​World’s Longest Fingernails: These Fingernails Top Guinness Record After Six Decades

World’s Longest Fingernails
Author: Michael StevensBy:
Staff Reporter
Oct. 5, 2015

World’s Longest Fingernails has been updated in the Guinness Records from a man in India who set aside basic hygiene for the past 62 years.

Shridar Chillal put his scissors down in 1952 to aim for the world’s longest fingernails in Guinness World Records. As a result of Chillal’s refusal to trim, each of the fingers on his left hand ends in a swirling mass of keratin that cumulatively measures about 30 feet long, according to News Max.

Chillal’s extreme fingernails raise questions — lots of questions. How does he cut his food or answer his iPhone, for example? Furthermore, how is this even possible? Here are answers to coming from the world’s longest fingernails in Guinness World Records.

Fingernails look pretty all trimmed and polished, and they make opening a can of soda a lot easier, but these are not the reasons that humans have them. So what is the reason?

It’s because humans are primates, said John Hawks, a biological anthropologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Unlike most mammals, which have claws for digging and climbing, humans and other primates have fingertips that are perfect for grasping tools and other objects, Hawks said.

But the fingernail is still something of a mystery, said Hawks, adding that scientists aren’t sure if these features are just an evolutionary remnant of primates’ lost claws or a useful adaptation that somehow helped early primates use their fingers more effectively, especially for the world’s longest fingernails in Guinness World Records

A study by researchers at the University of Florida suggests that the latter explanation makes the most sense. Primates have had fingernails for at least 55.8 millions years, according to the study, which described the world’s oldest known fingernail, found on the tiny, lemurlike primate Teilhardina brandti, The animal likely used its long nails to grasp small branches while moving around in its forest habitat, the study researchers told in 2011.

Like toothpaste squirting out of a tube — that’s how fingernails grow.

Newly formed cells at the base of the nail push older cells out toward the tip of the finger, according to a Medscape report. As these new cells meet up with the existing nail plate, or the part of the nail that you can see, they flatten and stretch out. This is the same process for the world’s longest fingernails in Guinness World Records.

The base of the fingernail is located under the skin just above the first joint of the finger. Technically, this part of the finger is called a “proximal nail fold.” Most growth (about 90 percent) takes place under this section of the finger, so you can’t see it happening.

Specifically, the growth of the nail begins at the ventral floor, which is the part of the nail that connects the germinal matrix (that’s where all the new cells are made) to the ligaments in your fingers. New living cells push forward along this germinal matrix, which ends at the lunula, or the crescent shape at the bottom of your nail that usually has a whitish tinge. Once the cells reach the edge of the lunula, they lose their nuclei and harden into the protein keratin, which you might know as a fingernail.

The nail bed, which is located right under the visible fingernail, also contributes cells that give the nail more thickness and strength. And another hidden part of the nail, called the dorsal roof, which is located behind your cuticle, provides the cells that give your nails a lustrous shine.

If Chillal’s record-breaking feat is any indication as the world’s longest fingernails in Guinness World Records, nails can grow to be pretty long. The longest of Chillal’s nails is his thumbnail, which measures 6.5 feet (2 m) long and ends in a tightly wound coil.

World’s Longest Fingernails in Guinness World Records

World’s Longest Fingernails in Guinness World Records

You may be wondering how such lengthy nails affect Chillal’s daily life. As stated on the Guinness World Records website, Chillal explains that his crazy-looking claws tend to make life more difficult. At night, he wakes up every half hour or so to gingerly move his left hand to the other side of the bed. And he said he has had trouble finding employment (people thought he was “dirty”), getting around town and finding a wife who isn’t afraid of him, but now everybody knows him as the record holder for the world’s longest fingernails.

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