Guinness Crowns New World’s Tallest Man

yuschenko-stadnyk2.jpg About a month ago, I commented on the wedding of the world’s then-tallest man, 7-foot-9-inch Bao Xishun, in the north Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (just a hop skip and a jump from where lake monsters were videotaped not long after, in what certainly could not have been a coincidence… OR COULD IT?)
Xishun had made headlines in 2006 when he reached into two dolphins’ gullets to pull out plastic debris that was threatening to kill the li’l critters, and on 17 July, when he met Mr. Pingping, the world’s shortest man.
Anyway, little did I or Xishun know that soon our Mongolian giant would be unseated from his tallest-guy throne by a Ukranian, 37-year-old veterinarian Leonid Stadnyk, who stands 8 feet 5 inches tall according to an August 8 statement from the Guinness Book of World Records (PDF warning).
For some years, Mr. Stadnyk had claimed to be the tallest man alive. His claim, sad to say, was rejected by the arbiters of tallness because he wouldn’t let Guinness measure him. I and a planet packed with tallest-man geeks thumbed our noses at him. We figured Mr. Stadnyk, who claimed he was trying to avoid publicity, was in reality trying to avoid being found out as a fraudulent challenger to the Mongolian throne.
I stand humbled before the now certifiably tall Mr. Stadnyk, whom I politely ask not to step on me.
Photo of Stadnyk with Ukranian President Victor Yuschenko, via

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