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5 Real Giants, Biggest and Tallest Superhumans Ever & How Tall was Goliath of Gath finally answered!
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Growing Up With Giants
Most young boys grow up fascinated by the real and imagined giants of sports, legend, and history (myself included). I spent countless hours as well on the subject, also watching G.L.O.W. for good measure (pictured right). They were anatomically interesting as well to a Jr. High boy!
I pored over my second-hand raggedy paperback 1986 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. One section dominated, the amazing people pushing the limit of human speed, stamina, and stature. The latter included black and white photos seemingly too awesome to be real. I'm not talking about the worlds fattest twins pictured riding heroic little motorscooters. No I'm talking about the tallest man, Robert Wadlow.
No way could that Leprechaunical Irishman next to him be a full-grown man, much less a six-footer! Yet, it's true. Believe it... or not, Jack Palance isn't here to sort it out for you, so I will. By the power of the internet, I have the power! Seems a little redundant, I won't mince words anymore. So how big could human giants be?
2 Robert Wadlow
4 NBA tallest
5 Today's Tallest: the Sultan of Swing - presumably his long tie.
5. Sultan Kosen Louisa Pilbeam 2.51 m (8 ft 3 in)
4. Manute Bol
Height: 2.31 meters (7′ 7”)
Manute Bol is another guy I saw with my own eyes, at the only ever NBA game I ever attended. How lucky my Dad got free tickets to the Detroit Pistons vs. Washington Bullets game during this man's career which spanned from the 1985 draft by the Washington Bullets where he set the NBA best blocking record with 397 blocks. His extraordinarily thin physique was almost too fragile against comparatively shorter and stronger inside players, keeping him out of the key.
He adapted by using his height by shooting unguarded three-pointers from outside. He got pretty good, one time hitting 20 of them. I was one of the lucky spectators who enjoyed watching the shortest NBA player (Mugsey Bogues) play a halftime 1 v. 1 match against the giant. Bol chucked uncontested 3′s but was outrun by the slam-dunking shortest player ever to play in the NBA, the 1.60 m (5' 3") phenom.
3. Andre "The Giant" Roussimoff
Height 2.30 meters (7' 6"). But the real story is his weight, 520 lbs. officially so he could travel with passengers (and not with elephants, no joke). Unofficially it was at least two hundred pounds more, 720 lbs or 327 kilos, or more. The guy was strong, not some lanky gangly NBA player, but a giant in the truest sense. The legends of his drinking are, well, legendary, huge, gigantic legends. Not tall tales but true tales of a tall tower of a man who could pound a case of beer for a slight buzz, to ease the pain that goes with being so big. Yes he flipped over a car with four hecklers in it. He passed out in a hotel lobby and was hidden under a piano cover, his feet sticking out. Size 22 shoes (56cm) so large they hid in plain sight, nobody thought they belonged to a man. Oh yeah, and he drank 32 beers in an airport terminal before taking a single long piss, then held it from LA to Japan sitting in cargo with the animals. Most importantly he was a kind soul who endured life with a smile and sense of humor.
2. Robert Wadlow
Height: 2.72 m (8 ft 11.1 in) Nary tho' nigh a niner. 227 kilos (500 lbs.)
This is the guy, and these are the images that sparked my interest in real-life superheroes as a child. For me, it wasn't the wonder if I could believe it or not, I could tell the true tales from the false ones better than many adults, it's my knack. No, it was the science behind it, why did I look at a man standing three feet taller than my eventual maximum height, and feel sorry for him? Shouldn't he be pointing at the camera, sticking out his tongue and lifting an enemy up by his hair while two maidens cling longingly to his thighs? Why did he look so weak, bewildered, even broken? I wanted him to be on top of it all, but instead it looked like he was a victim of chance, not a beneficiary of the genetic lottery. He had a short life, and it made me wonder if Goliath's demise was such a feat after all. It begged more research, and now 30 years later I'm finding the answers.
1. Goliath of Gath
2.36 m (7' 9")
This is my original calculation based on the data below and what we now know about the inverse square law regarding height. We also now have recent records on about 8 billion people both living and deceased, and the tallest one who could have been a true warrior, Andre the Giant, was very close to this height, further corroborating the result. Hell, I'd say this pretty much validates my calculation. There are plenty of people taller than this, and not one of them could have worn armor and wielded a huge spear with authority, since physics is working against added height as the law of diminishing returns shifts gears around 7'8".
First, what's a cubit? It is 525mm, done. Don't argue with me, this is the value I'm choosing from jewishencyclopedia.com which is the logical source for exegetic contextual knowledge including systems of measurement from the original account. It's also the choice of bankers, lawyers, doctors, and the top ten L.A. stand up comedians. Besides, I averaged the values given by scholars and already came up with the number almost to the millimeter.
So Goliath stood a number of cubits tall. In the oldest of old written texts the number is 4.5 cubits. In the oral traditions that were written down a little bit later, the number is 6.5 cubits. I'm going with the 4.5 cubits. Done. So that puts his height at 2.36 meters. Basically a slightly larger-than-life version of Andre the Giant. And given the billions of people who ever lived since modern history, Andre the Giant is the truest and most fearsome giant of them all. Every pro-wrestler is a giant, enough to pound any Philistine or ancient Israelite into the ground unless God is on their side. Andre could take any Pro Wrestler down with ease. Nuff said. Enjoy the humorous combination of King David's legacy married to... Queen! Ha!