In the early 18th century, Thomas Wedders became known for having the world’s longest nose. And hundreds of years later, his impressive record is yet to be broken.
I’m sure we could all think of someone with a big nose if we tried – whether a friend, a celebrity, or a cartoon character. But I can almost guarantee that none of the people who spring to mind will have a nose as big as Wedders.
Except maybe Pinocchio, but only when he’s told a good few lies.
Unfortunately, cameras weren’t around to capture images of Wedders’ nose in all its glory, but it’s said to have been so big that he showcased it throughout Yorkshire for all to see.
An excerpt from The Strand Magazine, Vol. XI, which was released in 1896, said it best: “Thus, if noses were ever uniformly exact in representing the importance of the individual, this worthy ought to have amassed all the money in Threadneedle Street and conquered all Europe, for this prodigious nose of his was a compound of the acquisitive with the martial.
“But either his chin was too weak or his brow too low, or Nature had so exhausted herself in the task of giving this prodigy a nose as to altogether forget to endow him with brains; or perhaps, the nose crowded out this latter commodity.
“At all events, we are told this Yorkshireman expired, nose and all, as he had lived, in a condition of mind best described as the most abject idiocy.”
So exactly how big was Wedders’ nose?
A whopping 7.5 inches, or 19 centimetres, to be precise. That’s longer than the iPhone 14 is tall, if you were wondering.
The phenomenal nose has been memorialised in a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not cartoon, as well as in a wax figure which depicted just how lengthy his schnoz really was. Wedders has also earned a posthumous Guinness World Record for ‘longest nose’.
Though not much is known about Wedders’ personal life, it’s claimed he acted as a performer in various circus sideshows before he passed away in his early 50s.
He lived long before the age of the internet, but caught the attention of Reddit users after an image of his wax figure was shared online.
Responding to the post, one shocked Redditor wrote: “They say your brain automatically ignores looking at your own nose but yeah I don’t know about that guy.”
Another questioned: “What is actually happening here? Tumor? Growth? Random genetic mishap? Do the nostrils extend all the way to the tip?? I have so many questions…”
Unfortunately, we’re unlikely to find out much more about Wedders’ nose, but maybe his record will be broken one day in the future.