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Giant Humans


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#1 SaxonViolence

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 09:40 AM

Recently my sister was looking at some of the cracked-brain "Nephilim" pictures that one can find online.

{She wanted a Giant for a Graphic Art Project...}

At any rate, I got to thinking.

Goliath was supposed to be what?

9'6" or so? Complicated by the height being in cubits.

Robert Wadlow was a hair over 8'11".

Wadlow at least, was feeble and awkward and needed braces to walk.

What would it take physically, to evolve or genetically engineer a race of ten foot tall giants?

Bears may stand ten foot tall, but they're not true bi-peds. Walking on their back legs is more a stunt for them.

Gorillas may weigh six or seven hundred pounds—but they knucklewalk.

Zinganthropi were reportedly large, but not sure how much.

It seems to me, that if we want ten foot tall humanoids that can run, jump, climb, etc.

That could have survived as hunter-gatherers...

We'd need to beef up the legs and lower body somewhat out of proportion to the upper body.

Even six foot five inch women and men around seven feet seem to have larger legs in proportion to the body.

That's about where imagination fails me.

Anyone?

Just trying to picture what a true Race of Giants might have looked like.


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#2 CraigD

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 12:13 AM

I've been tied up with work so much I'm just now getting back to this thread, which seems great science-y fun!

Goliath was supposed to be what?

9'6" or so? Complicated by the height being in cubits.

1 Samuel 17:4 of the KJV of the Bible reads

“And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span”

The usual cubits-to-inches and (hand) span-to-inches conversion is 1:18 and 1:9, so “six cubits and a span” = 9’9”

Robert Wadlow was a hair over 8'11".

Check. Unlike the biblical Goliath, who is mythical, Wadlow actually lived, from 1918 to 1940, and was measured by credible people.

What his height actually was, in the same sense that normal people measure their height, is complicated, because like most giants, Wadlow’s condition caused him to grow continuously throughout his life. At age 18, he was 8’4”, while when last measured, 18 days before his death at age 22, he was 8’11.1”. Had he survived the illness that killed him, his height would likely have continued to grow, and the “tallest human” record height would be even greater. I don’t know if he was measured standing or lying flat, with or without leg braces.

Wadlow at least, was feeble and awkward and needed braces to walk.

Again, it’s difficult to decide with much confidence if extreme giants like Wadlow are crippled because of their great height and weight (although he appears in photos emaciatedly thin, Wadlow weighted nearly 500 pounds), or whether the disorder that caused his abnormal size directly caused his feebleness. Wadlow reportedly had little feeling in his hands and feet, suggesting that his heart was not strong enough to provide good circulation to his extremeties. I’ve never read of a necroscopy of a giant measuring their organs, but suspect they do not scale up properly to support their abnormally large bodies, because the hormonal disorders that cause their giantism affects primarily their bones.

What would it take physically, to evolve or genetically engineer a race of ten foot tall giants?

That’s a tough question! I don’t know if, even with all the details knowledge of genes we now have, whether even the smartest, best trained, most imaginative people in the field would know where to start. Unlike the genes for eye color, for example, which appear to be due to 2 main genes and 13 of lesser importance, all on the same chromosome, the genes for height are as yet poorly understood, being narrowed down only to mainly 1, but as many as 4 chromosomes, and estimated to involve more than 20 genes. It’s unknown if height genetics are the same or much different between with men vs women. Height research is complicated, because environmental factors strongly effect growth. And further complication the subject is what to measure for “bigness” – should it be height, which is due in large part to long legs, or some other factor, such as torso size?

(sources: 1; 2)

Bears may stand ten foot tall, but they're not true bi-peds. Walking on their back legs is more a stunt for them.

Indeed. here is a photo of an elephant standing on 2 legs – my guess is this one tops 12 feet to the top of its head. It doesn’t seem to be a trained trick – here is a photo a wild elephant doing it to reach food.

Zinganthropi were reportedly large, but not sure how much.

Say’s here that Zinjanthropus boisei, now called Paranthropus boisei, was about 1.37 m (4’6”) – I don’t think this is the giant hominid you’re thinking of, SV. I’m guessing you’re thinking of http://en.wikipedia....ithecus_blacki'>Gigantopithecus blacki, which lived ‘til about 100,000 years ago, and appear from fossils to have had typical adult male heights of around 3 m (9’10”), massed about 540 kg (1200 pounds), and been in the ponginae family, the same as modern orangutans.

Check out this comparison, from the wikipedia article:
Posted Image
That’s about the closest to a mythological giant/video game monster I’ve ever seen in a real animal, and a pretty good starting place for imaging normal, healthy giant humans.

It’s also not anything I’d want to fight with ancient arms and armor, especially if it had arms and armor, too, and was good at using them!

#3 SaxonViolence

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 12:59 AM

Several Interesting points...

And interesting links and food for thought.

Thanks.

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