A Huntersville, N.C., man has set his seventh Guinness World Record, and this one took giant soap bubbles and 13 willing subjects to pull it off.
Steven Langley of The Soap Bubble Circus set the record for "putting the most number of people in a soap bubble in 30 seconds," Guinness World Record officials posted on Facebook on Saturday, April 6, with a 41-second video of the feat.
"Step on in!" Guinness World Record officials posted. "The most people put inside a bubble in 30 seconds is 13, achieved (by) Steven Langley of The Soap Bubble Circus in Huntersville, North Carolina, USA."
In a phone interview, Langley said he performed the feat on Nov. 9 at the Arts & Cultural Center in downtown Huntersville, but Guinness only recently certified the record.
Some participants were Langley's friends, he said. Others worked at businesses near the center and volunteered when asked to stand in a ring 3 feet in diameter as Langley created a bubble as high as 7 feet with them inside.
The 56-year-old Langley wasn't fazed by the months-long delay in Guinness certifying the record.
The Huntersville resident set his first record on April 8, 2011, in Milan, Italy, on live Italian TV - "most paddle balls controlled simultaneously by a person," at 7, according to the page of the record on the Guinness World Records website.
Langley was a professional juggler at the time with the Charlotte-based Fettucini Bros. juggling team. His juggling career spanned 25 years, he said.
His second record also came in 2011, at the annual Hugo Fest in Davidson on Sept. 3. Langley got 356 willing souls to set the Guinness record for "most people simultaneously controlling paddleboards," the Observer reported at the time.
When Johnson & Johnson employees broke that record, he broke theirs on Nov. 30, 2012, leading a team of 443 simultaneous paddlers at O.P. Earle Elementary School and Landrum Middle School in Landrum, South Carolina, according to the Guinness World Records website.
Switching careers to what he called the similarly lucrative business of performing and educating with gigantic soap bubbles, Langley blazed a new Guinness World Record path.
In June 2015 at Discovery Place Kids in downtown Huntersville, he set the record for "longest hanging chain of soap bubbles" at 35.
At Caernarfon Castle in Wales, Great Britain, in September 2018, Langley joined teams of fellow bubbleologists - those learned in the science of bubbles - to set two more Guinness records. The castle was hosting a convention of the bubbleologists at the time.
Records were set on the same day for "most people making bubbles with garland wands simultaneously" and "most people making bubbles with tri-string wands." Those records involved a respective 317 and 318 people.
Langley said he has traveled as far away as China and Japan performing and educating with bubbles, but mainly sticks to the Carolinas, Virginia and Tennessee. He's also scheduled programs at three Florida colleges this month.
He loves to explain the science behind bubbles, how three bubbles, for instance, always form "a perfect 120-degree angle" when they meet.
And who, no matter where in the world, doesn't smile and laugh at the sight of bubbles? he asked.
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