Man with the world's longest fingernails cuts them off after 66 years and the before-and-after pictures are incredible
I tend to keep my fingernails clipped as often as possible. It's not that I think they look bad when they've grown a little, or that I'm obsessive over hygiene - it just feels wrong. As soon as I notice they've past the point, it will bug me for the rest of the day until I get home and sort it out.
Plenty of people just end up biting their fingernails out of impatience, or just habit, but the (admittedly pretty gross) act doesn't work in every situation. Say, if you had nearly 30 feet's worth of nails on one hand, you might think twice about trimming them in that way.
Shridhar Chillal is one of the most significant world record-holding people in the world, but not for any one physical feat. His world record, until recently, was a part of every day of his life - and it's a surprise that he made it this long without backing down from the top spot.
Chillal, from Pune in India, held the record for the longest fingernails ever recorded on a single hand, but now it's come to an end. He has now made the momentous decision to cut them off, 66 years after he last trimmed them. Now 82 years old, he has been growing them since 1952, when he was just 14 years old.
When they were last measured, his nails had a combined length of 909.6 cm, or 29 ft 10.1 in, which is approximately the same length as a London bus. His individual nails measured as follows: his little finger reached 179.1 cm; his ring finger 181.6 cm; his middle finger 186.6 cm; his index finger 164.5 cm; and his thumb at 197.8 cm. At a ceremony at Ripley's 'Believe It Or Not!' in Times Square yesterday, he had them removed - requiring a power tool to get the job done:
In 2015, he was asked by Guinness World Records how his nails affect his day-to-day life. He explained that they were incredibly fragile, and described how careful he has to be during sleep. "I can’t move much," he said, "so every half an hour or so I wake up and move my hand to the other side of the bed."
In his early teens he had plenty of opposition from his parents, as you would expect. He claimed at the time that he would still be able to work with one hand, and eventually became a photographer using a customised handle to accommodate his nails. However, he has seem some adverse effects from the decades spent this way.
Due to the weight of his nails over the years, his left hand is now permanently handicapped. Chillal cannot open his hand from a closed position or flex his fingers, as he explained:
"I am in pain. With every heart beat all five fingers, my wrist, elbow and shoulder are hurting a lot and at the tip of the nail there's a burning sensation always."
Shridhar’s nails will now be displayed at an exhibit in Ripley’s 'Believe It or Not!', where the ceremony took place.