Chandra Confirmed As World's Shortest Man

A 72-year-old man from a remote valley in southwestern Nepal has been confirmed as the world's shortest man by Guinness World Records officials.

Chandra Bahadur Dangi stands at just 54.6cm (21.5 inches) tall - dimensions carefully measured by officials.

His height is 5.3cm shorter than Filipino Junrey Balawing, the previous holder of the "world's shortest man" title.

He is also more than 2cm shorter than India's Gul Mohammed - meaning that Dangi is the shortest human adult ever documented.

Mr Mohammed, the previous holder of that title, measured 57cm. He died in 1997 aged 40.

"I'm continually amazed that this record keeps getting broken," Guinness World Records editor-in-chief Craig Glenday said, in the Nepali capital Kathmandu.

"Just when you think it's impossible for the record to get any smaller, Mr Dangi comes along and astonishes us all.

"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."


                                             [Related gallery: Meet the world's smallest man]


Mr Dangi, who weighs 12kg (26.5lbs), was brought to the attention of the world only three weeks after he was discovered by researchers studying the Dangi people.

In his first interview with Western media earlier this month, he said the recognition at the end of his life would be some compensation for years of hardship.

Mr Dangi, who was orphaned at 12, said relatives used to display him at freak shows to make money for themselves.

He said he had never experienced romance or found his soulmate.

"Until now, Chandra's stature has been a burden. He is acutely aware of the difficulties of fitting into an average-sized world and is disappointed at having missed out on the chance to find a wife," Guinness World Records said on Sunday.

"He is hopeful, though, that his new title will see a change in his fortunes."

The cause of his stunted growth remains a mystery although many holders of the world's shortest man crown have suffered from primordial dwarfism.

Mr Dangi earns a sparse living weaving jute headbands and has only ever left his village in poverty-stricken Dang district, 220 miles from Kathmandu, a handful of times.

Guinness World Records quoted Mr Dangi, who visited Kathmandu for the first time to be measured, as saying he was too old for marriage but would still like to travel.

"I want to visit foreign countries and meet people from around the world," Mr Dangi said.

Another Nepali , Khagendra Thapa Magar, claimed the title in 2010 after being measured at 67cm.

Mr Magar's stint as the world's shortest man saw him travel to more than a dozen countries and make television appearances in Europe and the United States.

He was also the official face of Nepal's tourism campaign, which featured him as the smallest man in a country that is home to the world's highest peak, Mount Everest.

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