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Sir David Attenborough Reaches 1M Instagram Followers In Hours, Breaking World Record

Sir David Attenborough, shown here during a ceremony last September, broke the world record on Thursday for the fastest time to reach one million followers on Instagram.
Sir David Attenborough, shown here during a ceremony last September, broke the world record on Thursday for the fastest time to reach one million followers on Instagram.

Naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, 94, broke the world record on Thursday for the fastest time to reach 1 million followers on Instagram, according to Guinness World Records.

Attenborough did it in four hours and 44 minutes.

He beat out the previous record holder, actress Jennifer Aniston, who reached the benchmark in five hours and 16 minutes after joining last October. Attenborough's first post was a short video, little over a minute long.

"I've been appearing on radio and television for the past 60 years," he began. "But this is my first time on Instagram."

Attenborough stated the reason he decided to join Instagram simply: "The world is in trouble."

"Continents are on fire, glaciers are melting, coral reefs are dying, fish are disappearing from our oceans. The list goes on and on," he said. "But we know what to do about it, and that's why I'm tackling this new way of communication."

Attenborough is no newcomer to Guinness World Records — he already holds two, for the longest career as a TV presenter and the longest career as a television naturalist. Planet Earth, one of Attenborough's popular projects, holds the record for most in-demand documentary TV show.

His career spans almost seven decades and his latest documentary project, David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet, will appear on Netflix in October.

He closed out his first-ever Instagram post the same way he might have finished an early radio broadcast:

"Stay tuned."

Reese Oxner is an intern on NPR's News Desk.

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