Dinesh Upadhyaya is proud of his big mouth. The 39-year-old science and mathematics teacher from Mumbai, India, holds a gobsmacking 48 Guinness World records for stuffing objects into his mouth, including three billiard balls, 79 grapes, 102 pencils –and most recently 208 chopsticks. The record-breaker says the key to his oral prowess is practicing every day, as well as possessing an incredibly large mouth.
How on earth did you get into mouth-stuffing?
In 2000, I started out trying to get my name into the record-breaking business. Back then, I was attempting to set nationwide records for the largest crosswords, palindrome sentences and other unique literary feats. Then in late 2010, I watched a video when American Todd DeFazio stuffed 70 pencils in his mouth. Watching that video made an impact on me and I thought I could do better. It took almost four mouths to mentally prepare for my attempt at beating his record. I bought 100 pencils of the same size. When I started practicing, I could barely fit 50 pencils in at once. It was a painful experience. But over time I increased by mouth-stretching capacity and was able to fit more than 70 pencils in my mouth.
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On January 22, 2011, I fit a total of 92 pencils in my mouth at once very easily for more than half a minute. My record video went viral on YouTube and got officially approved. After that I stuffed 800 straws in my mouth and that video went viral. Now my current world record for pencil stuffing in mouth is 102 and straw stuffing at 1,001.
How many records do you have and for what?
At present I am the most prolific record-setter in India. So far, I have broken more than 210 records in various fields like mouth-stuffing, speed eating, holding maximum objects in the quickest time, blindfolded acts and many other things, also verified by over 18 different record-setting agencies.
So far, I hold 48 Guinness World records. My dream is to break all mouth-stuffing records as soon as possible. So I'm always working on it.
I’ve also just broken a world record of "Fastest Time To Drink A Bottle of Ketchup" as I drank total 453 gm tomato ketchup in just 30.85 seconds through a drinking straw. I recently created a world record for the 'Most Times To Insert A Nail Into Nose In One Minute,’ as I managed to insert four-inch-long iron nail into my nose 24 times completely.
Is your talent beneficial in real life?
Record-breaking is my passion and way of life to live. I am not doing records to make money so there is no financial gain for me from records. Also I am not spending lots of money like other does to make records. I’ve made records with very cheap, easily available materials so I may be ideal for those who think that lot of money need to create records. Call me a poor man's record setter. I am not doing professional shows like other record breakers. Teaching is my real profession. I am proud of becoming our country's leading record breaker.
You have been dubbed "Maximouth?"
Yes, but you can decide whether this nickname justifies my extreme mouth stuffing ability or not: 102 pencils, 1001 straws, 89 grapes, 5 golf balls, 6 table tennis balls, 3 pool balls, 100 glass marbles, 249 game dice, 411 metal coins (steel - 10 paisa denomination), 18 burning candles, 210 wooden chopsticks, 83 red onions (mini size), 76 tomatoes (mini size), 224 playing cards, 14 glass test tubes and more.
Extreme mouth-stuffing sounds dangerous.
Yes, it is dangerous. There are more chances of internal bleeding, suffocation, choking, jaw locking/breaking, vomiting and even fatal injury.
So it must at least hurt.
I still have not faced any major injury during practice or record attempts. I usually experience swelling in my mouth, especially in the lips and gums area, which later become normal after an hour. Life is precious so I always take precautionary measures to avoid serious or fatal injuries during any extreme mouth-stuffing act.
What advice would you give to "beginners"?
Have practice, mental strength, planning, precautions, the ability to bear lots of pain and also some good luck. I am 6 feet and 6 inches tall man so I think my mouth is slightly wider than of average human being. Otherwise I didn't find any abnormality in my mouth. I believe that I’ve acquired my extreme mouth-stuffing ability through practice and technique; I practice yoga and breathing exercises regularly.
While practicing the stunts, I massages my facial muscles; using fingers I try to stretch the opening of my mouth as much as possible. I repeat this up to 10 minutes to make my cheek rubber-like fleshy. I never drink, smoke or eat meat. I think good health has also aided me in record-breaking.
What are you future plans?
If I got an opportunity and sponsors, then with expert guidance I want to stuff objects no one has done before, like tarantulas, scorpions, cockroaches, etc. I similarly would like to break "Longest string passed through nose and mouth in one minute," "Longest metal coil passed through the nose and out of the mouth," "Most quarters stuffed in nose" and "Most Tabasco Sauce Drunk In 30 Seconds."