comic book. The blood was delivered to the printer in an armored truck.
• In 1979, Kiss and their management company purchased over 190 acres in Cincinnati, OH for a Kiss amusement park, but the park was never built.