Dwarfism and gigantism are two clinical conditions for which an individual is way shorter or taller than the human beings average. Born in Graz in 1899, Adam Rainer has been the only known case of person that throughout his life has been affected by both conditions. From his birthday until his adulthood Rainer had dwarfism; at 21 years old Adam was only 118 cm (3.8 ft), pretty much like a 5 years old child. At that age though, he started growing again and, within 10 years at the age of 31 he measured already 190 cm (6′ 3″).

Below: Rainer as an adolescent

when he hit 32 years old he was 213 cm (6’12”)

If the growth of the man was initially welcomed with joy, very soon it turned into a curse. The more Rainer was growing the worse his health would become. By the end of the year 1920 he was taller than an adult man, he lost appetite and his back started curving making hard for him to walk. He soon became blind from the right eye and deaf from his left ear.

The Austrian doctor discovered a tumor to the pituitary gland (hypophysis) which caused an overproduction of the growth hormone, condition defined as Acromegaly. Rainer developed a series of typical symptoms such as lengthened hands and feet, forehead and chin protruding outward, his teeth further from each other.

In 1930 decided to remove the tumor in order to stop the overproduction of the hormone, but the possibilities of success were drastically low because the tumor had been active from at least 10 years inside his body.

A first measurement a few months after the removal of the neoplasm showed that the height of Rainer had remained unvaried, symptom that his body was still growing. The operation resulted somewhat successfully as the rate of growth had diminished visibly, but his health kept on worsening. The man was bedridden by his back spine and so he was hosted in a nursing home.

Adam Rainer died in 1950 when he was 51 years old. On that day, he was 234 cm (7’8″), 116 cm (3.8 ft) more than 30 years before. He is the worldwide record ever registed for the height which varied the most in a human being.

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Rachele Goracci

DESIGNER, COSTUME MAKER AND LANGUAGE ENTHUSIAST. I HAVE ALWAYS HAD A HUGE PASSION FOR MYSTERY, ODDITIES AND PSYCHOLOGY. BY COLLABORATING WITH VANILLA MAGAZINE I HAVE THE CHANCE TO NURTURE (ALMOST) ALL THESE INTERESTS AT ONCE

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