The Guinness Book of World Records has officially been photobombed.
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Here at Reviewed.com, we love photography in all of its forms. Whether it's digital or film, a snapshot or a timelapse, if you're taking photos we're willing to support that. But if there's one kind of photo that we aren't big fans of, it's the not-so-humble selfie. They're rarely any good, frequently ridiculous, and make you seem awfully self-important.
But like the Oxford Dictionary before it, another hallowed institution has formally accepted the selfie into its ranks: the Guinness Book of World Records.
In addition to rewarding Ellen Degeneres with the record for the most-shared selfie earlier this year, a Guinness official just adjudicated over the new record for the most selfies taken in one hour. The record now stands at 355. And while taking a selfie—let alone over three hundred of them—may seem like a self-aggrandizing act, this time it was for a noble cause.
The record is now owned by two Indiana men, Mark E. Miller and Ethan Hethcote, who completed the feat in Miami to kick off a new social movement, called #MissionSmile. The campaign is now live, offering users the chance to sign up and accept a "mission" that involves committing a small act of kindness and then bragging about it on social media.
There's no word on who is actually behind #MissionSmile—the site says to return in June to find out who (or what company) has sponsored the campaign—but it's certainly a cause many can get behind.
In an interview with the Miami New Times, Hethcote explained that, "The act of taking a selfie is showing how happy you are...It's showing that happiness and spreading it." He went on to say that, "We're just happy to be the spearhead of this campaign, to get the word out about #missionsmile and doing so in such a fun way."
The obvious question—other than "Why on Earth would anyone do that?"—is how is such a thing judged? Plenty of cameras can take well over 355 photos in an hour. Couldn't you just point it at yourself and take a burst of photos? But in point of fact, the Guinness Book of World Records arbiter on hand did establish one important ground rule: Each selfie had to be with a different person.
So the men went to the beach and captured selfies with every stranger they came across. The previous record of 50—yes, there was a previous record—fell within a matter of minutes, with the final tally a hefty 355.
This may seem like a rather arbitrary set of rules, but you have to remember that this is the same organization that laid down the ground work for such esteemed records as the most snails stuck to your face for 10 seconds (37) and most eggs cracked with your forehead in one minute (a mesmerizing 142).
Remember: If you're doing something dumb, you probably just look like a fool. But if you're doing something dumb really quickly, Guinness will be there to make you a star.