man with longest nails
Shridhar Chillal trimmed his bus-length fingernails after 66 years.Screenshots from Guinness World Record

Shridhar Chillal from Pune, who holds the Guinness World Record for the longest fingernails ever recorded on a single hand, finally trimmed them after 66 years on Wednesday (July 11).

The 82-year-old cut his nails in a nail clipping ceremony held at Ripley's Believe It or Not museum in New York's Time Square.

What was the length of Chillal's fingernails?

Born in 1937, Chillal had been growing the fingernails on his left hand since the age of 14. The combined length of all his fingernails was 29ft 10.1 inches or 9.09 metres, which is the same length as a bus in London. Chillal's thumb had the longest nail -- about 1.97 meters.

What made Chillal grow his nails?

According to the octogenarian, he was inspired to grow his fingernails after he was scolded by his teacher for accidentally breaking a long nail which the teacher had grown.

"When I was a schoolboy, we were once beaten badly by our teacher, because my friend broke his nail. The teacher had grown a very long nail. We asked him why he had beaten us so much just for breaking his nail. He said that we would not understand as we had never grown long nails. Unless we grew long nails, we would never understand the kind of care required not to break them. After that we took it as a challenge and started to grow our own nails," Shridhar had said.

This incident took place in 1952 and Chillal has not stopped growing his fingernails since then.

Difficulties that Chillal faced while taking care of his nails

The retired photographer said that he always had to be on his guard, even when he was asleep so that he would not end up breaking his nails.

"I can't move much, so every half an hour or so I wake up and move my hand to the other side of the bed." He was also in pain all the time from them. But his talons do come with some perks. "I never have to wait in a queue," Guinness World Records quoted Chillal as saying.

However, growing his nails has also taken a toll on Chillal's health. Nerve damage caused by the nails' immense weight has caused deafness in Chillal's left ear. The fingers of his left hand are disfigured and do not function properly.

He was denied jobs and also struggled to find a life partner due to the unusual anatomy. He married his elder brother's sister-in-law at the age of 29.

Chillal's fingernails will be put on exhibit at Ripley's Believe It or Not! Times Square.