New York’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum unveiled the left-hand fingernails of Shridhar Chillal, known as the Guinness World Record holder for the longest fingernails ever reached on a single hand, on Wednesday.
Chillal, 82, recently retired his fingernails to Ripley’s after growing them for 66 years. The nails have a combined measurement of 909.6 centimetres, with his thumbnail as the longest single nail at 197.8 centimetres.
He stopped cutting his left-hand fingernails in 1952, after a teacher scolded him for roughhousing with a friend and accidentally breaking off the teacher’s fingernail. The teacher said Chillal would never understand the attention to detail and level of care required to take care of long fingernails.
“I don’t know whether the teacher is dead now or not but I would definitely like to say that the thing for which you scolded me, I took it as a challenge and I have completed the challenge and now, I am here,” Chillal told Reuters.
Chillal’s teacher’s words proved true, the world-record holder said he had to take delicate care of his nails and he took care of them for a lifetime.
“When I decided to cut my nails, it was difficult for me to make this decision, but when I realized that after cutting my nails, my nails will be at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and they’re going to maintain it very nicely and for a lifetime, then I felt like I was doing the right decision and that’s why I decided to cut my nails,” Chillal said.
The weight and length of Chillal’s fingernails made him lose function in his left hand. His fingers are permanently fused together.
Despite that, he’s married with two children and three grandchildren, and was a photographer at a government agricultural magazine for 22 years.