The man with the official, world record-holding longest fingernails has finally cut them off, after 66 years, Huffington Post is reporting.
Shridhar Chillal, 82, of Pune, India, decided that now was as good a time as any to get rid of the nails that he’d been growing since he was a teenager. At his advanced age, it had gotten too hard, and too painful, for him to go about his daily life carrying pounds of extra, and unnecessary, keratin. Further, his left hand is permanently disfigured from the weight of the nails.
“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.”
At first, Chillal tried to cut his fingernails himself, with off-the-shelf clippers such as you’d buy at CVS. It didn’t work. Ultimately, he wound up flying to New York to have them removed by a doctor. It took the doctor 20 minutes to remove them with a power grinder.
Speaking through an interpreter, Chillal says his nails, which collectively reached a length of 29 feet, 10 inches, made him something of a celebrity. He was afraid that removing them would dull his celebrity status. But in fact, now that he’s sold them to a museum (more on that in a few paragraphs), he says that he’s an even bigger celebrity.
“I was a little bit scared that my celebrity favor would go now, but today after coming here I realize that after this I have become a real celebrity. Now, forever my nails will be remembered and forever my nails will be seen by people from all over the world.”
All over the world indeed: Chillal sold his nails to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, a chain of museum-like tourist attractions around the world. His record-breaking nails are going to the Times Square location.
It is unclear, as of this writing, how much the museum paid for Chillal’s nails.
So why did Chillal grow his nails so long and for so many decades? Out of spite, mostly. Back when he was a teenager, a female teacher berated him for accidentally breaking one of her nails. He decided then and there to see how long he could grow his.
Despite his ridiculous nails. Chillal managed to live a reasonably normal life. He got married, had kids, and even had a job as a photographer, of all things.