From the highest waves to the deepest depths, the sea is home to some of the most incredible natural phenomena on the planet. As a result, humans have been attempting to break records related to the sea for centuries.

Whether it’s through feats of strength, speed, endurance, or exploration, people continue to push the limits of what is possible on or beneath the water. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most impressive world records at sea. From the fastest boats to the longest underwater endurance challenges.

Fastest Boat Record

When it comes to speed on the water, few boats can match the record set by the Spirit of Australia. This hydroplane boat, piloted by Ken Warby, set the world record for the fastest boat in 1978. It reached a top speed of 318.75 mph (511.13 km/h) on the Blowering Dam in Australia.

The Spirit of Australia in which Ken Warby set his world water speed record in 1978.

This record still stands today, more than four decades later. Warby designed and built the boat himself, and he was the only person to pilot the vessel during its record-setting run. The Spirit of Australia has since been retired and is on display at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

Deepest Dive Record

For those who prefer to explore beneath the surface, the record for the deepest dive belongs to Victor Vescovo. In 2019, Vescovo piloted a submersible vessel to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. The trench is the deepest point in the ocean, which is located in the Pacific Ocean.

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The depth of the dive was measured at 10,927 meters (35,853 feet). Vescovo’s team made a total of five dives to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Each dive set a new record for the deepest manned submersible dive.

Longest Underwater Endurance Challenge Record

The Italian free diver Alessia Zecchini. Simply breath taking.

Staying underwater for an extended period of time requires a unique combination of physical and mental strength. In 2016, Italian free diver Alessia Zecchini set the world record for the longest static apnea, or holding one’s breath underwater, with a time of 6 minutes and 33 seconds.

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This means that Zecchini was able to stay underwater without breathing for more than six and a half minutes, an incredible feat of endurance. The record was set at the AIDA Individual Freediving Depth World Championships in Kalamata, Greece.

Largest Wave Ever Surfed

For surfers, riding the biggest wave possible is the ultimate goal. In 2018, Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa accomplished just that, riding a wave that measured 80 feet (24.38 meters) tall. Koxa set the record at Nazaré, a beach in Portugal known for its massive waves.

The previous record for the largest wave ever surfed was set in 2011 by Garrett McNamara, who rode a wave that measured 78 feet (23.77 meters) at the same location.

Longest Distance Swam in Open Water

Swimming long distances in open water requires a combination of physical fitness, mental endurance, and strategic planning. In 2021, Ross Edgley, a British athlete and adventurer, set the world record for the longest distance swam in open water without rest.

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Edgley swam a total of 74.76 miles (120.77 km) around the coast of Great Britain, taking him 157 days to complete.

Ross Edgley. A Real life Aquaman and man of the ocean.

The swim required Edgley to battle strong currents, inclement weather, and jellyfish stings, but he persevered to set a new world record.

Longest Time Spent at Sea

For sailors, spending extended periods of time at sea is part of the job. However, few can match the record set by Reid Stowe, who spent a total of 1,152 days at sea, or more than three years, without setting foot on land.

Stowe set the record on his vessel, the Anne, which he sailed solo around the world, without resupplying or stopping at any ports. Stowe’s journey began in 2007 and ended in 2010, and during that time he encountered storms, whales, and even a close call with a cargo ship. Stowe’s record is a testament to his endurance and determination, and it stands as one of the most impressive achievements in sailing history.

Largest Underwater Sculpture Park

While most world records related to the sea involve individual achievements, the largest underwater sculpture park is a collaborative effort. The Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park, located off the coast of Grenada, features more than 80 sculptures created by artist Jason deCaires Taylor.

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The sculptures are made from a special type of concrete designed to promote the growth of coral and other marine life, and they serve as an artificial reef system that provides a habitat for a variety of species.

The Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park is world record breaking park.

The park covers an area of more than 800 square meters (8,600 square feet) and is open to divers and snorkelers who want to explore the unique underwater landscape.

It Continues

The world records set at sea are a testament to the resilience and determination of humans, as well as the incredible natural forces that exist in the ocean. Whether it’s through feats of speed, endurance, exploration, or art, people continue to push the limits of what is possible on or beneath the water.

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From the fastest boats to the deepest dives, the sea holds a wealth of opportunities for those who are willing to take on the challenge of breaking a world record.