jenny duvander split image

A Portland, Oregon, USA, woman with a tongue circumference larger than the height of a soda can has just lapped up a record title!

Jenny DuVander, whose tongue has a circumference of 13.25 cm (5.21 in), has the largest tongue circumference (female) in the world. 

For context, the average soda can stands at 12.2 cm (4.8 in) high.

“I was reading the 2023 Guinness World Records book with my son before bed and saw a picture of the male record holder,” said Jenny. 

I didn’t know that tongue circumference was a thing! Right away, I had to measure mine at home and saw that it was at least 12 cm.

To measure the circumference of her tongue, Jenny says a doctor wrapped dental floss around it and then measured the length of the floss.

Jenny, who has been able to flex her tongue for as long as she can remember, realized she had a unique trait when she was a teenager.

Although she says flexing her tongue isn’t a very useful skill, it sure does surprise people. 

“It usually comes up when folks are comparing what tongue tricks they can do,” said Jenny. 

jenny duvander puffs up her tongue

“Like the tongue curl, the flip, the clover, and the bowl.”

Jenny also says she can flip her tongue upside down and touch her tongue to her nose. 

“I also play the flute, and a strong tongue is pretty useful for playing fast notes,” she said.

“When you articulate a note on a flute, they actually call it tonguing.” 

Jenny says when people see her tongue flexed, their eyes usually go wide. 

jenny duvander holds up her certificate

“People might think I’m turning it sideways until they realize it’s that big all around,” she said. 

It’s pretty weird looking.

However, Jenny also says the tongue is pure muscle and very agile. 

“When you think about it, the tongue is the only muscle that’s free to move around like that,” she said. 

“We use it all the time to speak and eat. It moves around all day and never gets tired.”

Although Jenny says her unique ability comes naturally to her, there’s no harm in practising. 

Jenny with her son Evan

“Maybe start by parting your teeth and trying to get your tongue to reach both the top and bottom teeth at one time,” she said. 

“Then gradually increase the distance between your teeth.”

Jenny is proud of her Guinness World Records title and credits her son for encouraging her to apply.

“My son, Evan, loves Guinness World Records and pores through the hardcover books every year,” she said. 

My record is definitely inspired by his love of facts and human abilities.

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