Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Short Folks

BOGOTA, Colombia — Edward Nino Hernandez (above) is in many ways a typical 24-year-old Colombian male. He loves to dance reggaeton, dreams of owning a car — preferably a Mercedes— and wants to see the world.

Top on his list of people he would like to meet are Jackie Chan, Sylvester Stallone and former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.

What sets Nino (pronounced NEE-nyoh) apart is his size.

He is slightly taller than a piece of carry-on luggage and weighs just 22 pounds (10 kilograms).

Nino has just been officially certified as the world's shortest living man by Guinness World Records, measuring 27 inches (70 centimeters).

"He hasn't grown since he was 2 years old," his mother, Noemi Hernandez, said of the oldest of her five living children.

The previous titleholder was He Pingping of China, who was 1.5 inches (4 centimeters) taller and died March 13. The Guinness people discovered Nino afterward.

They say Nino's reign is not likely to last long, however.

Khagendra Thapa Magar of Nepal is expected to take over after he turns 18 on Oct. 14. He measures about 22 inches (56 centimeters) and is currently recognized by Guinness as the shortest living teen. (Photo below)

Doctors never could explain why Nino is so small, his parents say.

"They never gave us a diagnosis," his mother, Noemi Hernandez, said during an interview in the family's sparely furnished apartment in Bosa, a mostly poor district of southern Bogota.

Hernandez, 43, said Nino weighed just 3.3 pounds (1.5 kilograms) at birth and was 15 inches (38 centimeters) long.

She said doctors at the National University studied him until he was 3, then lost interest. She and her husband, a security guard, lost a daughter who was similarly small in 1992 when she was about to complete a year of life.

The couple's youngest child, 11-year-old Miguel Angel, stands 37 inches (93 centimeters) tall and has facial features similar to Nino. The other three boys are of normal height and appearance.


Post a Comment

<< Home