Giant Hominids

In this category are humanlike, hairy creatures that are described as 6 feet 6 inches tall or greater. Their bipedal gait, appearance, and behavior indicate a closer relationship to humans (hcminids) than to the apes (primates).

The only known fossil that comes close to giant status is Gigantopithecus, a huge ape first recognized by Dutch anthropologist G. H. R. von Koenigswald from a single molar he purchased in a Hong Kong pharmacy in 1935. Since then, more than 1,000 other teeth and a few mandibles have been recovered. There are two known species, G. blacki of China and Vietnam and G. giganteus of India. G. giganteus is older and smaller, dating from the Late Miocene, 9-6 million years ago. By the time G. blacki roamed East Asia in the Early and Middle Pleistocene, 1 million-400,000 years ago, Gigantopithecus had become extremely robust. One estimate puts its height at 9-10 feet tall and its weight at 900-1,200 pounds. However, no weight-bearing bones have been recovered, and it is possible that the animal's teeth and jaws were disproportionate to its body size.

Another von Koenigswald discovery involved two large fossil mandibles recovered in Java in 1939 and 1941. Designated Meganthropus palaeojavanicus, the specimens were described by German anatomist Franz Weidenreich only from casts that von Koenigswald made and sent to Beijing before he was captured and interred by the Japanese during World War II. A handful of other fragmentary finds have been included in this taxon, but there is no consensus on the creature's status. Many regard it as belonging to Homo erectus, though some consider it pathologically oversized.

Legends of a race of giants are found in many cultures, making it all the more strange that the known hominid fossil record is so sparse. The Cyclops of Greece, Grendel of the Anglo-Saxons, and the NeHUM in the Book of Genesis are examples of this rich tradition of ancient giants. However, many legends were based on the discovery of fossil elephants and other extinct megafauna; the ancient Greeks and Romans tended to identify huge skulls and femurs with various mythical heroes, even if they were not particularly human-looking. Still, persistent reports of the discovery of GiantHuman Skeletons have come from both Europe and North America.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the tallest man in medical history was Robert Pershing Wadlow (1918-1940) of Alton, Illinois, who measured 8 feet 11.1 inches shortly before his death. He weighed 491 pounds on his twenty-first birthday.

Modern Giant hominids have been reported from every continent except Antarctica. Bigfcc t of the Pacific Northwest is probably the most familiar variety. Interestingly, a diverse tradition of hairy giants also occurs in Siberia, the logical origination for hominids migrating into North America.

True Giants constitute a subcategory of Giant hominids 10 feet or more tall.

Mystery Giant Hominids

Africa

Engot; Gerit; Mulahu; Nanauner Ndesu; Ngoloko; WAab

Asia, Central

Dzu-Teh; Jez-Tyrmak; Nyalmo; Rimi

Asia, East shan gui

Asia, Southeast

Kapre; Kung-Lu; Orang Dalam; Orang gadang; TOk

Asia, West

Nart; Nefium; Torch

Australasia and Oceania Jogung; Quinkin; Spinifex Man

Central and South America Curinquean; Dientudo; Ecuadorean Giant; Fantasma de los Riscos; Patagonian Giant; Ucumar

Europe

Afonya; Cyclops; Grendeu Gyona Pel; Troll

North America

Bigfoot Cannibal Giants; Giant Human Skeletons; Gilyuk; Pitt Lake Giant; Tallegwi

Siberia

Chuchunaa; Kheyak; Kiltanya; Kul; Mech-eny; Mirygdy; Pikelian; Tungu; Zemlemer

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