Stealing the title from Philippino Junrey Balawing who stood at 60cm (23.5 inches) at the age of 18 last year, Chandra Bahadur Dangi measured in at 54.6cm (21.5inches) when he was sized-up by the Guinness World Records team.
'The good news is that Chandra Bahadur Dangi is the world's shortest living man,' Guiness Records editor-in-chief Craig Glenday declared.
'If he is really 72 years old he is the oldest person to be awarded the shortest-man record,' he added.
Dangi, who is also the shortest person ever measured by the Guinness World Record team, is from a remote part of Nepal and said he was unaware of the world record title before a timber merchant who was visiting his village measured him last month.
'I am good. I feel happy. I want to travel around the world and spread the name of my country,' he said after taking a flight for the first time to meet record officials 267km away in the capital.
Dangi and his family have no idea when he stopped growing. His village lacks basic health care and Dangi - who has five brothers and two sisters of normal size - has never visited a doctor.
Before Balawing, Nepali man Khagnedra Thapa Magar held the title at 67cm (26.4 inches) tall.