Man with world’s longest nails cuts them after 66 years

Shridhar Chillal of Pune, India has finally cut his nails after 66 years.

With the longest fingernails in the world—over 350 inches—Chillal hadn’t cut his nails since 1952!

Embarking on his journey at the age of 14, Chillal decided to grow his nails when he was scolded by his school teacher for accidentally breaking the teacher’s long nail—a sign of status in India.

Historically, it is considered a sign of wealth for a man to have at least one long nail in Chillal’s home country.

It shows that the clawed does not have to do manual labour, particularly if it is kept clean and in good condition.

During the Qing dynasty, even women of the imperial Chinese court kept long nails to signify the same, going as far as to wear elaborate jeweled fingernail guards.

The teacher said that Chillal would never understand the importance of what he had done because Chillal had never committed to anything.

“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 unusual choice didn’t stop him from leading a normal and happy life.
He married, has two children, three grandchildren, and enjoyed a successful career as a Government Press Photographer.

However, as he aged, his long nails proved more challenging to maintain an ordinary lifestyle. He found it difficult to sleep, and even a gust of wind was cause for alarm.

Chillal chose to only grow the nails on

his left hand.
Due to years of growing his nails and the weight of the nails, his hand is permanently handicapped. He cannot open his hand from a closed position or flex his fingers.

After decades of dedication, enough was enough. It was time to memorialize the longest fingernails in the world.

Ripley’s flew Chillal from India to the United States to cut his nails and forever memorialize them in Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square.

On display, believe it or not, his cut fingernails, laid flat, span a length of over 31 feet—the height of a three-story building.

He said, “When I decided to cut my nails, it was difficult for me to make this decision, but when I realised 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.”

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