This man turned himself into a human hose

China - A Chinese man has managed to break the most unusual of world records. Ma Hui turned himself into a human hose and became a spouting champion after having regurgitated more than a gallon of water.

Water spouting used to be a very popular sideshow attraction.
Water spouting used to be a very popular sideshow attraction.  © IMAGO/Wirestock

For most, the idea of throwing up is so unpleasant that it makes the spine tingle. To a talented few, though, that very same idea poses itself as an opportunity for fame, glory, and a position in the Guinness Book of World Records. Indeed, it is, to some, a sport that even features a name – water spouting.

So, who holds the world record for the longest time spraying water from the mouth? Who is this extraordinary water-spouting champion, and how did he get to the point he now sits?

Ma Hui wins world record for longest time spraying water from mouth

In an impressive feat of watery goodness, Chinese man Ma Hui managed to spray more than one gallon of water out of his mouth in a little under six minutes. The extraordinary achievement makes him the Guinness World Record holder for the longest time spraying water from the mouth.

To produce the human fountain, Hui first consumed a huge quantity of water and then completed a sideshow trick that has been around since the 17th century – water spouting. It's all about muscle control, with performers continuing to produce a pressurized fountain (not a dribble), pulling from the supply of liquid in their stomachs. In other words, it's highly sophisticated vomiting.

Hui's effort puts him leagues ahead of all previous world record holders. Specifically, he beat Kirubel Yilma's 2016 record, set when the Ethiopian water spouter kept it for 56.36 seconds. Yilma himself had beaten Ghana's Dickson "Waterman" Oppong, who broken the record in 2011 after spurting water for 48.86 seconds in total.

The record starts when the stream of water first starts coming out of a contestant's mouth and ends as soon as that person ceases the stream, even if they stop for only a moment. As a result, to carry on for any amount of time, the performer needs to not only have a vast supply of water in their stomach but tremendous control over their muscles.

Ma Hui managed to regurgitate water continuously, from start to end, for precisely five minutes and 51.88 seconds. In the end, the final record was about six times longer than his predecessor's.

How did he become a water spouting champion?

While Ma Hui hasn't personally explained how he managed to train himself to be able to store so much water in his stomach and then pull it all out in such a controlled manner, in general, the act involves manipulating your stomach muscles to the extent that you can pull the water back up through your system, as there is no way to store enough water inside your mouth.

Of course, Ma Hui would have had to also practice his breathing technique, as the stream of squirting water cannot be stopped for a single moment. All-in-all, it's a skill that may have been around for a long time, but not one that has ever been achieved to this extent – and Hui would have had to train for years.

Talking to the New York Times in 2017, veteran water spouting machine and breath holder David Blaine offered an insight into how such an extraordinary achievement could be made. He explained that it took years to hone the craft and learn how to control not only his stomach muscles but his breathing and water pressure as well.

Blaine explained that in some cultures, it is used as a way to preserve water, as vast quantities can be stored in the stomach and regurgitated. Talking about a Liberian man he had tracked down, he explained that "When they went to the well, they could only bring back a certain amount of water.

"But if he could put the water inside and fill the bucket up, he could go back with more," said Blaine. "I realized you can put a gallon of water in your stomach. He could put out fires with it or whatever."

Ma Hui isn't the only human hose out there

As bizarre as it may seem, water spouting is actually a sideshow act that has been around since the 17th century. The performance involves an individual drinking a lot of water before projectile vomiting it in a highly controlled way. After training, spouting is not just about controlling the stream of water (or other liquid) out of one's stomach but also about keeping it going for as long as humanly possible.

Nowadays, water spouting is far less common, mainly due to the fact that sideshows are no longer such a popular or common thing. It is, however, still a favored sideshow when it's available, stunning adults and children alike.

Cover photo: IMAGO/Wirestock

More on World Records: