Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | March 6, 2012

Dude (Unsurprisingly) Dies Trying to Set “Buried Alive” Record

When I was a kid, I used to get really jacked up about the Guinness Book of World Records.

As soon as it showed up in the library, I’d check it out and spend the next week or so just geeking out over all of the wacky things that people had set “world records” in.

For instance, things like “Oldest Bank Robber,” “Most Tennis Balls in Mouth,” “Most Expensive Omlette,” and, my personal favorite, “Most Spoons Balanced on the Face.”

There were a lot of things that I contemplated trying to do to find my way into that great big book, but eventually a combination of logic, rational thinking, and a desire to not maim myself won out and I gave up on my dreams of setting world records.

In hindsight, it’s probably a good thing. I can’t imagine Grace would have been nearly as interested in dating me if I were the world record holder for “longest fingernails” or “longest milk squirt from the eye.”

Records like that don’t generally bring the ladies a-flockin’ your way.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the same epiphany when it comes to world records, which is why Janaka Basnayake is dead after a failed attempt to set the world record for “longest time buried alive.”

Here’s the story from the BBC:

Mr. Basnayake went underground on Saturday morning, and was pronounced dead the same afternoon, police say.

Doctors say that a post-mortem examination has not determined the cause of death and further medical investigations are being conducted.

Local newspapers say that the trench in which Mr. Basnayake was buried was 10ft (3m) deep.

His family say he was buried alive on two previous occasions – for two and a half hours and six hours respectively.

Correspondents say it is unclear whether there is an official world record for the longest time buried alive.


Does anything sting worse than that final line?

I mean seriously, no one is even sure if there really was a world record for longest time buried alive.

How much does that suck?

I gotta wonder how he figured he was going to set a record anyway. Guinness hasn’t recognized burial-related records since the early ‘90s because, well, shit like this happens and people die.

So Guinness wasn’t on-board. It sounds like his family was the extent of his burial crew, so no one else seemed to know he was even doing the stunt. On top of that, no one knows if there’s an official record or not.

What the shit was he thinking?

I feel like if you’re going to do something this risky, you probably want to make sure that you’ve got a pretty solid grasp on what the existing records is in advance and you probably want to make sure some governing body of records is there to witness the feat.

How long was ole Janaka planning on hanging out underground if there isn’t an existing record? Part of me thinks this is just some sort of crazy, insanely-elaborate homicide.

The whole thing seems like the type of plot you’d see a super villain pull out of his hat.

There just too many things that don’t make any sense here to this blogger, but what do I know? I don’t hold any world records.



  1. Sometimes I just sit and shake my head at people..

    in light of the end result for Mr. Basnayake, this is a funny post..

    yeah really, what was he thinking?


    • Yeah, I feel like you’ve got to plan beyond the “I’m going to go out and break a record” phase and maybe work on some more of the logistics before you go burying yourself alive.

      …but again, I hold no world records, so I’ve got little room to talk.


      • Exactly! Logistics, man! Planning? What stupid-head goes and does something like this without even doing the research?


      • This is about as logical as randomly deciding I’d like to set the world record for most times hit by an on-coming subway train.

        I’ll just go walk in front of a few trains and worry about whether or not there really is a record later.


  2. Isn’t covering all but your nose with dirt still considered being buried alive? Or do you have to be fully submerged? In addition, how long did it take his family members to redig the 10 foot hole he put himself into? This seems silly.


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