What’s the most remarkable thing you ever did in a single day? Your proudest achievement, if you will. Many of us accomplish great things in our lives but they’re often the result of a process. The first person in your family to go to college. Writing a novel. Traveling the world. There are all kinds of great things that can happen over time, but condensing an achievement into a day is much harder. Some people not only do this, they do it in ways that are entirely unbelievable.
10. Indian Singer SPB Recorded 21 Songs in One Day
Indian singer SPB was a man dedicated to his craft. Real name Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubrahmanyam, he holds a World Record for recording 40,000 songs in 16 languages which is a feat that is honestly hard to wrap your head around. But he didn’t stop there.
His 40,000 songs was obviously over a lifetime as a singer. But even in a single day he was doing amazing things. He also managed to record 21 songs in a single day, actually in just a 12 hour span, back in 1981. He also managed to record 19 Tamil songs in one day and 16 Hindi songs in one day. He was also the voice of countless actors in Bollywood scenes when they were required to do singing.
9. Charles Servizio Did Over 46,000 Pushups in a Day
How many pushups would you say you can do? Or what do you think the average number is? Some super fitness gurus can drop down and crank out 1,000 pushups at the drop of a hat. But according to one survey, more than half of Americans can’t pull off 10 push-ups in a row. Worse, more than a third would struggle to do 5 in a row. All of that makes Charles Servizio sound even more impressive.
In 1993, Servizio broke a Guinness World Record by performing 46,001 pushups in 24 hours. That’s 1,916 pushups per hour. That’s about 32 every minute. While the record for pushups in an hour has been broken many times and people have surpassed Servizio’s hour record, the 24-hour has stood for three decades.
8. Ben Feldman Sold $20 Million Worth of Insurance in One Day
Ben Feldman’s legacy is either as the most amazing salesman of all time or a somewhat tragic tale of a man who was way, way too into his work. Who knows, maybe it’s both. In any event. Feldman goes down in the history books as the nearly mythical insurance salesman who managed to sell $20 million worth of insurance in one day.
Feldman did things as an insurance salesman that boggle the mind. If $20 million in a day isn’t good enough for you, know that he sold $100 million in a year once. He sold $1.5 billion in his lifetime. He was making $1 million per year in commissions. He personally sold more than whole companies. In the 1970s, he personally sold more insurance than 1,500 of the insurance companies in America. The man was basically Insurance Superman.
How does a man get to be a sales dynamo? That part is harder to understand. Word is that Feldman was so shy he once gave a talk at a seminar behind a screen so he didn’t have to see the crowd. But it sounds like he also did little else.
He researched life insurance from 10 to midnight before bed every night. He worked 12 hour days, 6 and even 7 days a week and, if nothing else, it definitely paid off as he proved himself to be a defining force in life insurance that arguably changed the entire landscape. Before Feldman, most insurance companies wouldn’t insure people for more than $50,000 on the grounds no one needed that much insurance.
7. Sweden Switched 360,000 Streets from Left to Right in a Day
One of the most noticeable differences between the UK and North America is how people drive. Brits drive on the left side of the road. This holdout from a bygone era still happens in former British colonies. They drive on the left in New Zealand, in South Africa, and in Matla. In fact, 76 countries drive on the left while 163 stick to the right.
Sweden was once a left side country, but they made the switch to the right in 1967. And it happened in a single day. The entire country made a flip covering 360,000 streets and 60,000 miles of road. It happened at 4:50 in the morning when all traffic was stopped for 10 minutes to make the switch. And when it was done, everyone drove on the right. It sounds preposterously simple on paper, but it was not.
The switch took four years worth of planning and as much as £80 million. Overnight, 350,000 street signs were changed. It took the work of soldiers, police and volunteers, over 200,000 of them in total, to make it happen in that one day. The switch was done, in part, to help prevent accidents. Most Swedish drivers had foreign cars with steering on the left, making driving on the left more confusing.
6. Will Ferrell Played for 10 MLB Teams in One Day
The record for playing for most MLB teams in a single day isn’t even one that makes sense because why would anyone need to play for more than one team in a day? At best it seems like a strange trade could have resulted in a player being on two teams in a day like Joel Youngblood in 1982. Luckily, Will Ferrell is not really a player and a lot of what he does is weird, so it does make a strange kind of sense after the fact. Ferrell holds a record for playing for 10 MLB teams in one day.
In 2015, actor Will Ferrell went out for spring training as part of an HBO special being filmed for Funny or Die alongside Major League Baseball. The show was to support cancer research, so the MLB let Ferrell suit up with 10 different teams over the course of the day and play literally every position on the field. He had to be transported by helicopter to five different stadiums to pull it off.
By the end of the day Ferrell has been an Angel, an Athletic, a Cub, a Diamondback, a Dodger, a Giant, a Mariner, a Padre, a Red Sock, and a White Sock.
5. The First Minnesota Regiment Had the Biggest Single Day Loss of Life of Any US Regiment
While a positive single day achievement is always laudable, sometimes something can be noteworthy for how awful it was. That was the case of the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War.
The regiment had proven its valor in more than one battle before Gettysburg, but it was that historic battle that would prove their mettle and also write them into the history books. It’s been said that, if not for the 1st Minnesota, the Union would have lost Gettysburg.
It was July 2, and the Union was being pushed back by Confederate forces who outnumbered them considerably. Reinforcements were a ways off yet and Union General Sickles, an untested leader, had made a foolish move without orders, creating a gap in Union lines that the Confederate forces exploited. There were very few veteran soldiers on site to try to hold back the enemy except for the battle tested 1st Minnesota. They’d started the war 1,000 men strong but, after three prior battles, they were down to 262.
Sickles’ move had all but doomed the Union. The fear was, if the Confederate Army would storm the rest of the Union and the war would effectively be lost. The 1st Minnesota was ordered to plug the gap against six-to-one odds. All they needed was five minutes for reinforcements to arrive.
The 262 men pushed onward knowing they were being sent to their deaths. They fought hard and their flag fell five times, each time being raised by someone new. By the end, 215 men had died, a total of 82% of the entire regiment. It remains, to this day, the biggest loss of life by any regiment in a single day of combat. They held for 15 minutes, turning the tide of the battle for the Union.
4. Mosquitoes Kill More People Per Day Than Sharks Did in 100 Years
The humble mosquito, one of the greatest pests known to man. They’re small, they’re a nuisance, and they exist in every country on Earth except in the Antarctic and, curiously, Iceland. That makes them incredibly hard to escape. They’re also prolific killers. Mosquitoes will kill more people in one single day than sharks have over the last 100 years.
In 2016, about 1,470 deaths could be attributed to mosquitos per day. This is thanks to the number of deadly diseases which mosquitoes can transfer to humans, including malaria. On the other hand, between 1916 and 2016, sharks managed to kill just 1,035 humans.
Changing climate has been making conditions for mosquitoes more hospitable and it’s believed that, in the future, the gap between mosquitoes and sharks is only going to grow as mosquitoes become more and more deadly. In 2018, mosquitoes killed 830,000 people which averages to about 2,274 per day.
3. 4.5 million Thin Mints are Baked for Girl Scouts Per Day
Every year the Girl Scouts roll out their annual cooking selling campaign and people go nuts for them. Thin Mints seem to be the most popular making up 25% of all cookies sold and to meet demand, a lot of cookies need to be produced.
To keep up with the Thin Mint demand, 4.5 million Thin Mints are baked per day at the height of cookie demand. Considering the girls sell as many as 200 million boxes of cookies, the volume is clearly necessary.
2. Martian Moon Orbits Lead to More than Three Eclipses a Day
Science fiction TV shows and movies often hit a little speed bump when trying to discuss time in an intergalactic way, especially with alien species. When you refer to a day or a year, it’s based entirely on how we tell time on Earth. A year is how long it takes the planet to rotate around the sun. That would mean nothing to an alien. Every planet in our solar system has varying lengths of time for what would be one of their years. Mars, in particular, can get a lot of things done because of how lunar rotation works there.
On Earth, we have around four to seven eclipses per year. On Mars, you get an average of 3.2 every day thanks to how fast the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos orbit the planet. Though the moons are too small to fully block the sun, they still pass it. Phobos orbits every 7.65 hours and Deimos every 30.35 hours.
1. A Chinese Container Ship Produces as Much Pollution in One Day as 500,000 Trucks
A modern container ship can be as much as 1,320 feet long. It takes a lot of power to move a ship that size, laden down with hundreds of tons of shipping containers, and that means burning a lot of fuel. In China, just one of these massive shipping containers will put out as much pollution in a day as 500,000 trucks on the road.
The fuel used by these ships in China is also some of the lowest quality diesel with high levels of contaminants. Sulfur levels are 35 times higher than what would be permitted at ports in Los Angeles. It’s been estimated that the pollution caused by things like these container ships contributes to 1.2 million premature deaths.