While most of us could only manage to go a few minutes without blinking, actor Paolo Ballesteros powered through for more than one hour and managed to set the unofficial world record.
I’m sure the majority of the population has engaged in a staring competition at some point during their lives, meaning at least half of us out there have won a staring competition at some point.
So, I think it’s safe to say most of us are familiar with the sensation of not blinking. Your eyes start to sting, you can almost feel every bit of dust land on your pupils, and your eyeballs somehow seem to simultaneously get both dry and watery at the same time.
See the moment Ballesteros caved in and blinked here:
All in all, not blinking is not a pleasant experience and most people can’t wait for the sweet relief of closing your eyes again. I’d be impressed if someone managed to make it past 60 seconds, and I’d be blown away if a determined person managed to make it to the five-minute mark.
But an hour? It’s just not something I can comprehend.
Filipino actor Ballesteros managed to do that and then some on the Philippine television show Eat Bulaga! this weekend. The show has a segment titled the ‘No Blinking Challenge’ – hopefully you’ll be able to guess what it involves – and Ballesteros beat his co-host Pauleen Luna by a mile, Phil Star reports.
Luna’s record was a very impressive 30 minutes and 44 seconds but Ballesteros blew her out of the water by keeping his eyes open for one hour, 17 minutes and three seconds.
It’s unclear how the segment works; whether viewers have to simply sit and watch the contestants as they try desperately to ignore their natural instincts or whether the creators cut back and forth to the hopeful competitor throughout the show, but either way it makes for some entertaining viewing.
Ballesteros’s eyes were streaming as he attempted to keep them open but his perseverance paid off as he managed to set a new world record.
Unfortunately the Guinness World Records don’t have an official record set for the longest time without blinking, but Record Setter claims a man named Julio J., from Colorado, held the previous record of one hour, five minutes and 11 seconds.
Eat Bulaga! praised Ballesteros for his efforts on Twitter, writing:
1 hour 17 minutes and 3 seconds na hindi kumukurap [without blinking]!
— Eat Bulaga (@EatBulaga) October 5, 2019
I’d invite you to try and beat his record yourself but I genuinely fear it could be dangerous. Still, I suppose it’s worth a try if you think you could outlast him – just please don’t hurt yourself in the process.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.