Not surprisingly, the Bay Area is home to countless record setters and record breakers—from residents who love jelly donuts to trees that have been growing for centuries and everything in between. Whether they’re manmade like Lombard Street and the Bay Bridge, nature-made, or are simply a result of our passionate and impressive locals, these Guinness World Records represent the quirkiness, the impressiveness, the willpower and the fun that can be found in all of our Bay Area communities.
Good luck breaking them!
World’s largest candy dispenser
Famous as a roadside attraction, tourist destination and candy haven, the Burlingame Museum of PEZ Memorabilia is home to the world’s largest candy dispenser. Their snowman shaped dispenser stands at seven feet and ten inches and was made by Curator Gary Doss. It’s made from plastic, actually dispenses PEZ candies, and can hold 6,480 at a time! Learn more on the museum website.
Fastest time to eat a jam doughnut with no hands
The rules for jelly donut eating include not licking the lips and leaving no crumbs or jelly behind. San Franciscan Philip Joseph Santoro smashed the previous record for eating a jam donut without using his hands in April 2014 with a time of 11.41 seconds. And his donut was purchased from the iconic Bob’s Donuts, a 24-hour, family owned and operated shop right here in San Francisco!
Cycling most vertical meters in 48 hours (male)
The most vertical meters cycled in 48 hours is 29,623.3 meters which is the equivalent of 97,189 feet and 9.24 inches—and more than 339 miles! Craig Cannon claimed this record in Berkeley between August 7 and August 9 in 2015 by riding the same .68-mile hill in the Berkeley Hills.
The Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival is a famous annual event taking place every fall in Half Moon Bay. At the 2017 event, Joel Holland, a retired firefighter from Sumner, Washington, was crowned the pumpkin king with a gargantuan gourd that weighed 2,363 pounds. He is now a seven-time champion at this Bay Area event!
Though his is not the largest in the world, it is the largest grown in the United States.
First computerized social network
In the same region that is home to Silicon Valley and Facebook, it makes sense that the Bay Area would claim the first computerized social network. The Community Memory project was established in Berkeley in 1973. It used a teletype terminal in a record shop which was connected to an SDS 940 computer in San Francisco and allowed visitors in the shop to enter and view messages left by others making it was the first public computerized bulletin board system.
Largest human letter
Achieved by the University of California, Berkeley on August 15, 2017, the largest human letter was a giant letter ‘C’ formed by 7,194 participants. The C stands for Cal and was formed on the California Memorial Stadium field.
Most people crammed in a purikura booth simultaneously
Purikura booths are Japanese photo booths which can typically hold about 10 people at one time. On January 1, 2009, 27 people squeezed into a single booth in San Francisco’s Japantown and claimed the world record!
Most crooked road
Lombard Street is a famous landmark in San Francisco thanks to its unique construction, flowering gardens, red brick road and 5 mile-per-hour speed limit. The road consists of eight hairpin turns over just a quarter mile which makes it the world’s most crooked road. That’s a total of 1,440 degrees twisted and turned on a 27% incline in only 400 meters!
Created by See’s Candies at the See’s Candies Lollipop Factory in Burlingame on July 18, 2012, the largest lollipop in the world weighed 7,003 pounds. The chocolate flavored candy was 4 feet and 8.75 inches long, 3 feet and 6 inches wide, and 5 feet and 11 inches tall without its stick which measured 11 feet and 10 inches tall.
Most home runs in a Major League Baseball career
Barry Bonds still holds the MLB record for the most career home runs. Between 1986 and 2007, he hit 762 home runs during his time with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Francisco Giants.
Most expensive bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge isn’t the only famous bridge in the Bay Area! The five-lane Bay Bridge opened in 1936 to connect San Francisco and Oakland. At the time of its completion, it was the longest bridge in the world and cost $77 million to construct. After it was crippled by the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, restoration and replacement began in 2002 which added an estimated cost of $6.3 billion.
Most stairs climbed on a unicycle
Owen Farmer climbed 1,005 stairs on a unicycle in San Francisco on April 3, 2016. It took him 46 minutes and 50 seconds to climb all of them!
Most bowls caught on the head while riding a unicycle
In August 1999, Nancy Huey of San Francisco caught 31 aluminum bowls on her head while she was riding a unicycle on the set of Guinness World Records: Primetime in Los Angeles. The stack measured 7.5 feet tall!
Longest Samson’s chair (static wall sit)
Samson’s chair—more commonly referred to as a wall sit—is a static exercise and a true test of leg strength and endurance. On December 20, 2008, Thienna Ho claimed the record for the longest wall sit at the World Team USA Gym in San Francisco. She sat for 11 hours 51 minutes and 14 seconds!
Thienna also holds the record for the most sumo squats in one hour and the heaviest sumo deadlift in one hour, which she claimed when she lifted a 45.8-pound barbell for 2,289 repetitions.
Tallest living tree
Hyperion is a coast redwood growing in Redwood Regional Park, a 1,830-acre forested escape just minutes from downtown Oakland. When measured in 2009, the tree stood at 115.85 meters making it the world’s tallest living tree. And, when Hyperion was discovered and initially measured in 2006, the previous record holder, Stratosphere Giant, was beaten by it and two other trees inside the East Bay park!
The world’s smallest toothpick sculpture
Steven J. Backman is a San Francisco native who has been creating jaw-dropping toothpick sculptures since he was a child. Though his creations usually consist of thousands of toothpicks to form a life-like representation of things like the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars and other landmarks, his record comes from just one, small toothpick. He created a replica of the Empire State Building made from a single toothpick and it stands at just over three-quarters of an inch tall. You can learn more about Steven and his art on his website here.
The Hayward candy company, Annabelle Candy Company, was founded in 1950 and is still a family owned and operated business today. In celebration of their 65th anniversary in 2015, they created the world’s largest taffy which weighed in at 524 pounds! The project was in the works for two years before they made their candy and claimed the title.
Largest collection of Star Wars memorabilia
Rancho Obi-Wan is a Petaluma museum and collection which serves to inspire, to preserve and to cultivate the Star Wars legacy. Curated by Steve Sansweet, this local facility is home to an estimated 500,000 unique items and 93,260 items which have been accurately audited and cataloged. This official number is the reason Steve can claim this record and it beats the previous record holder by a factor of four! Learn more about Rancho Obi-Wan on their website.
Most powerful geothermal power station
The world’s largest geothermal field consists of 22 geothermal power plants drawing steam from more than 350 steam production wells, and it’s located in the Mayacamas Mountains just north of Napa Valley and 72 miles north of San Francisco. Alone, this field produces enough steam-powered energy to power a city the size of San Francisco!