Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Giants Part One: The Set Up

One of my memories as a child is peeking out my bedroom window one night and seeing a giant red haired man walking across the fence between my garden and the neighbours. Of course I was almost certainly dreaming but it's a memory that has stuck with me anyway... now I, myself, am the giant wandering through the sea of short people. Being 2.03m (6'8") I feel an affinity for those who truly are giants, and maintain an interest in both the mythology and the history of the tall. This post will not cover all the history, mythology or finds about/of giants but is intended merely to set the scene of a series over the next week or so (ok two weeks if we count all the days I skive off posting...)

Now what is a giant? Most people have different ideas but my criteria, for these posts, is simple... anyone who was taller than Robert Wadlow, the tallest man known to have existed, he was a trifing 2.72m (8'11.1") tall. So really we are talking about anyone who was 9 foot tall or above. It's the height above which we know of no one and thus is worthy of special attention. Could anyone have really reached this height in our history? Check out the following documentary on Robert Wadlow so you can really get a feel for just how tall he was.

Across the world's literary traditions, even into the modern day, giants feature widely. Sometimes benevolent, often violent, could these creatures be anything more than fantasy? Reports have been made of extremely large skeletons being found in the Americas, perhaps there is more to the legends than first meets the eye.

For as long as there have been giants, there have been insecure short guys trying to start fights with them.

So tomorrow we'll look at the giants of myth, then after that the giants of history and finally the evidence they just might show us that the giants of the past weren't just figments of the imagination...

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