Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Kacey from conover, NC. Kacey Wonders, “Why do people have nails?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Kacey!

Ever had an itch in the middle of your back that you couldn’t quite reach? If only your fingernails were a little longer, you might think. So just how long could they grow?

Believe it or not, you can grow your fingernails to be really, really long. How long? According to the Guinness World Records website, the current world record holder for longest fingernails is Christine “The Dutchess” Walton from Las Vegas, Nevada.

The nails on her left hand measure a whopping 10 feet 2 inches, and the nails on her right hand measure 9 feet 7 inches. That’s a total of 19 feet 9 inches worth of fingernails. Wow!

How did she grow them that long? Would you believe that she hasn’t cut her nails since 1990? It’s true!

Of course, you might not want nails that long. Although holding a world record would be cool, fingernails that long might make it a bit difficult to do some of the things you enjoy doing every day.

Plus, it would take a lot of time and patience to grow them that long. Fingernails grow very slowly. On average, fingernails only grow about one tenth of an inch every month. For example, if you lost most of a fingernail, it could take six months or more for it to grow back completely.

Fingernails do come in handy, though. Not only do they protect the soft tips of your fingers, but they also help you do many things, such as scratch your itchy back and open aluminum cans.

Nails are made of keratin. Keratin is the same protein that makes up your hair and the upper layer of your skin. Nails start at the nail root, which is just underneath the cuticle (the spot where your nail meets the skin). The cuticle helps protect new nails as they grow.

As your body makes nail cells, they push out from the nail root and move along the nail bed. That’s the flat part under your nails. Under the nail bed are lots of tiny blood vessels that feed your nails and give them their pink color.


Wonder What's Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day will help you understand why homework has a due date!