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There's only one man known to have been both a dwarf and a giant.
Born in 1899, Adam Rainer's stature levelled off at a tiny 4ft 8in by the end of his teens.
But a very rare condition saw him suddenly starting to grow again – leaving him at a towering 7ft 2in by the time he was 32.
And he didn't stop there, continuing to lengthen throughout his adult life until he died the tallest man in Austria at 7ft 8ins, aged 51.
He was classed as a dwarf after he didn't grow up in every sense in his native Graz in then Austria-Hungary.
Adam was only 4ft 6in when he was denied entry into the Army during World War One, iflscience reports.
He came back when he was two inches taller but was left disappointed as he was still below the minimum 4ft 10in cutoff.
But in a sign of things to come, while his body stayed small his hands and feet had already grown to basketball player size.
Medical reports showed that Adam's feet measured at a US size 10 (9 in the UK) despite his dwarfism.
Both his parents were average height but when he was 21-years-old he started shooting up.
Eleven years later he didn't need to look up to anybody as he had grown by a whopping 2.5ft to 7ft 2in.
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Later in the 1930s, doctors A. Mandl and F. Windholz diagnosed him with a rare disorder acromegaly.
It causes the body to produce too much growth hormone – which explained his abnormally large hands and feet which are a common symptom.
His changing facial features and excessive tiredness were also signs of the disorder.
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The medics found that a tumour had been pressing against his pituitary gland, releasing the growth hormone that caused his sudden spurt.
They operated and managed to remove it but it was only enough to slow Adam's growth.
When he was measured the next year his height was unchanged, but his spine had begun to curve, meaning he was still growing.
And tragically as he grew, his health declined, with his curved spine eventually leaving him unable to stand on his own.
His eyesight and hearing grew worse, and he eventually died aged 51 in a "home of the aged", measuring 7 feet 8 inches tall, the tallest man in Austria.
There are currently no other known instances of a person being classified as both a dwarf and a giant across their lifetime.
- In the News
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