Real Giants: The World's Tallest People & Their Medical Issues

Swifty

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Robert Wadlow with his Dad in 1938, 8ft 11"

arobertwadlow.jpg
 

EnolaGaia

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RE: Amanab - 'The Greek Giant'

scientificamerican.com/blog/ ... 2011-03-29
Link is dead. No archived version found.


(The cited drawing from the photo is provided on the webpage)

Here's a copy of the illustration which appeared in the MIA Scientific American article.

amanab.jpg
 

Mikefule

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Don't talk daft, tall people's hearts/lungs limbs etc are in proportion to their size/weight ... (they better fecking be, or I'm really going to panic about them palpitations ... )

It's sometimes known as the cube:square law.

Imagine a cube 1 metre along each side.
  • Each side is 1 metre long.
  • Each face is 1 square metre.
  • The volume is 1 cubic metre.

Now double the dimensions.
  • Each side becomes 2 metres long: twice as long as the first cube.
  • Each face becomes 4 square metres (2x2): four times as big as the first cube.
  • The volume becomes 8 cubic metres (2x2x2): eight times as much as the first cube.

So, if you double the linear dimensions:
  • You quadruple the cross section, and
  • You multiply the volume by eight.

Now, apply this to a person who is 6 feet tall and a person of roughly the same shape who is 12 feet tall:
  • The taller person's linear dimensions (height, length of his legs or arms) are twice as great.
  • The taller person's cross sections are four times as great. Therefore, there is 4 times as much cross section on the bones.
  • The taller person's volume (and therefore his mass/weight) is eight times as much.

So, make a man twice as tall and you make his bones 4 times as strong but, crucially, they have 8 times as much weight to carry. Similarly, his muscles are strong in proportion to their cross section so are 4x as strong but have 8x as much work to do.

Thus, a giant human simply could not survive. His muscles would be feeble in comparison to his weight, and his bones would be fragile in proportion to the weight they had to carry.

People such as Robert Pershing Wadlow often need assistance to walk.

Yes, diet is an issue to, but that is part of the same cube:square:linear thing. Twice as tall, eight times as massive, 8 times the food requirement.

A "real" giant, as encountered in fairy stories, would have to be a substantially different shape from a human: squatter in proportion, stout strong legs and a proportionately lighter upper body.
 

Amoradala

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Excellent point. So how did dinosaurs (which we know existed) and had substantially heavier upper bodies, walk without rupturing (say) their knee ligaments ?
 

Mythopoeika

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Excellent point. So how did dinosaurs (which we know existed) and had substantially heavier upper bodies, walk without rupturing (say) their knee ligaments ?
They had larger knee joints, perhaps.
 

Amoradala

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Yes, but still small in proportion to their bodies.
 

GNC

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Isn't it something to do with the temperature? The Earth was far warmer, therefore more animals could exist at large sizes. I suspect the largest ones didn't move very fast, though even today's rampaging elephants and hippos can get a good speed going.
 

Amoradala

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Could be. Although most animals growth seems capped by the effects of gravity rather than temperature.
 

GNC

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Could be. Although most animals growth seems capped by the effects of gravity rather than temperature.

Well, we don't get three foot wide spiders anymore (on land), so gravity isn't the whole story.
 

Mythopoeika

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Well, we don't get three foot wide spiders anymore (on land), so gravity isn't the whole story.
Oxygen.
 

Amoradala

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But as you point out we do get three foot spider crabs, in the sea where it’s cold and the effect of gravity is lessened.
 

hunck

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Excellent point. So how did dinosaurs (which we know existed) and had substantially heavier upper bodies, walk without rupturing (say) their knee ligaments ?

The answer would seem the largest had absolutely huge bones with proportionally larger muscles, cartilage, ligaments etc. Probably wouldn't have moved fast. There's an BBC Attenborough prog about the largest skeleton ever found. The size of the bones is extraordinary.
 

GNC

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But as you point out we do get three foot spider crabs, in the sea where it’s cold and the effect of gravity is lessened.

For all we know, Ebirah Horror of the Deep could be under the sea, but I think the watery environment would have a lot to do with that, same reason we have blue whales, just not on land where their mass wouldn't be supported.
 

Amoradala

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But we know what the bones look like, there is huge amount of fossil evidence.
And proportionally the limbs are small and thin in comparison to the body.
 

AnonyJ

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My first husband was rather tall - technically in the 'giant' category at 6'8" - and even in his 30s was already suffering health problems due to his height related to blood circulation issues and build (sinewy, no extra body fat), he just couldn't put weight on. He used to get fed up of the 'amusing' comments.
 

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America's tallest man ..

 

Mythopoeika

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The pain must be a living hell for him.
 

EnolaGaia

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Guinness has designated a new world's tallest teenager.
Chinese teenager breaks Guinness record with 7-foot height

A Chinese boy celebrated his 14th birthday by becoming certified as the world's tallest teenager by Guinness World Records.

Ren Keyu of Leshan, Sichuan Province, was measured at three different times in one day while both standing and lying on the ground in accordance with Guinness requirements, and his official height was recorded as 7 feet, 3.02 inches. ...

Keyu's family said he was seen by multiple doctors when he was younger and none of them could find anything medically amiss about the boy that would explain his unusual height. Keyu said there is likely a hereditary component, as his mother and grandfather are both over 6 feet tall. ...

FULL STORY: https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2020/1...ness-record-with-7-foot-height/3231605888217/
 

Analogue Boy

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My first husband was rather tall - technically in the 'giant' category at 6'8" - and even in his 30s was already suffering health problems due to his height related to blood circulation issues and build (sinewy, no extra body fat), he just couldn't put weight on. He used to get fed up of the 'amusing' comments.
I was sitting in the audience at a choir when one of the ladies came to speak to friends at the interval. Various people popped up to introduce themselves and then say ‘My, you’re tall.”
It’s a well-known fact tall people don’t know they’re tall and sometimes have difficulty distinguishing other people from various scattered lego figures on the carpet.
 

EnolaGaia

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America's tallest man ..
A brave and tough man.
Sadly, Igor Vovkovinskiy has passed away at the age of 38.
Rochester’s Igor Vovkovinskiy, Tallest Man In America, Dies At 38

Igor Vovkovinskiy, known as the tallest man in America and a resident of Rochester, has died, according to a Facebook post from his mother.

Svetlana Vovkovinska said he died Friday night of heart disease. He was 38 years old.

Vovkovinskiy came to Minnesota from Ukraine when he was 7 years old. A tumor in his pituitary gland caused his exceptional height — he stood 7-feet-8-inches tall. ...
FULL STORY: https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2021...vkovinskiy-tallest-man-in-america-dies-at-38/
 
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