95 Years Later: Iowa Man Still Has “World’s Longest Beard” Record [PHOTOS]
When you begin growing a beard at age 19 and continue until you pass away at age 81, the results are like nothing we have ever seen before. Neither have the Guinness Book of World Records or the Smithsonian.
Hans Langseth was born in Norway in 1846. He would begin growing his beard four years before moving to the United States in 1870. While Hans and his wife Anne lived in Kensett, Iowa in north central Iowa, his beard just kept growing. Their family would grow as well. The Langseths raised six children.
Hans made his living as a farmer, which must've been quite a challenge as his beard lengthened. As it did, he had to get creative. Facial hair dies when it reaches somewhere between four and five feet in length. When Hans' beard began to die, he reportedly tangled the dead hair into something similar to what's known today as a deadlock. He put it around a corn cob and then stored it in a pouch around his neck. Yeah, this guy was intent on a long beard.
Sadly, Anne Langseth died when she was just 40 years old and after living in Iowa for more than two decades, Hans and his children moved to Minnesota, and then North Dakota.
Following Anne's death, Hans continued to grow his beard. This is how it looked in 1912. He was 66 years old:
In 1920, they used Hans' beard as a jump rope:
In 1922, Hans traveled to Sacramento, California for a contest put on by the Whiskerinos. Langseth's beard won the contest with an incredible length of 14-feet 4-inches. He was escorted around town by two women who held onto his beard so no one would step on it.
From that point on, Hans was known as the 'King of Whiskers'. He even joined the circus late in life but ended up quitting because of people constantly pulling on his beard to see if it was real.
Hans Langseth passed away in 1927 at the age of 81. His family granted his wish, cutting off his beard and keeping it. After storing it in a chest for four decades, one of his sons donated it to the Smithsonian.
Guinness World Records lists Hans Langseth's beard, all 17-feet 6-inches of it, as the "longest natural beard locks ever.
The video below includes footage of Hans Langseth and another man who had a 12-foot beard. The video has no sound.
The second video includes more photos of Hans through the years.
The Iowa gravestones of Hans and his wife, Anne, are also below.
Hans and his wife are both buried in the Elk Creek Lutheran Cemetery in Kensett, Iowa.