Jyoti Amge of India has been crowned the new "shortest living woman." Measuring a mere 24.7 inches (62.8 centimeters) tall, the 18-year-old snatched the world record "right out from under" the previous record holder, a 22-year-old American named Bridgette Jordan, who stands at 27 inches (69 cm).
A representative from Guinness World Records (GWR), the authority on record-breaking achievements, traveled to Amge's hometown of Nagpur to oversee the official measurements required for the title. GWR stipulates that the shortest living woman must be at least 18 years old — Amage just celebrated her birthday — and that she must be measured three times in 24 hours by a medical professional.
Amge, who has a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia, first entered the record books in 2009 when she was named the world's shortest teenager, standing only 24.39 inches (61.95 cm) tall at the time. Since then, Amge has grown just a third of an inch, and has now stopped growing. [Photos]
According to Guinness World Records, Amge is not quite the shortest woman ever. That title is held by Pauline Musters (Netherlands, 1876-1895), who stood an even-2-feet tall (61 cm).
On her new Guinness World Records title, Amge said: "It is wonderful to celebrate my 18th birthday with a new world record, it's like an added birthday present. I feel grateful to be this size, after all if I weren't small and had not achieved these world records I might never have been able to visit Japan and Europe, and many other wonderful countries." [World's Largest Bra (Size 1222B) Unveiled]
Her father, Kishanji Amge, added: "This year is a special celebration and we expect more visitors than ever to Jyoti's birthday party. But it has always been this way, she's always been very popular. I am sure this year her birthday party will be very colorful and loud, just like Jyoti!"
Amage is a budding fashionista who enjoys customizing her clothes and jewelry to suit her tiny stature. She has also attended regular school since age 4, where she sits at a very small desk in a very small chair. Someday, she hopes to become a Bollywood film star.