46-hour Thai smooch is longest kiss
A determined Thai couple have locked lips for 46 hours, 24 minutes and nine seconds to celebrate Valentine's Day in the beach resort town of Pattaya, Thailand, emerging victorious after a "kissathon" organisers claim marked the longest recorded smooch in history.
The previous record of just over 32 hours was set in 2009 by a couple in Germany, according to Guinness World Records, whose officials will have to verify the latest milestone for it to become official.
Fourteen couples kicked off the contest at 6am on Sunday. By Monday afternoon, half had already beaten the record and were still puckering up on the white-marble corridor of an oceanside shopping centre in Pattaya. Passing tourists gawked, smiled and snapped pictures with glowing mobile phones behind a red rope.
"We didn't think we would find anybody that could break the record," said Somporn Naksuetrong, the manager of Pattaya's Louis Tussaud's Waxworks museum, which organised the competition. That seven couples apparently did, he said, "is amazing."
The winner was announced before dawn on Tuesday -- a Bangkok couple, Ekkachai and Laksana Tiranarat. They won a diamond ring worth 50,000 Thai Baht (£1,000), and a 100,000 Baht (£2,000) cash prize.
According to the rules, the lovebirds' lips could not part at any time. Any drinks could only be consumed through straws while continuing the kiss, and the couples had to remain embraced during bathroom breaks possible every three hours - accompanied by contest monitors. There was no sitting or sleeping allowed
One woman participating with her boyfriend fainted just half an hour after the contest began.
Despite its reputation for having one of the biggest sex industries in the world, Thailand is still a conservative nation where kissing in public - even a small peck is frowned upon. Participants had to prove they were either married or truly a couple - a letter from both parents or a marriage certificate was acceptable.
"We want to show that love is meaningful and powerful," Somporn said. "It's not easy to stand there and kiss for that long. They really have to help each other and support each other."
The couples who took part were mainly Thai and ranged in age from 21 to 51. There was one German man with a Thai woman, and also a gay couple.