When it comes to world records, it is as if they are made to be broken. As if there is a never-ending bar set in place challenging humanity to always up the ante. No matter how remarkable, weird, or dumb we may find them, there is always something fascinating about setting records and the people that manage to break them.
It is even more remarkable when many of these record breakers are people who have not been alive on Earth for very long. So who were some of the youngest people to ever break a world record? What circumstances put them in a position to be able to break those records? In this list, we will cover ten of the youngest world record setters and breakers.
10 Tucker Roussin
When talking about young people breaking records, it does not get much younger than 24-week-old unborn child Tucker Roussin. In 2013, Tucker’s mother was 20 weeks pregnant when doctors discovered her fetus had a rare heart condition called a pericardial teratoma. This condition results in a tumor growing on the sac lining of the heart. In Tucker’s case, this tumor was rapidly growing to the point that it was almost as big as his heart already! Doctors decided that he would have to undergo open-heart surgery while still in his mother’s womb.
Doctors also estimated Tucker only had one more week to live. Tucker’s parents went to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for their expertise in the complicated procedure. A team of surgeons there were able to miraculously complete the surgery by carefully pulling only Tucker’s chest and arm through an insertion made in his mother’s uterus. The tumor was removed, making Tucker Roussin the youngest person ever to undergo open-heart surgery. And one might say a very nail-biting one at that! Tucker was born 14 weeks later.!
9 Julian Pavone
Julian Pavone from Detroit, Michigan, became the youngest professional drummer at just four years of age, claiming the title with his 20th live performance in 2009. He started drumming at just three months old while sitting on his father’s lap. His father also fed his son’s interest by having him practice every day. Julian has appeared on shows such as The Opera Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, The Maury Show, Inside Edition, The Today Show, and The Tonight Show, where he also performed.
Julian is also a record-setting inventor, receiving a patent for his very own inventions. The Abracadabra Stain Cover-up (at age 4) and Julian’s Drum Gloves (at age 7). He didn’t stop there, though. Along with these, he created his self-made snack brand—Julian’s GO Bars—and founded his own company called the Bizzy company, aimed toward helping other young aspiring artists and entrepreneurs to achieve their goals. Remarkable accomplishments that would take years or decades for most to reach!
8 Arham Om Talsania
Many who seek to become computer programmers find themselves in college for four years to obtain a degree in the field. This was not the case for six-year-old Arham Om Talsania from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, in India. He set the world record for becoming the world’s youngest computer programmer.
At the early age of two, he started using tablets, developing his interest in computer programming through gadgets, video games, and solving puzzles. He even started to create his own small miniature games once his father taught him programming basics. His father also taught him how to code. It was with this newfound knowledge and skill that he earned his world record title by completing the Python programming language exam.
Arham broke the record a day shy of his 7th birthday. Not too shabby of an early birthday present to himself at all! Arham aims to use his talents to become a business entrepreneur in the future and help the needy. Putting his technologically savvy intellect to good use for the benefit of the world.
7 Greta Thunberg
As the ones who will inherit Earth in the future, it is no secret that young people, in general, are quite wary of the worsening environmental issues happening all across the world. A study conducted from 2015 to 2018 showed that 51% of those between age 18 and 34 believedwould pose a threat in their lifetime.
Enter young Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, who broke the 90-year-old record for the youngest TIME person of the year award at just 16 years of age. Since 2018, she’s been making big news and getting a great deal of media attention for her activism and climate change protests, skyrocketing her name to celebrity status.
At the age of seven or eight, she first became aware of the dire climate situation and took it upon herself to do something about it. Her deep concern for the well-being of the planet took her from small acts such as turning off the lights to save power at her family home to a month-long strike from her school. She also went from participating in protests on the streets to having a large enough platform to demand actual change from world leaders and the laws passed that affect the climate.
And her efforts paid off. Her initial school protest started a worldwide movement called “Fridays for Future,” a movement consisting of many widescale protests worldwide. Her many supporters, including high profile world figures and politicians, are rallying behind her to make a global change.
6 Aashman Taneja
Aashman Taneja is a dedicated student of Taekwondo. This first-grader at Oakridge in Hyderabad, India, broke the Guinness World record for the most full contact knee strikes nonstop for an hour. Over 1200 knee strikes nonstop at just five years old. Incredible!
Aashman was first inspired by his sister to take up Taekwondo. Ten-year-old Myra is also a three-time world record breaker in Taekwondo. Aashman first began training alongside his sister in the martial arts at just four years old. He has a great amount of passion for the sport and maintains a strict regimen of practicing his kicks for an hour 4 days a week while also attending special training with his Grand Master, Jayanth Reddy.
While earning achievements in his favorite sport, he is still able to balance his life out by getting good grades in school and doing other fun hobbies such as rock climbing and drawing.
5 Roxanne Downs
For many women and girls alike, flipping through magazines is a favorite pastime many of them may have started at a young age. Whether looking for their favorite celebrities or desiring to be just like the supermodels within the pages, magazines have always seemed to cater to young girls. In the case of Australian Roxanne Downs, she not only took to this hobby, but as so many other girls do, she also sought to make her own contributions by becoming the youngest magazine editor at the young age of eight.
Her father, Michael Downs, says Roxanne had always done well with reading and writing in school. Roxanne was a social bee in tune with the type of interests her peers talked about, which would help her navigate what would cater to girls in her age group. So when tween girl magazine It GiRL started looking for editors within their target audience, Roxanne seemed like the perfect girl for the job. Her role would consist of such tasks as attending launches, creating editorial concepts, market research, writing monthly editor’s letters, and reviewing the magazines before they were ready to print. She shortly received her world record title after six months of editing for It GiRL.
4 Montannah Kenney
Montannah Kenney became the youngest female to summit Mount Kilimanjaro in March of 2018—she was just shy of her eighth birthday. She and her mother, Hollie Kenney, reached the top ofin a little over a week. They accomplished the feat all while persevering through inclement weather conditions such as nonstop rain and snow, along with breathing thin air from high altitudes and very low visibility.
The mother-daughter climbing duo originally set their trek for 2019, when Montannah would be nine years old. They knew Montannah would need a special permit to climb as there is a minimum age requirement of ten. So they planned their trip. However, they soon got word of the then-current record holder of the title, eight-year-old Roxy Getter. This accelerated their plans once Montannah said she wanted to beat the record.
They trained relentlessly on hour-long hikes and made sure Montannah got her special permit so she would be allowed to bypass the age requirement. When asked about her motivations, her biggest one wasn’t the chance at being a world record-breaker. For her, it was most important to do it in remembrance of her late father, who died when she was just three years old. For her reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro meant being a little bit closer to her father in heaven.
3 Ritaj Alhazmi
As a young girl in Saudi Arabia, Rita Alhazmi became entranced in the world of writing fiction whenever her parents would take her to libraries and learning workshops. She was hooked on the creativity of making any idea possible through imaginative writing. She decided to give it a shot herself and wrote a three-novel series called Treasure of the Lost Sea, for which she signed a publishing contract in 2020. She has also received awards for the books: Treasure of the Lost Sea, Portal of the Hidden World and Beyond the Future World. The first two were released when Ritaj was only 11.
She wants to push the envelope to cater books toward the interests of her age group more accurately. In her own words, she believes, “I think that the books for my age are still not enough. We need more books that speak to us.”
Although fiction is what had initially inspired her to become a writer, she is also inspired to write within the nonfiction genre as well. In particular, a book called How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates inspired her to do this. She hopes to one day receive a Nobel prize by inspiring other young people to write and strive to reach their goals.
2 Zara Rutherford
Piloting solo around the world is no light task, to say the least. Take the example of Amelia Earhart. Arguably the most famous female pilot in aviation history. She mysteriously disappeared and was declared dead at the age of 41 in her attempt to become the first woman in aviation to fly around the world. In the spirit of Amelia Earheart, 19-year-old Belgian-British pilotbeat the world record for the youngest woman to fly solo around the world in 2022. The previous world record holder was 30-year-old American aviator Shaesta Waiz, who accomplished her trip in 2017.
Her flight was not without its challenges. She faced the harsh winter in Europe with freezing temperatures in Siberia. On the other side of the spectrum, she met heatwave temperatures in Indonesia. Other natural obstacles such as fog, smoke, wildfires, and a typhoon added much delay to her flight as she would have to wait those out to continue flying safely again. Often, she would even fear for her own life while encountering these situations—all while battling homesickness as well.
Although it was not all gloom for her. She encountered many different peoples and cultures, having visited five continents and 41 nations in her travels! Although it was initially estimated for her to complete her journey in three months, the number of obstacles she dealt with left her occasionally grounded for weeks at a time. Nevertheless, she persevered and completed her journey when she landed in her home country of Belgium after 155 days.
1 Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai was born on July 12, 1997, to a Pakistani diplomat and activist, Ziauddin Yousafzai, in Swat Valley in Pakistan. She grew up under the oppression of the Taliban and the sexist abuse toward females from the military. She became known for her activism against the Taliban and speaking out on the mistreatment of females in her region.
She first received an opportunity to do this when members of the BBC Urdu website sought out the experiences of a young school girl due to the political violence in the region and the lack of rights girls had when it came to getting an education. She began telling her experiences and everything she had witnessed through writing blogs. However, due to the political unrest and the religious fundamentalist movement in the region, many did not approve of her outspokenness against them. So she eventually became a target.
One day a masked man followed her onto her bus home, demanding to know which girl was her. The man shot her, and the bullet passed through her head, nearly missing her brain and left eye. But she survived miraculously. Her story inspired the world. She became a heroine for women’s rights and a figurehead in the fight against sexism. In 2013, she gave her first speech since she was shot to the United Nations demanding the right of education for every child. She became the youngest to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2014, two years after she had been shot.