Chanel Tapper, a student from California, USA, has the world’s longest tongue, measuring 9.75 cm (3.8 in), from tip to top lip.
Her lizard-like tongue is twice as long as the average, as long as the world’s largest cockroach, as wide as your palm, the same volume as a quarter pounder hamburger and around the same length as an iPhone.
She shared a few details of her life in an interview with Guinness World Records.
What do you do for a living? What’s a typical day for you in your hometown?
I am a full-time student and I work part-time. I just moved to Houston, Texas, so I’m still adjusting, but in my home town there is no typical day.
I love to go out, so I can be anywhere at any given time.
When did you first realise that your tongue was longer than average? What happened?
I was eight and my mom and I were taking pictures for Halloween.
In one of the pictures we stuck our tongues out. I noticed I had a long tongue when the pictures from Halloween were printed and I saw it…but I guess it became apparent in middle school when people started commenting on it.
Why I stuck my tongue out at people, I don’t know… I’m goofy! But there are still some people from back then that only remember me because of my tongue!
What reaction do you get from people when they see it?
For most people it’s a jaw-dropping experience. It’s like they don’t believe what they see and nine out of ten times, they’ll ask me to do it again.
Some girls/women have screamed/jumped back. If there are other people around, the person who saw my tongue will tell the nearest next to them.
I’ll often get asked questions like, “can you touch your nose or elbow?” and, “do you choke people when you kiss them?”
But always, everyone in one way or another is entertained by seeing it.
Despite the excitement of having achieved a Guinness World Record, if you had the choice would you keep your long tongue or choose to have a ‘normal’ one?
This is my normal tongue. I was born like this, so no choice would be necessary.
What do your friends and family think about your record?
I don’t think I showed many family members, but my friends think a lot of things. Some think it’s cool, some think it’s nasty, some still get surprised every time they see it.
Are there any explanations for your long tongue such as other members of your family having the same trait or was it just by chance?
My mom has a long tongue, but not like my length. I believe I was born without something underneath that prevents it from extending far.
Are you always conscious of your tongue or has it become something very normal for you?
I am always conscious. There aren’t many instances where I have to remember, “Chanel, don’t stick out your tongue,” but I am aware of my surroundings before I put on a show.
Does it affect your relationships in any way? Do you currently have a boyfriend and if so, what does he think?
It does. Most guys that know or already see it automatically have their mind in the gutter, and so do some females. I don’t have a boyfriend, but the last guy I dated didn’t make it that big of a deal, and I really liked him for that.
Were you born with your tongue unusually long or was it something that developed?
I was born with it.
What do you anticipate for yourself now that you’re set to appear in the Guinness World Records 2012 Edition book?
I honestly don’t know. More attention I’m guessing, but I am excited to find out.
The truth is all of this may end up being my ticket to paying for the rest of my years in school.
It may just be fifteen minutes of fame. Either way, I will enjoy every opportunity that comes, as long as it doesn't interfere with school.