Of all the fantastic creatures that you might find in a Lord of the Rings movie or a role-playing game, there’s one that stands out amongst all the rest – quite literally. Dragons, Orcs and Goblins are all mythical and summoned only from our collective imagination, but giants are as real as you or I, and they’re walking amongst us right now.
Humanity has a special fascination with giants, when the tallest man that ever lived, Robert Pershing Wadlow stepped outside, he was followed by crowds of curious and excited onlookers who just wanted to catch a glimpse of the uniquely tall Alton giant as he carried his eight feet eleven-inch frame along on his size 37AA feet, but even though Robert Wadlow died in 1940 aged just 22 years old, there have always been those larger than life men who the rest of us can only look up to.
But who exactly are the ten tallest giants in the World now in 2023? Follow my relatively tiny size 13’s as we follow in the footsteps of the tallest men alive today.
10. Morteza Mehrzad – 8 Feet 1 Inch
Morteza Mehzrad is the tallest man in Iran. He’s also the tallest Paralympian in recorded history. Born with acromegaly, he grew much quicker than his peers. By the time he was 16, he measured 6 feet and 2 inches.
Following a bicycle accident, which resulted in a pelvic fracture, however, his right leg stopped growing. As a result, his legs are of different lengths (his right left is approximately 15 centimeters shorter). Despite that, he is able to get around with a wheelchair, walking stick, or crutches.
In 2011, he was spotted by Hadi Rezaei, an Iran national head coach. He later encouraged Mehzrad to play sitting volleyball. Fast forward to 2016, and he was chosen for Iran’s national team after undergoing several training sessions. In 2020, he won the gold medal at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Previously, he had won the gold medal in sitting volleyball at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. He also won the gold medal at the 2018 Asian Para Games, which took place in Jakarta.
9. Brahim Takioullah – 8 Feet 1 Inch
Brahim Takioullah is the second-tallest living person in the world. Born in Guelmim, Morocco, he was diagnosed with acromegaly after being asked to get a blood test for his unusual size. Allegedly, he grew 3.3 feet during a single growth spurt.
After graduating from university, he traveled to Paris, where he underwent surgery for his condition. The treatment was successful and the doctor was able to remove a tumor from his pituitary gland, which brought his growth hormone levels back to normal.
He currently works for an attraction near the city of Beauvais, where visitors can take photos with Brahim.
8. Bernard Coyne – 8 Feet 1.7 Inches
Benard Coyne was born in Anthon, Iowa. Like Robert Wadlow, he was still growing at the time of his death. It’s said that he suffered from eunuchoid gigantism, which led him to grow at an extraordinary rate throughout his adulthood.
Some sources say he may have reached a height of 8 feet 4 inches at the time of his death but this has never been confirmed. Rather, his World War I draft card, dated August 1918, had listed his height as 8 feet.
Following his death, he was buried in a specially-made, extra-large coffin in Anthon, Iowa.
7. Don Koehler – 8 Feet 2 Inches
Don Koehler was born in Denton, Montana. His father was 6 ft 2 inches and his mother was 5 ft 10 inches. His twin sister was also of average height.
At the age of 10, he began growing at an extraordinary rate. At his peak, he had a standing height of 8 feet and 2 inches. His twin sister measured 5 feet 9 inches, which gave them a record difference of 2 feet 5 inches, which has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Due to his tall stature, he had difficulty finding socks that fit him. Fortunately, he was able to find a hosiery company that custom-made socks for him.
For over two decades, he worked as a salesman for a manufacturing company. If anything, he often used his size as an advantage (potential customers would want to meet with him out of curiosity).
As he grew older, he suffered from kyphosis, which resulted in a curvature of the spine. He later died in 1981 of a heart condition.
6. Väinö Myllyrinne – 8 Feet 3 Inches
Väinö Myllyrinne was born in Helsinki, Finland, and is considered the tallest soldier to have ever served in the Finnish Defense Forces. At the age of 20, he underwent his conscript training in the Viipuri Heavy Artillery Regiment. He was 7 feet 3 inches tall at the time.
He later traveled around Europe as a virus performer and professional wrestler. He later returned to Finland in 1939 to serve in the army during the Winter War. It was then that he experienced a second growth spurt, which brought him to a height of 8 feet 3 inches.
He later relocated to Järvenpää, a town in the Uusimaa region, where he ran a chicken far. He died at the age of 54 in Helsinki.
5. Hồ Văn Trung – 8 Feet 5.25 Inches
Hồ Văn Trung was born in Ca Man, Vietnam in 1984. The first of four children, he moved to the Ngoc Hien district as a teen, where he worked as a shrimp farmer to support his family.
According to his parents, he was 5 feet 7 inches at the age of 17. After developing a prolonged fever, however, he experienced abnormal height growth. By the time he was 27, he measured 7 feet 8.5 inches and weighed 244 pounds.
And he only continued to grow, something that doctors attributed to pituitary gland disease.
In 2018, he suffered from kidney failure, which sent him to the hospital. At the time, he was 8 feet 2.5 inches tall and was still growing. He later died in 2019 at the age of 35. He was buried in his hometown in an extra-large coffin.
4. Jack Earle – 8 Feet 7 Inches
Jack Earle was a sideshow performer and silent film actor. Born in Denver, Colorado, he was small for his age up until his seventh birthday. He later grew at an extraordinary rate due to acromegalic gigantism. By the time he was ten years old, he was over 6 feet tall.
Despite his height, he decided to pursue a career in acting. He went on to appear in several silent films including Jack and the Beanstalk and Hansel and Gretel. He was also involved with the movie making business and had worked as a sideshow performer for the Ringling Bros.
His acting career eventually came to an end after he fell from scaffolding. Not only did he break his nose, but he also eventually lost his sight. Doctors later diagnosed him with a pituitary tumor. Some speculate that the x-ray treatments he had received may have stopepd his growth. At the time, he measured 8 feet and 6.5 inches tall.
He eventually died on July 18, 1952, at the age of 46.
3. John F. Carroll – 8 Feet 7.75 Inches
John F. Carroll suffered from acromegalic gigantism, a hormonal condition in which the pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone. He also suffered severe spinal curvature, which affected his stature.
At the age of 27, he had a standing height of 8 feet and 1/4 inches. However, his true height would have been closer to 8 feet 8 inches, assuming normal curvature of the spine. Allegedly, his extraordinary growth had started at the age of 16. At one point, he even grew eight inches in one year.
Due to his worsening spinal condition, however, he measured 7 feet 10.5 inches at the time of his death. He was laid to rest in Holy Cross Cemetery in New York.
2. John Rogan – 8 Feet 6 Inches
John Rogan was born in Hendersonville, Tennessee. The son of a former slave, he began to grow very rapidly as a teen due to the overproduction of growth hormones. His maternal grandfather was also said to have been a giant so his condition could have very well been inherited.
By the time he was fifteen, however, he could no longer stand or walk due to ankylosis, a condition in which the joints become abnormally rigid. At the time, his feet measured 13 inches in length and his hands measured 11 inches in length.
Despite that, he was able to make a living by selling postcards and portraits at a train station. Some of his drawings have even been published. He passed away on September 12, 1905, at the age of 38.
1. Robert Wadlow – 8 Feet 11 Inches
Robert Wadlow is the tallest person in recorded history. At the time of his death, he was 8 feet 11 inches and weighed nearly 440 pounds. His coffin was equally as large; it was 10 feet 9 inches long, 2 feet 8 inches wide, and weighed over 1,000 pounds.
Born in Alton, Illinois, he was the oldest of five children. Taller than his father at the age of eight, his elementary school had to make a special desk for him so that he could sit in class. By the time he graduated high school, he was 8 feet 4 inches. And he continued to grow throughout his adulthood. In fact, there was no indication that he had stopped growing by the time of his death.
As for his shoe size, it was a whopping 37AA, which is equivalent to 47cm or 19.5 inches! And of course, it had to be custom-made.
The reason for his extraordinary height? He had a condition called hypertrophy of the pituitary gland, which resulted in abnormally high levels of growth hormone.