World's New Shortest Guy Is 23.5"
Junrey Balawing stopped growing when he was 2 months old
By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2011 8:56 AM CDT
Junrey Balawing smiles as he is presented by Craig Glenday, second from left, with a Guinness World Records certificate for being the world's shortest living man.   (Bullit Marquez)

(Newser) – Junrey Balawing stopped growing 17 years and 10 months ago, and today, on his 18th birthday, was named the world's shortest man for his trouble. Guinness World Records swooped into his Philippine hometown, measured Balawing up at a whopping 23.5" inches, and gave him a certificate that stands nearly as tall as he is, reports the AP. "Although he's short, he takes that in stride," a Guinness rep says. "He has this cheeky smile."

Balawing—who is about the size of a toddler and has a child's demeanor—needs help to stand because of weak knees. His father said he first walked at age 5 with assistance. No one's sure what the cause of his stature is, but some speculate it might be a birth defect or an endocrine issue. Balawing has three average-sized siblings. He takes over the title from Nepal's Khagendra Thapa Magar, who is 26.4 inches tall. Click through the photo gallery for more shots of Balawing.