- Chandra Bahadur Dangi is no taller than a typical infant
- "It's a big thing for my family, my village, my country," he says
- Chandra claims to be 72 years old and weigh 14.5 kilograms
A Nepalese man who stands no taller than a newborn has been declared the world's shortest man in history.
Chandra Bahadur Dangi, who says he's 72, earned the title with a height of 54.6 centimeters (21.5 inches), Guinness World Records announced Sunday.
Guinness editor-in-chief Craig Glenday traveled to the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, where he oversaw the official measurements of Chandra at medical clinic.
The Guinness World Record guidelines required three measurements of Chandra's height taken over 24 hours, which included his length standing and lying flat.
Chandra is more than an inch shorter than the current holder of the "shortest man living" title, Filipino Jurney Balawing, who is 59.9 centimeters, or just under 2 feet. Balawing was awarded the title in June when he turned 18.
Guiness has also awarded Chandra the title of "shortest man ever." The previous record holder was Gul Mohammed of India, who measured 57 centimeters. He died at age 40 in 1997.
In contrast, Sultan Kosen from Turkey, who was awarded the 'tallest living man' in February 2011, is 2.5 meters, or 8-foot-3.
According to Guinness, Chandra lives in Rhimkholi, an isolated mountain village some 400 kilometers west of Kathmandu.
A forest contractor who was cutting timber in Rhimkholi brought Chandra's height to the attention of local media, Guinness said on its website.
Chandra has five brothers and two sisters, according to Guinness. He is a weaver by trade, but also cares for his family and helps look after the village's buffaloes and cows.
"I'm very happy that I'm being recognized by Guinness World Records and that my name will be written in book," Chandra said after he was awarded the two Guinness certificates. "It's a big thing for my family, my village and my country. I am very happy."
According to Guinness, Chandra claims weigh 14.5 kilogram, or 32 pounds.
Despite his age, he claims to have never taken any kind of medication or to have ever been examined by a doctor, according to Guinness.
"I'm continually amazed that this record keeps getting broken," Glenday said. "Just when you think it's impossible for the record to get any smaller, Mr. Chandra comes along and astonishes us all by being the shortest person ever measured. 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."
According to Guinness, Chandra said he will use the experience to make his country "proud." Chandra and his family plan to start a charity that will support him and his village.
The world's shortest living woman is currently 18-year-old Jyoti Amge from India at 62.8 centimeters, or just a little over 2 feet.