30 Real Life Giants That Defied Biological Norms

OMG June 28, 2019 By Hugo

Say the word 'giant' and many are instantly transported to an imaginary world of fairy tales and fiction but ask how tall a 'giant' needs to be and no one can give you a definitive figure. In the real world, most people think anything over 6ft is pretty tall, and height varies quite a lot from country to country depending on diet and health culture.

Wikimedia

However, some people are still so big or tall that the majority would consider their size out of the norm. Here we look at a few people who are big in size or strength.


1. Romario Dos Santos

Instagram/ Romario Dos Santos

A 25-year-old bodybuilder, Romario used a drug called Synthol to help him build his muscles, but he used it to such a point that his muscles became so hardened that a needle could not pierce his skin.

This solidity in his muscles also prevented blood flow to his limbs and so led to a risk of amputation. Fortunately, doctors were able to remove the excess Synthol in his system.


2. Arlindo De Souza

The Taylor Hooton Foundation

Like Romario, Arlindo was another Brazilian bodybuilder who used the substance Synthol to build his muscles and became addicted to using the substance. Not going as far as Romario, De Souza never needed treatment for his use.

However, he did lose a close friend who used the same substance, and this acted as a wake-up call and forced him to quit.


3. Denis Cyplenkov

Madness Media

A professional bodybuilder from Ukraine, Denis developed a love for arm wrestling at a young age and is a former world arm wrestling champion.

With biceps at around 25 inches and weighing over 300lbs, Denis sure is one big guy.


4.  Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson

Wikipedia/ Ellen Finch

An Icelandic bodybuilder, Bjornsson started out as a basketball player due to his immense 6 foot 9' frame but soon moved into bodybuilding and has consistently finished on the podium of the World's Strongest Man competition. In fact, he's so strong he can deadlift 990lbs or the equivalent of 6 average sized people.

Through this, he also moved into acting, and many may recognize him as 'The Mountain' from  Game of Thrones.


5. Shaquille O'Neal

Wikimedia

The legendary basketball player hails from New Jersey in the US and has had one of the most successful careers ever in the NBA. Standing at a towering  7' 1" and weighing in at a mammoth 325 lbs, he was one of the heaviest players ever to grace the sport.

His size and natural athleticism propelled him to the top of the sport, and he remains an iconic figure.


6. Yao Ming

Wikimedia

Another iconic basketball player, Yao makes even the mighty Shaq look small as he stands at 7' 6", making him one of the tallest basketball players of all time.

He made a name for himself in the Chinese basketball association before he swapped it for the NBA but had to retire due to foot and ankle related injuries.


7. Vikas Uppal

Top 10 Fun

Reports of Uppal's height were varied during his lifetime, but he was known as India's Tallest Man with some claiming he was around 8' 10".

In reality, it was more likely he was 8' 3", which still makes him a massive individual. He died in 2007.


8. Sajad Gharibi

Sputnik International

Also known as the 'Iranian Hulk' or @Persian Hercules', Gharibi is a bodybuilder in Iran who weighs 341 lbs and is able to lift an incredible 386 lb and, as such, has something of a cult following online.

His bulky physique comes as part of his competing in weightlifting competitions.


9. Brahim Takioullah

Clicanoo

Morroco's tallest man is also the world's second tallest (alongside Iran's Morteza Mehrzad) at 8' 1" in height.

However, Brahim does have the world's largest feet at 15 inches (38cm's) in length.


10.  Jacques Sayagh

True Icon

When you're homeless and broke, staying in shape can't be easy, but Jacques never let his personal plight stop him from losing his extraordinary physique. Primarily relying on donations from passers-by, the Frenchman uses public lampposts and fences for gym equipment and spends most of his money on healthy food and protein powder. 

Such an incredible story led to a short film about his life entitled 'Street Fighter'. The movie even managed to reunite him with his son and grandchild.


11. Yao Defen

StrongATall

Suffering from the same issue that Sultan Kosen had, Yao reached 7' 8" before her death in 2012 which made her the tallest woman in the world, at the time.

When she was three years old, she consumed three times more food than an average child her age. 


12. Sandy Allen

Buzzfeed

The tallest American woman in history, Sandy Allen reached 7' 7" due to a tumor in her pituitary gland that was removed at the age of 22.

She was so tall that, in her later years, she had to use a wheelchair as her legs and back could not support her tall body structure. 


13. Margo Dydek

Wikimedia

A professional basketball player, Margo was born in Poland before moving to the WNBA in America and then the pro-league in Australia. She holds the title as the tallest pro female player in history.

Reaching 7' 2", Margo lived in Brisbane until her death in 2011.


14. Uljana Semjonova

Top 10 Twist

A soviet-Latvian basketball player, Semjonova was an incredible athlete who won gold medals for USSR in the 1976 and 1980 Olympics and competed in the top Soviet and European leagues during the 70s and 80s.

Although very tall at 6' 11", she doesn't come close to many on this list, however, she did have the biggest shoe size of any female basketball player, wearing a men’s 21 (US) / 58 (EU) shoe.


15. Malee Duangdee

Bangkok Post

At the time, she was Thailand's tallest woman and the second tallest in Asia at an impressive 6' 11".

However, sadly Malee died of a heart attack in 2010 at a young age.


16. Sun Fang

Steemit

Born in 1987 and hailing from China, Sun Fang is currently the tallest woman in the world at 7' 3".

Sun Fang wasn't even the tallest woman in China until 2012 when Yao Defen passed away.


17. Alicia Jay

Diablo Magazine

A 6' 6" blogger and fashionista, Alicia's blog focuses on style, and fashion for tall women and she claims she is the world's tallest virgin as she finds her size makes it hard to date.

Of course, this claim can't be verified, but Alicia is waiting for the right man to find her.


18. Heather Greene

Pinterest

A native to Las Vegas, Heater is usually seen wearing her favorite pair of heels which makes her 7' 2".

Without her heels, though, Heather stands at 6" 5' and has been that height since she was 15 years old.


19. Svetlana Singh

Just Richest

Svetlana Singh is incredibly tall herself at 7" 2', and she and her 6" 6' husband have a 3-year-old son who is already over 5 feet tall.

The pair is hoping he will play basketball and study in the USA.


20. Rumeysa Gelgi

Hürriyet Daily News

At 17, Rumeysa stands at 7ft tall, making her the tallest teenager in the world.

Diagnosed with a rare disorder known as Weaver Syndrome, which causes rapid growth, Rumeysa is happy with her world record but is hoping not to grow any further as she already has to use a walker to support her tall frame.


21. Elisany Silva

WikiFeet

A Brazilian model who is 6" 9' tall, Elisany is engaged to her fiance who stands at just 5" 4', but the happy couple makes it work.

They are hoping to have children soon and are considering adoption should Elisany's size prove a problem when conceiving.


22. Zeng Jinlian

Wikimedia

The tallest woman to have ever lived, only 17 people on record have ever surpassed the 8ft mark, and Jinlian is the only woman to do so, reaching 8" 2'.

She died at the tender age of 17 years old in 1982.


23. Sultan Kösen

Wikimedia

Somewhat of a celebrity in his homeland, Sultan Kösen of Turkey holds the record as the tallest living man in the world. He reached an extraordinary height 8′ 2. 8″ before his growth stopped following surgery to remove his pituitary gland.

Owing to his rare condition, Sultan needs crutches to walk.


24. John Rogan

Wikimedia

The tallest African American in recorded history, Rogan was born in 1868 in the southern dwellings of Tennessee. Fascinatingly, his height was standard until he turned 13.

Following an abnormal growth spurt, Rogan never stopped growing and had a recorded height of 8’8″ at the time of his death.


25. Edouard Beaupré

Wikimedia

The Canadian Edouard Beaupré reached an astonishing 8’3″ when he was only 17, allowing him to lift an 800 lb horse! Sorrowfully, the pituitary gland which generated his exponential growth would also prove his downfall following his premature death at just 23 years old.

During his brief time alive, Edouard would become part of Barnum and Bailey's circus as a freak show giant and wrestler. 


26. Matthew McGrory

Shutterstock/ Everett Collection

Matthew McGroy put in a stellar performance in Tim Burton’s classic movie “Big Fish” as Karl the Giant. The distinguished actor also gained roles in big-budget films such as “Bubble Boy,” “MIB II,” and “The Devil’s Rejects.”

His 7′ 6″ height certainly gave him a branded, go-to image, but his career was tragically cut short when he died of natural causes in 2005 at just 32.


27. Robert Pershing Wadlow

Wikimedia

Nicknamed the Giant of Illinois, Robert Pershing Wadlow is officially the tallest man who ever lived. Born in 1918, and passing away only 22 years later, Wadlow was diagnosed with gigantism shortly after his birth and was taller than both of his parents by the time he turned six.

By 18, he joined the Ringling Brothers Circus and remained there until his height made mobility virtually impossible. Shortly before his death, he required a special leg brace after the sensations in his feet disappeared. His final height was just shy of 9 feet tall at 8’11”.


28. Greg Plitt

Wikimedia

Once an actor and army ranger, Greg Plitt's obsession with looking good led to a successful career as a fitness model.

But instead of overdosing on steroids or training with a weak heart, Plitt decided to race a train during the advert for a protein drink. But Plitt ran on the tracks and was sadly proven wrong. He would later die in hospital.


29. Moustafa Ismail

SWNS

Unlike most bodybuilders this list, Moustafa Ismail claims his massive biceps, which measure 31 inches in diameter, are merely the result of hard training and protein.

You probably won't be shocked to know that the Egyptian's biceps are also the biggest in the world, and even less surprised to hear that he finds fitting into shirts extremely difficult. 


30. Bradley Martyn

YouTube/ Bradley Martyn

Not content with lifting more than his body weight and having Hulk size arms, Los Angeles native Bradley Martyn has become famous for his death-defying gym exercises, which include squatting a 315-pound squat on a Segway.

He has also squatted with two women on each end of the bar as well as partaking in a plethora of other crazy exercises. Nice.


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