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A mother who has been growing her fingernails for 25 years has broken the Guinness World Record for the world's longest fingernails.
Diana Armstrong from Minnesota, USA began her fingernail journey back in 1997 and in this time they have reached a length of 1,306.58 cm (42 ft 10.4 in) as of 13 March 2022.
Nails at this length certainly have their challenges as she can no longer do simple tasks like driving as her nails rest outside of the car window due to their length, while she avoids zippers and uses a knife to open cans.
"If I have to pick up money off the floor, I can pick up bills," Armstrong told Guinness World Records, "but if I drop change on the floor, that will just stay down there!"
It means the record holder has the longest fingernails on a pair of female hands and the longest fingernails on a pair of hands ever but the achievement has a tragic backstory.
Armstrong vowed never to trim her nails again after she received a distressing phone call from her youngest daughter while out shopping who couldn't get her other daughter Latisha to wake up and sadly the 16-year-old passed away from an asthma attack.
She would get her nails manicured by Latisha every weekend, and detailed how growing her nails was a way to pay tribute to her late daughter.
Armstrong couldn't hold back the tears at her certificate presentationYouTube/Guinness World Records
"That was the worst day of my life," Armstrong said. "The day before, she’d spent time polishing and filling my nails, so after that, I just couldn’t cut my nails off."
Though her other children have tried to convince Armstrong to get her nails cut but once she explained her reasons behind growing them they were understanding.
"When she told us the back story, it kind of changed my feelings towards it," Diana’s daughter, Rania said.
"Because just as much as she missed my sister, I missed her too. So, if that’s her way of holding on to her, then I accept."
As one can imagine, there is a lot of maintenance needed for the long nails and Armstrong gets help with this from her grandkids.
"I haven’t been to a nail salon in about 22 years. When they see me coming, they’d be like 'Oh no,'" she explained.
As a result of the arduous amount of time it takes to get her nails painted (four to five hours for each nail) along with 15 to 20 bottles of nail polish needed, Armstrong has her nails done once every four or five years.
At her certificate presentation, Armstrong paid an emotional tribute to her late daughter Latisha.
"I think she [Latisha] would be proud of me because she’s the last one who did my nails," said Diana.
"That’s who I think of when I grow my nails, is my daughter."
Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday described Armstrong's story as "fascinating as it is heartbreaking."
"Diana's determination to honour her daughter's legacy in her unique way is inspiring."
He added: "Family means everything for Diana, and she's lucky to have gathered around her a wonderful support network... which is what you need when each of your fingernails is longer than a ski pole."
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