Shridhar Chillal may now be the Guinness World Records title holder for the world’s longest fingernails, but, as it turns out, the biggest trial for the Indian man was not growing the 30-feet-long nails. Instead, it was the difficulty in his own life that makes the tale a strange one.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, a man called Johnny Strange proved he is the man with ears of steel by setting a Guinness World Record for pulling a plane using chains, hooks, and just his lobes. You might also be surprised to hear the Game Of Thrones TV show managed to set multiple Guinness World Records.
The story of the world’s longest fingernails, however, begins with a priest. Shridhar Chillal’s obsession with growing extremely long fingernails began at the age of 14 when he read about a Chinese priest whose nails had grown to around 22 inches in length. Chillal recalled that he was amazed by this priest and while just a teen he decided he would not only grow some of the world’s longest nails, he would beat and own the Guinness World Record.
This decision was made all the way back in 1952. After Chillal announced his dream of having the world’s longest fingernails, his family members and friends despaired that he would end up poor and destitute on the streets.
“First our family members opposed, then teachers were opposed but I decided from that point on that I would never cut my nails again,” he said. “Initially, difficulties appeared everywhere in my daily life. My family really didn’t like it, no one would wash my clothes and I had to wash them by hand. Finding a job was also difficult, as no one was ready to employ me.”
As you might imagine, having the world’s longest fingernails also made dating and marriage quite the issue. Shridhar Chillall said he courted around 12 girls over time, but even if the woman agreed to the marriage her family would object very strongly.
“If the girl agreed to marry, her parents would say I would strangle their daughter’s neck and refuse,” he explained. “If the parents agreed, the girl would say she would not marry such a dirty person.”
Chillal eventually did find a woman who could live with his life-long dream of having the world’s longest fingernails. At age 29, he married his brother’s sister-in-law. He also proved everyone wrong when it came to his employment. The Indian man became a photographer and he worked until his retirement in 1995.
That is not to say that growing the world’s longest fingernails did not harm him along the way. Chillal is essentially limited to using only his right hand. As the nails on his left hand grew longer, he faced increasing difficulties due to their weight, including disfigurement of his fingers. The weight of his left hand also caused nerve damage, which caused him to go deaf in his left ear.
Now, in the year 2015, Shridhar Chillal says he is done after the Guinness World Records 2016 edition officially recognized him as the person with the “Longest Fingernails on a Single Hand Ever.” His nails now have a cumulative length of 909.6 centimeters, or 29.84 feet. Although the thumb nail appears to be short since it’s curled up into a ball, it’s actually the longest at 197.8 centimeters. Otherwise, his middle finger is measured at 186.6 centimeters, his ring finger at 181.6 centimeters, his little finger at 179.1 centimeters, and his index finger at 164.5 centimeters.
The Indian man admits now that he has the Guinness World Record for the world’s longest fingernails that he plans on finally cutting them down to normal length. Now that he is 78 years old, his nails have become delicate due to age and he plans on preserving them in a museum.
The man also had some final words upon achieving his dream of the world’s longest nails.
“I had achieved the biggest goal in my life,” he said, according to the Daily Mail. “I can tell everyone now with pride about my record. When I am on my travels, people will recognize me as a Guinness World Records title holder.”
— Kelechi Duru (@iamfatdon) September 30, 2015
[Image via Guinness World Records/Twitter]