Saturday, July 14, 2012

Interesting Facts About Very Tall People

1)  ROBERT WADLOW:  The tallest person in history for whom there is no irrefutable evidence, Wadlow was 8' 11" tall and weighed 439 lbs. at the time of his death at the age of 22. His great size and continued growth in adulthood was due to hypertrophy of the pituitary gland, which results in an abnormally high level of human growth hormone. Wadlow is pictured below beside his 5' 11" father, Harold.




2)  SULTAN KOSEN:  At 8' 3", Kosen is the tallest living person. This Turkish-born man is a part-time farmer whose condition causes him to have to use crutches to walk. His extreme height was caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland. After numerous medical procedures, treatment has been effective in halting Kosen's growth, and most likely also in lengthening his life. Sultan is currently 30 years of age.




3)  BERNARD COYNE:  Coyne was refused induction into the Army during World War I because he then stood at a height of 7' 9". But Coyne didn't stop growing. At the time of his death three years later in 1921, he had reached a height of between 8' 2" and 8' 4" (records vary). Coyne was the tallest ever eunuchoidal infantile giant, also known as Daddy Long-Legs Syndrome.




4)  DON KOEHLER:  Koehler was the tallest man in the world from at least 1969 until his death in 1981. At his highest, Koehler measured 8' 2". His extreme height was a result of a medical condition called acromegalic gigantism. Koehler had a fraternal twin sister who never grew past 5' 9". Don lived a much longer life than most of the people on this list. He died at age 55.




5)  BRAHIM TAKIOULLAH:  The second tallest living person at 8' 1", Takioullah also holds the record for largest feet (each one is 1 foot, 3 inches long). Moroccan by birth, Takioullah's extreme height and foot size is caused by both acromegaly and a pituitary gland tumor, for which he is currently being treated in France. Brahim holds a university degree in geography.




6)  SULEIMAN ALI NASHNUSH:  Nashnush was a Libyan basketball player and actor whose height measured just a half-inch over 8'. Though it has not been verified for certain, Suleiman may have been the tallest basketball player who ever lived. Nashnush had a small role in Federico Fellini's classic film Satyricon -- he played the role of "Tryphaena's Attendant." He died at the age of 48.




7)  GHEORGE MURESAN:  The Romanian-born Muresan is one of the two tallest players to have ever played in the NBA (National Basketball Association). Reaching 7' 7" in height before he stopped growing, Gheorge's extreme size is caused by a pituitary disorder. Both his parents are of average height. In 1998, Muresan -- alongside comedian/actor Billy Crystal -- starred in the movie My Giant about -- what else? -- a Romanian giant.




8)  MANUTE BOL:  The Sudanese-born Bol was, along with Muresan, the tallest player ever to have played in the NBA, at 7' 7". Unlike Muresan, however, Bol did not suffer from a pituitary disease -- he was just naturally tall. Manute was the son of a Dinka tribal chief, who gave him the name "Manute," which means "special blessing." After an 11-year career in the NBA, Bol retired from the game and became very active in supporting various causes in his war-ravaged home country of Sudan. He died in 2010 from acute kidney failure.








9) ZENG JINLIAN:  Zeng was the tallest woman ever verified in medical history. At the time of her death, Jinlian was 8' 1.75" tall. She was not able to stand straight due to a severely deformed spine. Zeng was 17 years old when she died.




10)  YAO DEFEN:  The Chinese-born Yao is the tallest living woman, standing at 7' 8" and weighing 440 lbs. Defen's gigantism is due to a tumor in her pituitary gland. Yao is currrently 39 years old.




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