Until not long ago, giants or extremely tall people were considered legends or myths. However, in the modern world, there have been and continue to be many people who have far exceeded the average height. But one cannot help but wonder what differentiates the tallest people from an average-height person.
In physical terms, a giant is a person with an abnormal height growth who suffers from one of the following two syndromes: gigantism and acromegaly. These are two syndromes caused by the excessive secretion of growth hormone.
An individual who exceeds the average height for age, sex, and race by 20% is considered a giant.
Gigantism manifests itself before the end of the bone growth process and acromegaly, which also determines some distinctive facial characteristics, occurs after the growth process is over and when the epiphyses have welded to the diaphyses.
In the list below you can enjoy information about the tallest people in the world while admiring the photos.
|18||Morteza Mehrzad||Iran||8 ft 1 in (2.46 m)||Yes|
|17||Brahim Takioullah||Morocco||8 ft 1 in (2.46 m)||Yes|
|16||Bernard A. Coyne||United States||8 ft 1.71 in (2.48 m)||Yes|
|15||Donald A. Koehler||United States||8 ft 2.75 in (2.50,8m)||Yes|
|14||Sultan Kösen||Turkey||8 ft 2.8 in (2.51m)||Yes|
|13||Väinö Myllyrinne||Finland||8 ft 3 in (2.51,4m)||Yes|
|12||Al Tomaini||United States||8 ft 4.5 in (2.55m)||No|
|11||Julius Koch||Germany||8 ft 4.8 in (2.56m)||No|
|10||Hồ Văn Trung||Vietnam||8 ft 5 in (2.57m)||No|
|9||Leonid Stadnyk||Ukraine||8 ft 5.5 in (2.58m)||No|
|8||Franz Winkelmeier||Austria||8 ft 5.5 in (2.58m)||Yes|
|7||Jack Earle||United States||8 ft 6.5 in (2.60 m)||Yes|
|6||Willie Camper||United States||8 ft 7 in (2.62 m)||Yes|
|5||John F. Carroll||United States||8 ft 7.75 in (2.63,5 m)||Yes|
|4||John Rogan||United States||8 ft 9 in (2.67 m)||Yes|
|3||Vikas Uppal||India||8 ft 9.5 in (2.68 m)||No|
|2||Pornchai Saosri||Thailand||8 ft 10 in (2.69 m)||No|
|1||Robert Wadlow||United States||8 ft 11.1 in (2.72 m)||Yes|
- 18. Morteza Mehrzad
- 17. Brahim Takioullah
- 16. Bernard Coyne
- 15. Don Koehler
- 14. Sultan Kösen
- 13. Väinö Myllyrinne
- 12. Al Tomaini
- 11. Julius Koch – Le Géant Constantin
- 10. Hồ Văn Trung
- 9. Leonid Stepanovych Stadnyk
- 8. Franz Winkelmeier
- 7. Jack Earle
- 6. Willie Camper
- 5. John F. Carroll
- 4. John Rogan
- 3. Vikas Uppal
- 2. Pornchai Saosri
- 1. Robert Wadlow
18. Morteza Mehrzad
Morteza Mehrzad Selakjani is an Iranian known as the tallest Paralympian in history, representing Iran at the 2016 Summer Paralympics. Morteza suffers from acromegaly and was over 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) tall at the age of 15 when he had a bicycle accident in which he seriously injured his pelvis. This accident also stopped the growth of his right leg, which is now 0.49 ft (15 cm) shorter than the left one. Morteza is 8 ft 1 in (2.46m) tall and is part of the Iranian volleyball team.
17. Brahim Takioullah
Next, we have Brahim Takioullah, or the man with the largest feet. Born in Guelmim, Morocco, in 1982, Brahim has a Guinness World Record height of 8 ft 0.97 in (2.46 m) and 1 ft 3 in (38 cm) feet. Brahim was diagnosed with acromegaly at18 years old and, according to doctors, he had periods where he grew even 3 ft 3in (1 m) in a year. In 2006, he had the tumor removed in Paris and received treatment that regulated the growth hormone level in his blood. He works at an amusement park near the city of Beauvais. Moreover, he also obtained French citizenship.
16. Bernard Coyne
The American Bernard Coyne was born in 1897, and according to some sources, he continued to grow until he died in 1921. He suffered from gigantism and wore American size 24 shoes. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, he tried to enlist in the army but was refused due to his height of 7 ft 9 in(2.36 m ) at the age of 21.
15. Don Koehler
Another person who suffered from gigantism and came to be recognized in medical history as one of the tallest people is Don Koehler. Born in Denton, Montana, in 1925, Don had a normal height until the age of 10, when he began to grow uncontrollably, reaching a height of 8 ft 2 in (2.49 m), which was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. What is more interesting is the fact that Don had a twin sister who had a normal height of 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m).
14. Sultan Kösen
At 8 ft 2.82 in (2.51m), Sultan Kösen holds the Guinness World Record for one of the tallest people ever. Born in 1982, Sultan is a farmer of Turkish origin who was diagnosed with gigantism and acromegaly. He was treated successfully at the University of Virginia through a treatment called Gamma Knife in 2010. He also holds the record for the largest hands at 11.2 in (28.5 cm). He said that one of the advantages of his condition is that he can see things from a great distance, while the biggest disadvantage is that he cannot find clothes and shoes for his size.
13. Väinö Myllyrinne
The Finn Väinö Myllyrinne was born on February 27, 1909, and stood at 7 ft 4 in (2.24m) at 21 years old. What was really interesting is that he had his second phase of growth after he turned 30, reaching 8 ft 3 in (2.51 m). He was also the tallest soldier to serve in the Finnish Army.
12. Al Tomaini
Aurelio “Al” Tomaini is next on our list of the tallest people in the world. He was born in 1912 in New Jersey, US, and was 8′ 5½” tall (2.60m). It is said that his Italian great-grandfather was also taller than usual and that he would not have been the first who would have suffered from gigantism in the family. Because of his height, Aurelio worked for a time in the circus at the Great Lakes Exposition in Cleveland.
11. Julius Koch – Le Géant Constantin
Born in Reutlingen, Germany, in 1872, Julius Koch was 8’0.8″ (2.46m) tall and suffered from gigantism, with an enlarged pituitary gland, testicular atrophy, and lack of sexual development. Moreover, Julius also suffered from many wounds, and later his legs had to be amputated due to gangrene that had spread. After the amputation, his feet were measured and claimed to have a length of 17 in (44cm). He was one of the tallest german people in recorded history and his skeleton is preserved in the Museum of Natural History in Mons, Belgium.
10. Hồ Văn Trung
Hồ Văn Trung was born in 1984 in Ca Mau, Vietnam, and was one of the tallest people in world history. He was one of the fourth children of a poor family who sold coconuts for a living. Hồ Văn Trung was 5ft 7in (1.70m) tall at the age of 17, but he began to grow uncontrollably due to a pituitary gland disease until he reached a height of 7ft 8.5 in ( 2.35m) at the age of 30. He died due to kidney failure in 2018.
9. Leonid Stepanovych Stadnyk
Leonid Stadnyk, born August 5, 1970, is a Ukrainian man who claimed to be 8’5″ (2.57m) tall. The height was not officially recognized because Leonid refused to be measured according to Guinness World Records standards. He died at the age of 44 from a brain hemorrhage.
8. Franz Winkelmeier
The Austrian Franz Winkelmeier was born in 1860 in Lengau, Upper Austria, and he grew up normally until the age of 14. Later, he reached a height of 8 ft 5.5 in (2.59m) and was known as the giant of Friedburg-Lengau. His height was confirmed by Rudolf Virchow, a german doctor and the founder of social medicine. He started by helping a tailor promote his business, and he appeared in places such as Steiermark, Carinthia, Triest, and Hungaria. Later he worked in theaters in Germany and France, while in 1886, he was introduced to Queen Victoria.
7. Jack Earle
Born in 1906 in Denver, Colorado, Jacob Rheuben Erlich was an American silent film actor and sideshow performer, but also one of the world’s tallest humans at the time of his death in 1952. He was a small kid until he began to grow abnormally from the age of 7 and stood over 6 ft (1.82 m) before his tenth birthday and 8 ft 6.5 in (2.63m) at the time of his death. He played in movies such as Hansel and Gretel and worked with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Unfortunately, his career as an actor did not last long because a pituitary tumor left him blind.
6. Willie Camper
Willian Camper was an African-American born on October 1, 1924, in Mendenhall, Mississippi, with a height of 8 ft 7 in (2.62 m). He weighed 450 lb and could hold 20 eggs in each hand. He died at 20 years old of a heart attack during a show he performed in Marinez, California.
5. John F. Carroll
The Buffalo Giant or John F. Carroll was born in Buffalo, New York, and measured 8 ft 1⁄4 in (244 cm) at 27 years old. He started growing in height at the age of 6 and continued to grow until his death at age 37. John suffered from Kyphoscoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine, as well as from acromegalic gigantism. According to calculations of some specialists, his real height (in the case of the normal curvature of the spine) would have been 8 ft 7.75 in (2.63,5 m).
4. John Rogan
Born in Sumner County, Tennessee, John William “Bud” Rogan stood 8 ft 9 in (2.67 m) tall and weighed between 175 pounds (79 kg) and 205 pounds (93 kg). He was the second-tallest person ever behind Robert Wadlow and usually named as “living skeleton” in newspapers. The exact year of his birth is not known, but some sources say that he lived between 1867 and 1905. As a kid, John grew up quickly and developed ankylosis, a disease that is characterized by an abnormal rigidity of the skeletal joints. He was often in a cart because the condition did not allow him to stand, walk, or perform manual labor.
3. Vikas Uppal
Vikas Kumar was born on January 1, 1986, in Rohtak, India. Vikas is said to have been the tallest Indian, having a height of 8 ft 9.5 in (2.68 m), which unfortunately was not verified by the Guinness Book of Records. Vikas died in 2007 during a brain tumor operation.
2. Pornchai Saosri
Pornchai Saosri was born in 1989 in Ban Takaeo in the Prasat district of Thailand. Pornchai Saosri had several public appearances throughout his life, including the one in 2009 when he had a height of 7 ft 6 in (2.28m) and in 2013 with a height of 8 ft 5.2 in (2.57m). He died in 2015 at 26 years old and a height of 8 ft 9.9 in (2.69m). His claimed height was not officially recognized by Guinness World Records.
1. Robert Wadlow
Born in Alton, Illinois, in 1918, Robert Wadlow was 8 ft 11 in (2.72 m) tall, being the tallest man in recorded history. The giant of Illinois had a normal weight of 8.37 pounds (3.8 kg) at birth, but at the age of 8, he already had a height of 5 ft 90 in (1.8 m) and 194 pounds (88 kg).
Robert was diagnosed with acromegaly, a hormonal disorder that leads to gigantism, which could be treated at that time with surgery, but he and his family refused. Because he did not treat his disease, he continued to grow even during adulthood. He died at the age of 22 from an infection that worsened and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery in a coffin that measured 10 ft 9 in (3.28 m) long