From a Filipino boy who walks on all fours to a girl with an enormous tongue, we count 10 amazing people you won’t believe actually exist.
10. World’s Tallest Man
Sultan Kösen from Turkey is the World’s tallest living man measuring in at a whopping 2.51 metres (8 feet 3 inches) in height! Kösen’s unusual growth spurt was due to a tumor on his pituitary gland that resulted in an excessive amount of growth hormone being produced. His growth was so rapid that he was unable to complete his education and began working part time as a farmer.
Kösen says that his extreme height has some advantages. He is able to help his family with tasks such as hanging curtains and changing light bulbs. However, his stature makes it almost impossible for him to find clothes that fit and he finds it difficult to get into an ordinary sized car.
In 2010, Kösen underwent Gamma Knife treatment for his tumour at the University of Virginia Medical School. The surgery, coupled with subsequent medication has helped to return his hormone levels to almost normal.
9. World’s Shortest Man
Chandra Bahadur Dangi from Nepal, who passed away in 2015 at the age of 75, was the world’s shortest man ever recorded in history. He measured in at a very short 54.6 cm (1 foot 9 1⁄2 inches) in height. Dangi, who was from the village of Reemkholi in Nepal had 5 brothers, 3 of whom were less than 4 feet tall. His other 2 brothers and 2 sisters were all of normal height. The reason for Dangi’s limited growth was never known.
After receiving notoriety as the world’s shortest man, Dangi began to travel around the world, something he had always wanted to do. In 2015, while touring the South Pacific with Samoa’s Tupa’l Bruno’s Magic Circus, he passed away of an unknown cause.
8. Ashvik Gavai
In 2014, 17 year old Ashvik Gavai, was admitted to Mumbai’s JJ Hospital’s dental department complaining of a swelling in his jaw. Found to be suffering from hyperdontia, a condition where more teeth grow than usual, he underwent surgery and had 232 teeth removed.
While excessive cases like this are rare, it is common for dentists to see patients with a single excess tooth. Causes of the condition are not fully understood but they are believed to be linked to hereditary as well as environmental factors.
There is also a condition known as hypodontia which is essentially the opposite problem. The sufferer actually grows less teeth than the normal amount which is 32 for an average adult.
7. Liam Hoekstra
At just 5 months of age, Liam Hoekstra was able to hold himself off the ground with his arms parallel to the floor, a move known to gymnasts as the iron cross.
When asked about Liam’s unusual strength, his adopted mother said “I would hold him up by his hands and he would lift himself into an iron cross. That’s when we were like, ‘whoa, this is weird.'” Hoekstra had also developed an appetite that was much larger than normal. He needed to eat more and more food to fuel his extraordinary strength and muscle growth.
Concerned about their son, Hoekstra’s adopted parents took him to see a specialist. After a series of tests, it was determined that Liam’s body was producing significantly less myostatin, a muscle growth-inhibiting protein.
By 8 months of age Liam could do a chin up and by 18 months he was moving the family’s furniture around the living room. When Liam turned three, doctors performed a strength test on him and found that he had 40% more muscle than someone the same age and that he was already as strong as a 7 year old.
6. Gerkary Brancho Blequett
Gerkary Brancho Blequett from Ocala, Florida has an incredible 11.43 cm (4.5 inch) tongue. When she posted a video of her tongue tricks on YouTube, the video went viral, gaining more than 1 million views. When she was asked about her unique ability, she said “I first realised it was really long when my friends wanted me to show them if I could lick my eye and I tried it and it was shocking. I was stretching it for like a week so it could get longer to see if I could touch my ear. I managed to reach my ear and I can also lick my elbow.”
Blequett hopes to get the official record for the world’s longest tongue but to do so she will need to beat current record holder, Nick Stoeberl who uses his impressively long tongue to paint pictures, one of which is a tribute to Leonardo Da Vinci named the “Moaning Lisa.”
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