KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A 72-year-old Nepalese man who is about the size of a toddler on Sunday became the world’s shortest person ever recorded.
A doctor and Guinness World Records official measured Chandra Bahadur Dangi to confirm his height of 21.5 inches (54.6 centimeters).
Guinness official Craig Glenday presented Dangi with two certificates for being the world’s shortest living man and the world’s shortest person recorded in Guinness’ 57-year history.
“I am very happy. Now I want to travel across Nepal and to foreign countries,” Dangi told reporters afterward.
He said he has no desire to get married or have a family of his own, but would like to meet the prime minister of Nepal soon.
Dangi lives in a remote mountain village, Rhimkholi, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) west of Katmandu, with his youngest brother and his family. His five brothers are all average height.
Before being measured in the capital, Katmandu, on Saturday, he had never seen a doctor and his relatives say he has never been seriously ill or had any injuries. The doctors who saw him at the clinic also found no immediate health problems. His family is not sure when he stopped growing.
Because of his height, he has never worked outside the house, doing only household chores.
He has a normal sized head and regularly shaves, but his body is small. He is able to walk and climb small stairs. He eats mainly rice and vegetables, and occasionally meat, but in small portions.
Dangi takes the shortest man record from Junrey Balawing of the Philippines, who is 23.5 inches (60 centimeters) tall. He also beat the record of Gul Mohammed of India as the shortest adult human to have their height verified by Guinness. Mohammed, who died in 1997, was 22.5 inches (57 centimeters) tall.
Since Dangi’s village is so remote, it was only recently that Dangi gained notice. A forest contractor cutting timber in the village met him and told local media.
Another Nepalese man, Khagendra Thapa Magar, was declared the world’s shortest man at 26.4 inches (67 centimeters) before Balawing took over the title in June on his 18th birthday.
In December, Guinness recognized an Indian teenager as the world’s shortest woman. Jyoti Amge is 24.7 inches (62.8 centimeters) tall and wants to attend university and become a Bollywood star.
Aside from a Guinness certificate, the titles don’t come with any cash award.