Guinness World Records can today confirm that Chandra Bahadur Dangi from Nepal is the world's new Shortest Living Man, measuring 54.6cm (21.5 in).
Chandra is 5.3 cm shorter than Junrey Balawing of the Philippines, who measures 59.9cm (23.5 in) and was crowned world's shortest man on his 18th birthday last June.
The confirmed measurement also makes Chandra the shortest adult human to ever have their height verified by Guinness World Records, beating a benchmark set by Gul Mohammed, (New Delhi, India, 1957-1997) who measured 57 cm (22.5 in).
Upon the invitation of Mr Chandra, Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief, Craig Glenday, flew from London to Kathmandu to perform an official measurement at the CIWEC Clinic Travel Medicine Center in Lainchaur. In accordance with Guinness World Records guidelines, Chandra was measured three times in 24 hours and his height confirmed to be 54.6 cm (21.5 in).
Chandra claims to be 72 years of age and weighs 14.5kg. He has spent his entire life in the remote Nepalese mountain village of Rhimkholi, about 250 miles west of Kathmandu. He lives there with his five brothers (all of an average height) and makes his living weaving traditional Nepalese garments. Chandra's home is so remote that it wasn't until recently that he gained attention; a forest contractor cutting timber in the village met him and informed local media.
Until now, Chandra's stature has been a burden; acutely aware of the difficulties of fitting into an average-sized world. However he is hopeful that the new title will see a change in his fortunes. "I'm very happy that I'm being recognized by Guinness World Records and that my name will be written in book. It's a big thing for my family, my village and my country. I am very happy.
Chandra's condition has never been diagnosed, as he has never received a checkup from a doctor. It is hoped however that the exposure he receives from as a result of his new record will lead to medical advice and support.
Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief, Craig Glenday, said: "I'm continually amazed that this record keeps getting broken. Just when you think it's impossible for the record to get any smaller, Mr Chandra comes along and astonishes us all by being the shortest person ever measured. What I find equally remarkable is his age - if he really is 72, he is by far the oldest person to be awarded the shortest-man record in Guinness World Record's 57-year history."
Craig continued: "Our job is to measure and record what happens in the world as a document for history. Mr Chandra has probably encountered difficulties with his size but hopefully this new title will open up a whole world of opportunities."
Mr Chandra and his family plan to start a charity in his name to support him and his village. He says: "I will use this to make my country proud."