People come in all different shapes and sizes. There are some that completely tower over the rest of us. Standing at lofty heights, some of the tallest men in the world include:
- Robert Wadlow (8 ft 11.1 in),
- John Rogan (8 ft 8 in),
- John F. Carroll (8 ft 7 ¾ in),
- Leonid Stadnyk (8 ft 5.5 in).
Men aren’t the only ones who hold records for their tallness, some women throughout history have reached incredible heights. While loftiness has been an advantage for some, it’s been a curse for others.
Here are 10 of the tallest women in the world.
10. Heather Greene (6 ft 5.5 in). Towering over her classmates, Greene reached her peak height when she was only 15 years old. Embracing her height, Greene has made a living thanks to her unusual height.
Originally from Holland and now residing in Las Vegas, Greene will often don pumps to make herself even taller, capitalizing off the attention her height has received with her website Heather Haven.
9. Rita Miniva Besa (6 ft 8 in). Besa’s lofty height prompted her to move from Zimbabwe to the United States to pursue basketball.
Besa’s tall stature has proven to be quite the advantage. It landed her a place on a reputable basketball team.
8. Caroline Welz (6 ft 9 in). Welz holds the title for being the tallest woman in Germany. The 30-year-old works as a seamstress. She has embraced her height and taken occasional job opportunities that have come along with it.
Welz has taken part in various modeling gigs and has also made some television appearances, including Access Hollywood back in 2013.
7. Malee Duangdee (6 ft 10 in). Once the tallest woman in Thailand and holding the world record for tallest teenager, Duangdee grew to such a towering height due to a tumor in her pituitary gland.
Unfortunately, Duangdee’s medical condition resulted in an untimely death. Malee passed away at the age of 24 after suffering a heart attack related to other chronic diseases.
6. Gitika Srivastava (6 ft 11 in). Srivastava is another tall woman who used her height for sports. She was a member of the Indian National Women’s Basketball team. It turns out that height and athleticism runs in her family.
Srivastava got her tallness from her father, Pradeep Srivastava, who stood at 7 f 4 in and was also a former basketball player.
5. Uljana Semjonova (7 ft 1 in). Standing just above 7 ft tall, Semjonova used her height to her advantage. She was the leading women’s basketball player in the world in the 70s and 80s.
The now retired Soviet-Latvian basketball player was the first non-American woman to be enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame back in 1993.
4. Zainab Bibi (7 ft 2 in). Once holding the title of tallest woman in the world back in 2003, Bibi found her height to be more of a curse than a blessing.
The Pakistani woman made the move to Britain after claiming asylum due to the constant mistreatment and ridicule she faced back in her own country.
3. Malgorzata Dydek (7 ft 2 in). Dydek became world renowned for being the tallest professional female basketball player in the world.
Dydek had a basketball career filled with accolades, playing center for the Connecticut Sun in the WNBA and later coaching for the Queensland Basketball League’s Northside Wizards.
2. Sandy Allen (7 ft 7 in). During her life, Allen was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest woman. A tumor in her pituitary gland caused growth hormones to release uncontrollably, which resulted in her towering height.
Allen’s height resulted in career opportunities including appearing in the acclaimed film Il Casanova di Federico Fellini and Side Show. Allen also wrote a book titled Cast A Giant Shadow. After her death at age 53, Allen was recognized by Shelbyville High School by having a scholarship dedicated to her.
1. Yao Defen (7 ft 8 in). Defen’s gigantism was also a result of a tumor in her pituitary gland. Her family didn’t have enough money for the proper surgery and Defen made a living by traveling with her father and performing.
Defen became the subject of a British television documentary, which aimed to raise her enough money to get proper medical care. While an eventual surgery helped slow down her growth hormone, she died at the age of 40 from an unspecified ailment.