Who is the tallest person in the world?
Find out who the tallest person in the world is in 2023 and who the tallest person ever was.
Always a good topic to reach for in conversation, human height is fascinating, particularly when it comes to the tallest person alive in the world today.
Being tall comes with its own advantages and disadvantages and the tallest people on Earth have often suffered from medical problems as a result of the pituitary gigantism condition.
The condition gives patients an excess of growth hormone, theoretically allowing people to carry on growing day by day until they die. Anyone with the condition is likely to feel pain via hypertension and other circulatory issues and require the use of crutches to walk.
Regardless, the fascination over the tallest man alive remains today with the record currently held in Turkey.
Who is the tallest person alive in the world today?
The tallest person alive in the world today is Sultan Kösen, who measures 2.51m in height.
Kösen, a farmer from Turkey, has held the record for the world’s tallest man since Guinness World Records measured him back in 2009.
Born in 1982, Kösen also holds the record for the largest hands (measuring 28.5cm from the wrist to the tip of the middle finger) of a living person and the largest feet (measuring 36.5cm and 35.5cm on his left and right foot, respectively) of a living person.
Believe it or not, though, Sultan Kösen is not the tallest person who ever lived. For that record, you’ll need to head to the USA.
Who is the tallest person ever?
The tallest confirmed person who ever lived was Robert Wadlow. The American is a Guinness World Records legend and his staggering height of 2.72m is yet to be matched.
Unfortunately, Wadlow lived to just 22 years old, with his height – caused by pituitary gigantism – proving fatal.
These days, the condition is treated with surgery to stop people from growing. Wadlow continued to grow up until his death in 1940, a result of a septic blister on his right ankle caused by a brace, which had been poorly fitted only a week earlier.
As surgery is now used to halt the growing process in patients with pituitary gigantism it’s unlikely that anyone will be as tall as Robert Wadlow again.
Who are the tallest people in history?
It’s not just Robert Wadlow and Sultan Kösen who have held this record as the tallest people. Throughout history, there have been many tall folk who have been as tall or taller.
Who is the Tallest living woman?
The tallest living woman is Rumeysa Gelgi, who, like Sultan Kösen, is also from Turkey. She stands at 2.15m.
She took the record from previous holder Yao Defen (from China) who stood an impressive 2.33m before she passed away in 2012.
Tallest woman ever - Zeng Jinlian (2.46m)
The tallest woman ever recorded was Zeng Jinlian (also from China as Yao Defen). She stood tall at 2.46m and passed away in 1982.
Second-tallest person ever - John Rogan (2.67m)
John Rogan holds the record for the second-tallest person ever recorded. The American also had gigantism and stood tallest at 2.67m. He travelled around on a cart driven by goats as he could no longer walk or stand by 1882, when he was either 11 or 15 (details regarding his birth year are uncertain).
John F Carroll - 2.63m
The second-tallest person ever recorded by Guinness World Records. Measured a staggering 2.63m, eclipsed only by Robert Wadlow by the record-officiating giant, and gained the record in 1970.
Tallest people historically
The Roman emperor Gaius Julius Verus Maximinus 'Thrax', who reigned from 235-238 was said to be a giant, measuring as tall as 2.4m according to the now-disputed and unreliable Historia Augusta written in the fourth or fifth century.
More like this
The first verified person to reach 2.44m (eight feet) in height was Anton de Franckenpoint. His skeleton can be found in the Museum Anatomicum in Marburg, Germany. He was alive during the 16th century and is said to have died in 1596.
Toby Saunders is a freelance writer covering entertainment and technology. He is a writer for BBC Science Focus magazine and Radio Times. He has a degree in film studies from Bath Spa University. Toby has written for PCGamesN, Gamepur, GameRevolution, Pocket Tactics, Nintendo Life, Cineworld and The Loadout.
May Half Price Sale
- Save up to 52% when you subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine.
- Risk - free offer! Cancel at any time when you subscribe via Direct Debit.
- FREE UK delivery.
- Stay up to date with the latest developments in the worlds of science and technology.