- Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar
A Nepali villager is the shortest man in the world, beating the previous record-holder's height by a full two inches.
Chandra Bahadur Dangi of Nepal measures just 21.5 inches (54.60 centimeters), making him the shortest man in the world. The title previously belonged to a resident of the Philippines, Junrey Balawing, who was a diminutive 23.5 inches (59.69 centimeters) tall at 18 years of age last year.
Dangi, though, has lived his entire 72 years out as the shortest person he or anyone else could have possibly known. He is the oldest person to ever receive the title of shortest in the world, according to The Guinness Book of World Records.
"The good news is that Chandra Bahadur Dangi is the world's shortest living man," Guinness Records Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday told reporters. "If he really is 72 years old he is the oldest person to be awarded the shortest-man award."
Dangi was discovered by pure luck; he lives in a remote part of Nepal called Rhimkoli about 250 miles west of Kathmandu, and stays inside doing household chores because he cannot work, so people had rarely seen him.
A forest contractor cutting timber in the area saw Dangi one day in the village, and contacted local media about his height.
From there, Dangi was discovered. Although the 72-year-old has no desire to marry, and the Guinness record comes with no cash award, the miniature man does want one thing: to see the world.
"I am good, I feel happy," said Dangi after receiving his two records - one for beating last year's record, and another for being Guinness' shortest person ever measured. "I want to travel around the world and spread the name of my country."
He may very well get to do it, too. Dangi took a plane for the first time in his life to Kathmandu, the capital, to meet the Guinness World Records representatives.
The world's shortest man has five brothers and two sisters that are of a normal height. As he has never seen a doctor in his life, it is unknown why he is so short.