72,000 candles on birthday cake sets a new world record

Nice burn! An 80-foot-long sponge cake completely covered with flaming birthday candles puts all your Grandma-is-so-old jokes to shame.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
2 min read

Maybe you've made or heard the joke: Sorry Grandma, we tried to put enough candles on your birthday cake to represent your age, but the fire department wouldn't let us.

Well, start counting out the candles for her next big b-day, because this latest world record shows that almost anything is possible when it comes to birthday candles.

Ashrita Furman, a New Yorker who holds more than 200 Guinness World Records and is a devout follower of the late spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy, joined with the Sri Chinmoy Centre in New York to break the record. The cake celebrated what would've been Chinmoy's 85th birthday on Aug. 27, though Guinness is just sharing the video now.

The Guinness site reported Monday that the cake was a group effort, with 100 people working together to make the 80-foot-long vanilla-mousse-filled sponge cake, cover its every inch with the 72,585 candles, and light them. The candles had to burn for 40 seconds to set the record.

"There were far too many candles for anyone to blow out in the traditional manner, so the candles were put out with CO2 fire extinguishers (to ensure that the dessert was still edible afterwards)," the site notes. "The wax was then scraped off and the party tucked into the enormous cake."

And now we all have the perfect video to paste on a friend's Facebook page the next time he or she has a milestone birthday. Caption it, "Here's footage of me lighting the candles on your cake. Have a happy one!"