Dean's Titanic record breaker is a real feat of memory
- Credit: Dean Gould
World record breaker Dean Gould has successfully completed an unusual new memory feat - reciting the names of all 712 survivors of the Titanic luxury liner shipping disaster.
Dean, 56, of Church Road, Old Felixstowe, took on the challenge by training his memory in a system dating back to the Greeks and Romans of early history.
He said: "I use the method of loci - the plural of the Latin word ‘locus’, meaning a place or locality. The technique of loci is a strategy of stringing together a number of places and locations along a imaginary journey used to help recall information.
"I also integrate the senses of colour and sound into this journey to strengthen the powers of recollection.
"Many memory contest champions report using this technique to recall faces, digits and lists of words.
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"Some of the Titanic survivors names are fiendishly hard to break down into images - names like Maria Penasco Y Cast Ellena. It’s like going into a form of meditation with a psychedelic journey."
Dean, founder and president of the Record Holders Republic, says he can remember anything using this method.
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He achieved the memory feat - his 54th world record - at FADOS House in Walton, Felixstowe, in front of official adjudicators Michael Sharman, Tony Lazell, Ann Kearney, Iain Maitland and Mark Beuchet, reciting the names of the Titanic survivors in 41 minutes 23 seconds.
The Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, after hitting an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. While 712 people survived, more than 1,500 died in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic.
It is not the first time Dean has achieved an amazing feat of memory. In 1998 he recited the Pi mathematical constant from memory to 1,000 decimal places in a time of eight minutes 14 seconds to set a world record, and in 2016 he was the first person to write from memory Einstein’s Equation of Relativity, an equation of 1,000 numbers, letters and symbols, in 65 minutes.
He originally started his memory feats because he could not remember his four-digit bank code number.
Known as "Dexterous Dean', his dozens of other unusual records include beer mat flipping, coin snatching, stamp licking, eating and speed darts feats.