Khagendra Thapa Magar of Nepal was named the 'World's Shortest Man' by officials from the Guinness Book of World Records on Thursday, his 18th birthday.
The official announcement was made in Pokhara, a resort town 125 miles (200 kilometres) west of the Nepalese capital Katmandu. Thapa measures 25.8 inches (just under 66 centimetres). The record was previously held by 24-year-old Colombian Edward Nino Hernandez, who's 27 inches (70 centimetres) tall.
Before his 18th birthday, Thapa was featured in the Guinness World Records 2011 Edition as 'Shortest Living Teenager - Male'. Thapa, who weighs just over 12 pounds (5.5 kilograms), was tiny even at birth, weighing just 1.3 pounds (600 grams).
His father says he has no explanation for why Thapa never grew taller - his younger brother is a normal height for a boy of 13.
Local doctors are also stumped as to what is going on. Thapa behaves and speaks like a young child and attends kindergarten with children 5 years old. Thapa - who already travels as part of a dancing troupe when he isn't helping out his parents in their fruit shop - seems ready for the media spotlight that will accompany his new title. Next year he is to serve as a government-appointed goodwill ambassador as his nation celebrates Visit Nepal Year.AP