A new exhibit opens today at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Times Square — the world’s longest fingernails. Shridhar Chillal had not cut his nails since 1952, until coming to NYC to sell his fingernails to Ripley’s. The nails are over 31 feet long and now lay in a display case to be memorialized forever.
Ripley’s flew Mr. Chillal from India to NYC to cut his nails after growing them for 66 years.
When he was a teen, Chillal got in trouble by a teacher at school when he accidentally broke the teacher’s long pinky nail. The teacher told Chillal he didn’t understand the consequence as gravely because he hadn’t committed to anything seriously before. “I took it as a challenge,” Challal said.
He only grew out the nails on his left hand, leaving him with a capable right hand.
Chillal finds sleeping to be hard. He keeps a pillow underneath his hand to keep it comfortable but has to move around a lot. Chillal constantly has his hand in this bag so the nails do not get ruined.
His nails were cleaned once a month by his son.
He works as a government press photographer. Chillal said he wanted to show people he could do a two-handed job just as well, if not better, with only one hand.
“Ripley’s is privileged to display this truly unique and one-of-a-kind exhibit,” Ripley’s PR manager Suzanne Smagala-Potts said. “Mr. Chillal dedicated his life to something truly remarkable and Ripley’s is the perfect home to honor his legacy.”
His nails were cut in New York for the display.
His left hand is permanently handicapped after years of growing his nails and the weight of them. He can’t flex his fingers or open his hand from the closed position, but he achieved his life’s challenge.
All photo obtained via NBC Los Angeles, courtesy of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!