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World's longest beard goes on display

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World's longest beard goes on display

Lucille St. Hoyme, J. Lawrence Angel and Thomas Dale Stewart
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The world's longest beard has gone on display in the US.

Hans Langseth (1846-1927), also known as 'King Whiskers', is acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World records as having grown record-breaking facial hair of more than 5 metres.

The Norwegian immigrant to the US, began growing his beard when he was 19, according to anthropologists, so that he could take part in a local “growing-beard” competition in Iowa.

Langseth would mat his dead hair together in a coil to avoid losing length, in a style that resembles dreadlocks. His beard had different shades: the darker parts show the hair in his younger years; as if he was wearing his own timeline.

Flickr; CC BY 2.0
A young girl about to skip using a rope made out of a beardFlickr; CC BY 2.0

In 1927, before dying, Langseth requested for his beard to be cut off after the funeral and stored for posterity. When the time came, his beard measured 17 feet and six inches, or 5.33 meters long, which was then declared as the World’s longest beard.

His son donated his beard in 1967 to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. It has been kept largely in storage since then.