Being tall is something that many people associate with being a man, but there are lots of tall women out there too. We are not talking about people that are simply above the average height of 5′-4″. The following list sheds some light on the top 10 tallest women in the world ever measured.
10. Malgorzata Dydek
This 7′-2″ woman was known for being the tallest female basketball player in history. She played in the WNBA and was a first round draft pick.
Both of her sisters are tall and they play basketball, but neither of them are as tall as Malgorzata. She had two children and was pregnant with her third when she suffered a fatal heart attack. On May 23, 2011 she died at the age of 37 in a hospital in Brisbane.
Image attributed to Donald Barnat.
9. Svetlana Singh
While most Asian women are known for being very slight in stature, Singh is the same height as Dydek (7′-2″). There was a bit of controversy surrounding Singh because she was measured and reported to be just 6’8″.
She married a man who was over six feet, became pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy. As he started to grow, Singh noticed that he was rather tall for his age. By the age of three he was four and a half feet tall, which means he may one day be as tall as his mom.
8. Zainab Bibi
This Pakistani woman is the same height as the previous two women on this list of the tallest women in the world (7′-2″). She moved to England several years ago and sought political asylum due to her enormous height.
Her family argued that her height made her some sort of celebrity in her homeland, but Bibi insisted that she was subject to lots of ridicule and unkind behaviors. She resides in England in a modest home that she lives in free of charge.
7. Maria Feliciana dos Santos
This Brazilian native stands at 7′-4″. She was normal height until she reached the age of ten, then she started to grow rapidly. She has spent several years of her life performing and traveling with a local circus.
She had foot surgery in 1995 and had to have part of it removed. At this point, it is very difficult for her to stand. She is a widowed mother of three because her husband died in a car accident in 1998.
6. Sandy Allen
For many years, Sandy was the tallest woman in America, standing tall at 7′-7″. She remains the tallest woman to ever be born in the United States of America. Unfortunately, she died in 2008.
5. Yao Defen
Yao Defen hails from China, and stood at 7′-8”. This caused a lot of attention in China, where most women are very small. A tumor of the pituitary gland resulted in her enormous height. She finally succumbed to the tumor in 2012.
4. Jane Bunford
A British native, Jane is rumored to have been of normal height until she had a bicycling accident which injured her head and pituitary gland, which made her grow at an alarming rate. At her tallest at the age of 21, she was 7′-10″. Her death was in 1922 and she is still one of the tallest women in the world.
3. Katia D’avila Rodrigues
Another Brazilian, Katia was 7’10” and died in 2011. She lived most of her life in obscurity, until she was found by a journalist.
2. Zeng Jinlian
Another woman who was Chinese, Jinlian astounded her doctors and family when she grew so quickly. Most of the women in this list started growing quickly later, but Jinlian grew to the towering height of 8’2″ and died when she was still just a teen.
1. Trijntje Keever
This Dutch lady traveled with a circus due to her astronomical height. She was well known around the Netherlands, and the world as well because of her amazing stature. There has never been another woman who has surpassed her, and not many men either.
How tall was this lanky lady? A commanding 8’4″. There are paintings of her, as she died before photography was invented. It is believed that, like most of the ladies in this list, she did not live a very long time.
Top 10 Tallest Women In The World
While their dizzying heights may be something to marvel at, it’s worth noting that all of these women became famous simply because of their height, which is not something that is always enjoyable. Trijntje Keever had to join the circus in order to make a living, and that living included people pointing and staring at her wherever she went. Margorzata Dydek became a basketball player, who was no doubt formidable on the basketball court, but these women were typically unable to get jobs that most other people can get.
Also, it’s important to keep in mind the many obstacles these women faced in their day to day life. Men are usually taller than women, so the height of these women must have made dating and marriage difficult, even though a number of them did marry and have children. Not only that, but they had to battle a lot of things that all tall people do: figuring out how to take a shower, sleeping comfortably in a bed that will never fit them properly, and figuring out how to get in and out of places that most people give no thought to. As the list signifies, these women seem to die young, as their height is usually due to some sort of health abnormality or problem in the first place. At some point, their bodies are unable to continue.
The ten tallest women in this list grew to be very large, and even though most people don’t grow to be that tall, we can all be in awe of them and their lives. We may never be as tall as they are, but they will always stand as wonders of the human body. They can be great examples of how to live through adversity and still manage to persevere.