Man Born As A Dwarf And Died As A Giant He Mysteriously Grew Two Times Taller Within Years! (1)

Man Born As A Dwarf And Died As A Giant | He Mysteriously Grew Two Times Taller Within Years!

Adam Rainer‘s story is nothing short of extraordinary. Adam was the ‘only known individual in history’ to have been classified as both a dwarf and a giant during one lifetime. Adam was only 4 feet 8 inches (122.55 cm) tall until he was 21 and it seemed his destiny was to live with dwarfism. But leaving everyone else and himself surprised, Adam started growing to the height of 7 feet 8 inches (234 cm )! Doctors came together to study what was causing this. They found that a rare condition called ‘acromegaly,’ a form of tumor in his pituitary gland is behind this unusual development. However, things took a terrible turn when the medical teams interfered to stop his growth.

Growth, by normal standards, stops at a certain stage in life. But Adam’s case fights against such medical expectations. He also has the Guinness World Record title for the ‘most variable stature.‘ Let’s have a closer look at the details of Adam’s condition and how surgery worsened his condition.

Adam Rainer’s Early Life | Rejection From Military Service

Nestled in Graz, Austria, Adam Rainer was born in 1899 to parents of typical height. However, it soon became clear that he would not follow the physical footsteps of his parents. Throughout his early years, Adam wrestled with a reality about his stature. The physical signs of dwarfism were clear in him – he was shorter than his peers. Dwarfism is generally understood to present in individuals of adult height 4’10” or shorter. Adam was well within this range. His limbs were disproportionately thin, and his overall frame was weaker than most.

Adam’s first encounter with rejection came during World War I. He tried to serve his country by joining the military in 1917. But he faced the harsh reality of not having the required height. At the time he was 4 ft 0.25 in (122.55 cm). This setback stressed his difference from others.

adam rainer
Image source: Mental Floss / Daily Star

Never-before-seen Growth Spurt!

Once Adam reached the age of 21, an age by which male growth typically stops, his life took an unexpected turn. He reached an intensive growth phase. In a short time, his average-sized feet expanded. They shockingly doubled in size. Measurements from this period showed an incredible growth rate at an average of 3.16 inches ( 9.14 cm) annually. His height reached an unbelievable 7 feet and 1 inch (216 cm) by the time he was 31.

The rapid changes were also displayed in his broadened face and spine that curved defiantly. The medical community watched in sheer disbelief.

adam rainer
Image source: Medium / Lethbridge News Now

Medical Diagnosis: Shedding Light on the Mystery

In the quest to understand this growth, Adam underwent many medical procedures. Some of the leading medical professionals of the time, Dr. Mandl and Dr. Windholz came forward to examine. Between August 1930 and May 1931, they revealed that Adam was suffering from acromegaly. It is a rare disorder often coming from a benign tumor in the pituitary gland. It prompts significant growth in specific areas of the body.

Still, Rainer’s case confused physicians. Traditional symptoms of acromegaly do not fully account for his growth spurt. Typical of this condition is an abnormal enlargement of features such as the hands, feet, and face, but not an individual’s entire stature. Especially not to such a great height.

Terrible Turn With Surgical Intervention

With this diagnosis, doctors decided to take a surgical approach. Dr. Oscar Hirsch attempted to stop Rainer’s unusual growth by removing the pituitary tumor. The procedure itself was both risky and a leap into the unknown.

Post-surgery complications were severe. Alongside continued growth, Adam’s spine worsened, folding into itself. His general health also noticed a marked decline. At this time, medical interventions slowed the growth but failed to stop the growth completely. As the years passed, Adam lost all vision in his right eye, lost hearing in his left ear, and suffered frequent strong headaches. The normality he longed for was far off in his reality. Sadly, in 1950 at the age of 51, Adam said his final goodbyes to the world.

adam rainer
Image source: All that’s interesting


The life of Adam Rainer mirrors a tale of mythical proportions, a journey that began with diminutive beginnings only to pivot towards an extraordinary medical enigma. His condition helped to illuminate the complexities of gigantism and pituitary disorders, and his story remains etched in the annals of medical history.

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