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Innovation & TechnologyTradition & History

Hungary is home to some of the most inventive geniuses of the 20th century

The Rubik’s cube, ballpoint pens and the Ford Model T were all invented by Hungarians.

Ernö Rubik, József Galamb and László Bíró left a long-lasting, impressive legacy for the future generation of inventors to look up to. But what about now? Let’s take a look at the most recent Hungarian fetes to feature in the Guinness Book of World Records.

In 2013, the Hungarian Association of Rheumatic Patients stirred up some serious waves by producing one of the most unique art pieces – a postcard calling attention to the ever-pressing issue of rheumatoid arthritis. The disease impacts an ever-growing number of young people, yet treatment is few and far between. Hence, the charity created an art piece – doubling as a PR stunt – which caught the attention of Guinness World Records. The piece was awarded the title of the largest-ever postcard created in the world – which it successfully retained over the course of the past six years.

The Miniature Castle Park was built last year at Dinnyés, a stone’s throw from Lake Velence. Made of organic, recyclable ingredients, the 35 items provide an exact replica of the most-visited medieval castles. Unlike what its unusual format would indicate, this project earned a mention in the Guinness World Records for its size: it was recognized as the largest ever exhibition to open in 2018.

For the duration of just one year, Hungary held the title of the host of the largest-ever LEGO tower. Built-in 2014, the impressive 34-meter high construction was exhibited in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica. After the event was over, the structure was duly disassembled – and soon afterwards, a group of Danish LEGO builders beat their Hungarian competitors. Since 2016, Germany is the world-first in this particular niche.

Sports is a field Hungarians famously excel in. While water polo and football are a matter of national pride, basketball players scored some unparalleled achievements as well. Take the borderline-magical case of Csanád Károly Borlay, the young athlete to set a new Guinness Record by dunking from the farthest distance. The Hungarian basketball player succeeded to do so from a whopping 8-meter-long distance while jumping on a trampoline. While on the topic of sports: Károly Borlay is far from the only person renowned for his creativity when it comes to inventing unusual solutions. In June 2012, Budapest held the largest-to-date slow-dancing flash mob, with more than 2,500 couples dancing together at the same time. The event took place at the Athletic Center, Margaret Island, the best location for a communal shindig where people could show off their finest moves.

This one’s for the die-hard collectors and design aficionados: Péter and Tamás Kenyeres earned a mention in the Guinness World Records by presenting the largest-ever collection of car license plates to date in 2011. The duo succeeded to compile a jaw-dropping 11,345 plates, obtained from as many as 133 countries over the course of 11 years. They retained the title over the years – with no other die-hard license plate collector coming near the unmatched record.

Music is another arena Hungarians have much-applauded expertise in: in 2009, a young pianist named Balázs Havasi drew attention in the most unconventional ways, by earning the title of the world’s single-handed fastest piano player. Havasi struck down the same key 498 times within the frame of just one minute. His talent earned recognition immediately, arousing interest from all over the world.

For a life-size representation of the luscious, gloriously rich and diverse wildlife of the Zemplén Mountains, check out Fragile Natural Heritage. Compiled by a father-son duo, Béla, and Gábor Varga, the monstrously-portioned item weighs some 1,420 kgs. The 4.18 meter tall, 3.77 meter wide item comprises 346 pages, charting the intricate details of the biological makeup of a region frequently hailed as a natural explorer’s paradise.

Hungarian cuisine has long astounded chefs, restaurant owners and critics across the world. A region hailed for its strong agricultural sector, high-quality produce and strong insistence on sharp, ever-exciting flavor combinations, the country also stirred up some frenzy for its garlic production. A town applauded for its traditional, heritage-driven onion farms, Makó earned a mention in the Guinness World Records with the longest-ever garlic string. Beating the previous owners of the title, Norway with 125 meters, the inhabitants of the small town created a 255 meters long string, using 6,800 garlic heads.

Csaba Mezei and Zoltán Farkas turned heads with their perseverance, determination and unparalleled skills. The judo players wrote history in 2003, by scoring the highest-ever number of martial art throws. The duo threw each other to the ground as many as 57,603 times in under ten hours, a dizzying, though no less impressive experiment. The stunt earned them a place among Guinness Record-holders, a title they retain to this day.

Milán Baticz, a professional Rubik’s Cube player set a new record in 2008 by solving the Rubik’s Cube 4,786 times in 24 hours. During the experiment, the young men opted for an algorithm-based method to ensure a steady, consistent number of scores.

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