Shridhar Chillal of Pune, India, stopped cutting the fingernails on his left hand in 1952 when he was 14 years old. He decided to grow them after a teacher yelled at him for breaking a nail. According to the website All India Roundup, India has a long tradition of men having a single long nail. They say:
Historically, it is considered a sign of wealth and elegance for a man to have at least one long nail. The reason for it signifying wealth is because it shows that they do “upper class” work – like administration or office work, trading or an academic profession – as opposed to manual labour, particularly if they keep it in good condition by keeping it clean and un-chipped.
Although the Guinness Book of World’s Records had not come into existence yet, Chillal wanted to see how long he could grow his nails. He only grew the nails on the left hand so he could still use his right to work. Now he is 82-years-old, and his left hand is permanently disfigured because of 29 feet of fingernails.
Chilla flew to New York and had the nails removed by a doctor. The nails are now on display at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Odditorium in Times Square.
The end of an era. After 66 years of growth, watch record-breaker Shridhar Chillal from India cut off his enormous fingernails – which will now go on display at @Ripleys in New York https://t.co/uoEv6gHF10
— GuinnessWorldRecords (@GWR) July 11, 2018
Nooooooo – Shridhar, what were you thinking!? @GWR holder of Longest fingernails (one hand) gets them cut off!! https://t.co/v22UpYsXUa (Well, probably thinking $$$!) Right, anyone else fancy the record? pic.twitter.com/pbYXpI622U
— Craig Glenday (@craigglenday) July 11, 2018
On display, his cut fingernails span a length of over 31 feet!https://t.co/ekUFj3bEmJ
— Believe It or Not! (@Ripleys) July 11, 2018
Some people found the nails fascinating.
What am I most excited about watching today?
1. World Cup
3. The man with the @GWR title for the longest fingernails on a single hand cutting them off after 66 years
(It's blatantly the fingernails) https://t.co/RSpM6HXQjz
— Mark McKinley (@markgmckinley) July 11, 2018
A legend ends.. such a crazy end emotional end https://t.co/Ql2g4EhrdA
— Pantsless Baalin (@PantslessGamers) July 11, 2018
But for some it was disturbing.
Well this is gonna be gross: https://t.co/EHWDp1fvYL
— Time Out New York (@TimeOutNewYork) July 11, 2018
One word – GROSS
— Julie (@Julie73893541) July 11, 2018
Imagine all the disgusting bacteria and microbes under and in those nails. People are freaking weird.
— Kathy Acevedo (@kma3rosie) July 12, 2018
Disgusting, it literally crippled his hand…hope he found it was worth it.
— TruthHurts (@LasVegas_Strong) July 12, 2018
There were many questions.
How did he put on long sleeve shirts? pic.twitter.com/dR5B69J2yA
— Ken D (@kdronzko) July 12, 2018
But wait o, how this man dress with these nails?
— Mannie Man (@manniemubarak) July 11, 2018
I have too many questions here. Can’t fit them in 280 characters tweet.
— Anil DCosta (@dcostaanil) July 11, 2018
How does he put on his cloths?
How does he go to toilet?
One can feed her
Good for her she love her nails
— De mantiger (@themantiger) July 12, 2018
The reason given for cutting his nails after all this time was pain. Chillal told Guinness World Records this:
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.
We’re glad Chillal won’t be in pain anymore.