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Santa Cruz Man Has “Longest Tongue in Recorded History,” Earns Place in Guinness Book of World Records

A 24-year-old Santa Cruz artist and comedian gets to tell everyone he meets - friends, audiences and even random strangers: "I have the longest tongue in recorded history." And what Nick Stoeberl is saying isn't really a joke. It's 100 percent true.

He and his 3.97-inch tongue qualified for the 2015 Guinness Book of World Records, after he edged out a Brit, Stephen Taylor, whose 3.86-inch tongue seems puny in comparison.

"Human achievement is important," Steoberl told NBC Bay Area on Thursday from New York, where he is on a Guinness press tour, visiting the studios of the Today Show and Inside Edition, among others. "The Book of World Records was always the first I'd grab in the library."

The bizarre accolade is also an homage to his late father.

His dad was a huge fan of KISS, whose lead singer Gene Simmons possesses the undisputed longest tongue in rock history.

"I'm sort of a weird answered prayer," Steoberl said, referring to his father's favorite band.

There must be something in the water on the West Coast. The record holder for the longest female tongue belongs to Chanel Tapper, also from California, whose tongue measured 3.8 inches in 2010. 

And lest you think that only long tongues are fêted, Byron Schlenker of Australia now owns the world title for having the widest tongue, at 3.2 inches.

There are many things one can do with a long tongue, as Stoeberl ticked off a seemingly endless list.

For one, Stoeberl can lick his own elbow. He can tweet with his tongue. "The iPhone is sensitive to that," he said. Plus, his tongue seems to have extra sensations. "I kiss my girlfriend, and I taste fear," he said.[[274770951,C]]

And the tongue keeps on giving. The artistic side of Stoeberl is especially pleased that he can use his tongue as a paintbrush. In the Guinness video, he covers his large pink muscle with plastic wrap and dips it in blue paint before spreading it on canvas.

But there is one trick that he said stands out above all.

"I think one of the most useful things my tongue offers is actually not having to use napkin," Stoeberl said in an interview with Guinness officials, posted on YouTube.

The only real challenge Stoeberl said he faces is when meeting new people, who inevitably find out about his special feature, and then won't let him off without looking at it.

Plus, there's this slight downside. "I have to spend longer brushing my tongue in the morning," he told Guinness.[[274786871,C]]

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