Discover the Largest (Tallest and Heaviest) Humans to Ever Live

Written by Cindy Rasmussen
Updated: February 18, 2022
Image Credit Zastolskiy Victor/Shutterstock.com
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Gorillas, chimpanzees and humans share a common ancestor from 7 million years ago. Of all the primates, gorillas are the largest with eastern lowland gorillas that can weigh between 360-460lbs. The largest-ever gorilla was one that was raised in captivity at the St. Louis Zoo and it weighed 860lbs. Has a human ever weighed more than 860lbs? The tallest gorilla recorded was a silverback mountain gorilla that was 6.4 feet tall. It is not that uncommon for an adult man to be taller than 6 feet, but how tall was the tallest man ever? Let’s find out about the largest humans ever!

Who was the heaviest human ever?

Jon Brower Minnoch lived in Washington State and was more than 6 feet tall, but just by a bit (6 feet 1 inch). It was clear that there was something different about Jon, because by the time he was 12 he weighed 294lbs! Your average 12-year-old boy weighs between 67-130lbs. Jon just kept growing and by the time he was 22 he weighed 392lbs.

A few years later at age 25 he was 700lbs and ten years later he weighed more than the largest gorilla mentioned above, weighing in at 975lbs, but that wasn’t his heaviest weight. The Guinness World Records has the heaviest weight of 1,400lbs being verified not by a scale, due to the nature of being able to weigh him, but by an attending doctor, Dr Robert Schwartz. Doctors discovered that Jon suffered from a condition called generalized edema which caused an abnormal accumulation of fluids in his body which was responsible for a fair amount of his excessive weight.

The extra weight was taxing on Jon’s heart and other organs and he was hospitalized for a long time but doctors were unable to treat the generalized edema and eventually had to stop treatments leading to his death at age 41. Sadly, he left behind a wife and two children.

Who is the heaviest human alive now?

Doctors were ultimately not able to save Jon Brower Minnoch, but they have been successful in helping the man who used to hold the record as the heaviest man alive. Because he has lost more than 500lbs he no longer holds the tilte and no one has claimed the new title. Juan Pedro Franco from Mexico used to weigh 1,300lbs back in 2017, but he underwent gastric bypass surgery two different times and has lost 500lbs. This has improved his diabetes and high blood pressure and he is still trying to keep his weight down at age 37.

Who was the tallest man ever?

Robert Wadlow stood almost 9 feet tall and was the tallest man on record

Paille / flickr – License

Robert Wadlow from Alton, Illinois was measured in June of 1940, and was 8 feet 11.1 inches! Unfortunately, Robert suffered from hypertrophy of his pituitary gland, which lead to incredible levels of growth. This taxing growth had huge impacts on Robert, and he required leg braces to walk. Ultimately, Robert passed away after an infection led to surgery. He was only 22 years old, but was still growing and had a size 36 shoe at the time of his passing.

Who is the tallest man alive now?

Sultan Kosen is more than 8 feet tall

Helgi Halldórsson from Reykjavík, Iceland / Creative Commons – License

Sultan Kosen from Turkey is a part-time farmer that was measured in February 2011. At that time he was 8ft 2.8 inches. According to the the Guinness World Records there are only 10 cases of people growing taller than 8 feet. As of 2022, Sultan Kosen is 39 years old and is the 7th verified tallest person in human history. Sultan Kosen’s hands are an incredible 11.22 inches in length!

Who was the heaviest woman ever?

This is another success story with Rosalie Bradford being not only the heaviest woman, but also the person to lose the most weight! In January of 1987 she weighed in at 1,200lbs, but by 1992 she was down to just over 300lbs! Rosalie was inspired by Richard Simmons, the famous fitness star, for helping her gradually lose the weight. She went back to school and got a psychology degree and wanted to help others that struggled with weight issues, so she also became a motivational speaker. Her and her husband lived in Florida and they had one son together. She was 63 when she passed away back in 2006.

Who is the heaviest woman alive today?

Guinness lists the heaviest woman (living) as Pauline Potter from Sacramento, CA. In July of 2016 she weighed in at 647lbs. But the TLC show My 600-Lb Life showcases how she went about losing the weight, initially losing 300lbs. The show in general is about people that are more than 600lbs and what doctors and psychologist are doing to help people lose the weight. Humans may grow to be overly heavy for a multitude of reasons, from conditions like generalized edema and hyperthyroidism to psychological overeating and dealing with trauma.

Who is the tallest woman ever?

Sandy Allen measured 7 feet 7 inches tall.

John Samuel Margolies / This work is from the John Margolies Roadside America collection at the Library of Congress. According to the library, there are no known copyright restrictions on the use of this work.

The tallest woman ever was not taller than 8 feet, but was measured at 7 feet 7 inches (231cm)? Her name was Sandra Elaine Allen and was from Indiana and suffered from a tumor on her pituitary gland. She held the record as the tallest woman for 16 years before passing away in 2008 at the age of 53.

Who is the tallest woman alive today?

Just like the tallest man today, the tallest woman is also from Turkey. Her name is Rumeysa Gelgi, and she has a rare genetic disorder causing her unusual height. Just this past year, on May 23, 2021 she was measured at 7 feet .7 inches (215.16 cm).

What is the heaviest animal?

Are Blue Whales Endangered - A Blue Whale Near the Surface

Andrew Sutton/Shutterstock.com

The Blue whale is the largest animal in the world and can get to be 400,000lbs and be 98 feet long! The largest blue whale ever recorded weighed 418,878 pounds. That’s the same size as more than 2,000 fully grown men that weigh 200 pounds!

Are there any overweight animals in the wild?

In general, the answer is no. It is not evolutionarily plausible to overeat for most animals. Take a gazelle for instance. If it was to overeat and become slower than its fellow gazelle it would become dinner for a passing cheetah, making it impossible to pass on its genes further. Animals also do not have access to the same foods humans do, especially some of the fatty foods that contribute to an unhealthy human diet. According to Petter Bøckman, a zoologist at the Museum of Natural History in Oslo, Norway, animals that do have access to human garbage, for example, have shown signs of developing metabolic disorders.

Animals that look fat, like whales and seals, do have a layer of fat (or blubber) but it is a necessity in keeping their bodies warm in the arctic climates they live.

A lot of animals “get fat” in the fall, all the animals that hibernate need to consume more food in the fall so they have enough energy to last them through the winter.

What is the tallest animal?

Giraffe Facts - Giraffe neck

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The tallest land animal is the giraffe! Giraffes can reach 19.7 feet tall (6 meters) with their necks accounting for 6.5 feet of that!

Fun Fact: What is the largest rodent?

Andrew M. Allport/Shutterstock.com

New Yorkers may brag about enormous sewer-dwelling rats but are New York rats the largest rodents? Not even close! The largest rodents are from South America and are called Capybaras. They look like giant guinea pigs and can grow to be 140lbs! They are much bigger than guinea pigs, with heights up to 2 feet and lengths of 4.6 feet long. It would not be a funny joke to let a group of capybaras lose on the streets of New York!

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About the Author

I'm a Wildlife Conservation Author and Journalist, raising awareness and suggesting actions we can all do to help wildlife. As a former elementary school teacher I have a love for learning and teaching. My goal is to get kids fired-up about animals. Learning about the animals we share this earth with makes life better. When I am not writing I am living the good life with my husband and six kids (we are down to two that are still at home...and our giant labradoodle, Tango!).

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