SUPERLATIVES

Tallest…

What’s bigger? The tallest snowman or the tallest dinosaur? The largest cruise liner or the tallest statue? And where do you fit in? You’re sure to be shorter than the tallest man, but how do you compare to the tallest dog? Find out here!

Dog (ever) 1.11 m

When measured on 4 Oct 2011, Zeus (2008–14), a Great Dane owned by the Doorlag family of Otsego in Michigan, USA, measured 1.11 m (3 ft 8 in) to the shoulder.

Average height of a human 1.66 m (5 ft 5 in)

Woman (ever) 2.48 m

Zeng Jinlian (1964–82) of Yujiang village in the Bright Moon Commune, Hunan Province, China, measured 2.48 m (8 ft 1.64 in) at the time of her death on 13 Feb 1982.

Man (ever) 2.72 m

The tallest man in medical history is Robert Pershing Wadlow (USA), who, when last measured on 27 Jun 1940, was 2.72 m (8 ft 11.1 in) tall. He was already 1.63 m (5 ft 4 in) at the age of five, and passed 2.45 m (8 ft 0.5 in) by the age of 17, making him – not surprisingly – the tallest teenager (ever). When he died, aged just 22, he was buried in a 3.28-m-long (10-ft 9-in) coffin. To find out more about this remarkable man, turn to p.66.

Mammal 4.6–5.5 m

An adult male giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) typically measures between 4.6 m and 5.5 m (15–18 ft) tall. The tallest giraffe ever was a Masai bull (G. c. tippelskirchi ) named George, who stood 5.8 m (19 ft) at the age of nine.

Bicycle (standing) 6.15 m

Helping Richie Trimble (USA) see over the top of the tallest giraffe is the 6.15-m (20‑ft 2.5‑in) Stoopidtaller. To prove that it could be ridden, Richie cycled for a minimum distance of 100 m (328 ft) in Los Angeles, California, USA, on 26 Dec 2013.

Moai (standing) 9.8 m

The tallest of the statues – or moai – that remain standing on Easter Island (Rapa Nui) measures 9.8 m (32 ft 1 in). The 74.39-tonne (82-US ton) figure is located at Ahu Te Pito Kura and has been named “Paro”.

Chocolate Easter egg 10.39 m

A chocolate Easter egg measuring 10.39 m (34 ft 1 in) tall was made by Tosca (ITA) and measured at Le Acciaierie Shopping Village in Cortenuova, Italy, on 16 Apr 2011. It had a circumference of 19.6 m (64 ft 3.6 in) at its widest point and weighed an elephantine 7.2 tonnes (15,873 lb).

Sandcastle 13.97 m

It took two weeks for Ted Siebert and his team from the Sand Sculpture Company (USA) to build the world’s tallest sandcastle. Erected on Virginia Key Beach in Miami, Florida, USA, in Oct 2015, it measured 13.97 m (45 ft 10.25 in) tall.

Dinosaur 18 m

Dinosaur remains discovered in 1994 in Oklahoma, USA, belong to what is believed to be the largest creature to have ever walked the Earth. Sauroposeidon stood at 18 m (60 ft) tall – the size of a four-storey house – and weighed 60 tonnes (132,277 lb).

Snowman 37.21 m

In Feb 2008, residents of Bethel in Maine, USA, built a snowman (named Olympia, so technically a snowwoman) measuring 37.21 m (122 ft 1 in) tall. The lengthy lady had spruce trees for arms and skis for eyelashes.

Snowman 43.44 m

A bonfire standing 47.39 m (155 ft 5 in) high was erected by Slinningsbålet (NOR) and lit on 25 Jun 2016 in Ålesund, Norway. The bonfire was built by hand over the course of about three months.

Christmas tree 67.36 m

In Dec 1950, Northgate Mall in Seattle, Washington, USA, unveiled their new Christmas tree: a fully decorated Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii ) that reportedly reached a height of 67.36 m (221 ft).

Passenger liner 72 m

Launched between 2009 and 2016, Royal Caribbean’s three massive Oasis-class cruise ships rise 72 m (236 ft) above the waterline. They are the world’s largest cruise ships and can accommodate 5,400 passengers and 2,384 crew.

Tree (living) 115.54 m

“Hyperion” is a coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) that reached 115.54 m (379 ft) tall when measured in Sep 2006. It was discovered by Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor (both USA) in the Redwood National Park, California, USA, on 25 Aug 2006. It is nearly twice the height of the tallest Christmas tree .

Statue 127.64 m

The Zhongyuan Buddha in Lushan County, Henan Province, China, towers 127.64 m (418 ft 9.1 in) over the landscape. It was consecrated on 1 Sep 2009 and was measured on 2 Dec that year. It is more than 7,600 times taller than the average person.

Pyramid 146.7 m

The Pyramid of Khufu at Giza, Egypt, is the world’s tallest. Also known as the Great Pyramid, it was 146.7 m (481 ft 3 in) high when completed around 4,500 years ago, but erosion and vandalism have reduced its height to 137.5 m (451 ft 1 in) today.

Iceberg 167 m

An iceberg estimated to rise 167 m (550 ft) tall – or 55 storeys – above the water line was reported off western Greenland by the icebreaker USCGC Eastwind in 1958.

Flagpole 171 m

The flagpole in King Abdullah Square in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is 171 m (561 ft) tall. It flies a flag that measures 49.35 m (161 ft 10 in) in length – the size of an Olympic swimming pool!

Offshore gas platform 472 m

The Troll A gas installation, located off Norway in the North Sea, measures 472 m (1,548 ft) tall and weighs c. 683,600 tonnes (672,800 tons). It stands 303 m (994 ft) below the water’s surface. Troll A is made from enough steel to build 15 Eiffel Towers, and enough concrete to build the foundations of 215,000 homes. It is also the tallest man-made object ever moved, having been towed out to its current location.

Building 828 m

The Burj Khalifa (Khalifa Tower) has held the record for tallest building since it opened in Dubai, UAE, on 4 Jan 2010. At 828 m (2,716 ft 6 in) tall, the 160-storey tower is also the tallest man-made structure on land.

Waterfall 979 m

The Salto Angel (“Angel Falls”) in Venezuela lies on a branch of the Carrao River and is the highest waterfall in the world. It has a total drop of 979 m (3,212 ft), with the longest single drop being 807 m (2,648 ft). The falls were named after the American pilot Jimmie Angel (d. 8 Dec 1956), who recorded them in his log book on 16 Nov 1933, although they had also been reported by the Venezuelan explorer Ernesto Sánchez la Cruz in 1910.

Structure 1,432 m

If “height” is defined as the distance that a structure extends upwards from the Earth’s surface, then the Magnolia Extended Tension Leg Platform in the Gulf of Mexico is the world’s tallest man-made structure. It stretches 1,432 m (4,698 ft) from the seabed to the top of the floating platform.

Mountain 10,205 m

Everest may be the highest mountain (at 8,848 m; 29,029 ft), but Mauna Kea (White Mountain) on the island of Hawaii, USA, is the tallest. Measured from its submarine base in the Hawaiian Trough to its peak, it has a height of 10,205 m (33,480 ft), of which 4,205 m (13,796 ft) is above sea level.