1The first female to visit every country in the world
Cassandra De Pecol is a 27-year-old global adventurer with not one, but TWO world records. She just finished a crowdfunded journey that took her to all of the world's 193 countries and three territories (Kosovo, Palestine, Taiwan), making her the first woman to accomplish the task. However, the breakneck pace she achieved this feat—18 months and 26 days—makes her the fastest ever to reach this goal.
2Man who holds most the university degrees
This guy is the definition of book smart. Luciano Baietti, a 70-year-old Italian man who lives near Rome, holds 15 bachelor's and master's degrees. He first achieved the Guinness World Record for most degrees in 2002 with a mere 8. Now, Baietti, who has studied philosophy, law, sociology, and literature, is studying for a 16th in food science.
3Youngest person to climb the Seven Summits
Jordan Romero is no slacker for a teenager. In 2010, he received the Guinness World Record for youngest person to climb Mt. Everest (at 13), which was part of his quest to climb the tallest mountains in the world, known as the Seven Summits. In December 2011, he completed his goal by climbing Vinson Massif in Antarctica, making him the youngest person to climb all seven at 15 years, 5 months, and 12 days.
4Most number of languages spoken
A polyglot is a person who can speak and understand at least six languages, and a hyper-polyglot speaks more than 12. But how many languages is the world's record? Guinness used to list Ziad Fazah, a Lebanese man, who claimed to speak 58. However, during a live television appearance it was discovered he was unable to understand some basic questions in languages he said he was fluent in. An interesting candidate is Emil Krebs, a German diplomat who died in 1930, and is credited for knowing 65 languages and studying 120 more. Krebs was particularly fond of the fact that he knew how to say “kiss my ass” in 40 different tongues.
5The girl with the highest IQ
An IQ test is an imprecise measure of one's intellect; however, getting a high score is extremely difficult. In 2016, an 11-year-old U.K. student named Kashmea Wahi achieved a perfect score of 162, theoretically topping the smarts of Albert Einstein and Steven Hawking.
6Most number of Guinness World Records
Ashrita Furman is a New Yorker and spiritualist that happens to also hold a surprising number of unique Guinness World Records, including the most number of Guinness World Records! His first was in 1979 by doing 27,000 jumping jacks. Since then, he has traveled around the world acquiring almost 200, including most sit-ups at the Eiffel Tower, most number of forward rolls along Paul Revere's ride, and fastest mile on a kangaroo ball on the Great Wall of China.
7Fastest reader in the world
Speed reading is a trick that many people have mastered, but true comprehension at that level is very rare. One interesting case is Kim Peek, a severely disabled man with unusual skills. Sometimes called a “mega savant," Peek was able to read books extremely quickly and remember nearly everything about them. He did this by reading the facing pages, one with each eye. When tested later, he retained 98% accuracy. Peek was born without a corpus callosum—the nerves that connect the two hemispheres of the brain—and no one was able to explain how he did this.
8First person to sail around the world alone
Joshua Slocum lived the hard life of a seaman, but it wasn't until after he retired that he made his greatest voyage. On April 24, 1895, at the age 51, Slocum set forth to sail around the world alone. He navigated without a chronometer, instead relying on dead reckoning, a less reliable method. He returned on June 27, 1898, after logging some 46,000 miles, and encountering obstacles such as pirates and deadly storms. Later, he wrote a book, aptly entitled Sailing Alone Around the World describing the adventure. He died lost at sea, never having learned how to swim.
9First solo flight around the world
Wiley Post was a famous aviator in the 1930s who broke many early records. One of his most famous is a trip around the world in 7 days, 18 hours, and 49 minutes. He flew in a monoplane called the Winnie Mae with an autopilot and compass. In spite of mechanical trouble, he was able to beat his earlier record with a co-pilot by 10 hours.