8 ft 1 tall Sultan Kösen from Turkey is a rare specimen – the tallest over 8 ft tall man alive on planet Earth today according to the Guinness World Records.
Sultan currently also holds the record for largest hands 28.5 cm (11.22 in) from the wrist to the tip of the middle finger and the second largest feet – his left foot measuring 36.5 cm (1 ft 2 in) and right foot measuring 35.5 cm (1 ft 1.98 in).
Guinness World Records has come across only about ten people above 8 ft over the past 20 years but Sultan is the only such person alive today.
Born on 10 December 1982, Sultan was like an average child till the age of 10, even the other members of his family, including his parents and four siblings were ‘normal’ in terms of size.
But suddenly Sultan started growing uncontrollably fast due to a condition called “pituitary gigantism” which accounts for over-production of growth hormone and its spread from the pituitary gland in the brain. This invariably leads to large hands, thickening of the bones and painful joints. Due to his extreme size, Sultan had to face many ups and downs in life. Because of his gigantic height Sultan couldn’t finish school, could never find fitting clothes or shoes and found it extremely hard to fit into a regular-size car.
On the other hand because of his height he was found to be good at changing bulbs or hanging curtains.
Sultan Kösen today is recognized everywhere around the globe because of his extraordinary height and invited to star in a number of Hollywood movies.