On this St. Patrick's Day, here's the tale of an Irish Giant.
An 18th-century etching by artist John Kay depicts the extra tall Charles Byrne, the extra short George Cranstoun and three contemporaries of more conventional height. Byrne made his living as a professional spectacle and died at age 22 in 1783.
🖌 Image: Wellcome Library, London/Wellcome Images
💻 Source: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/03/13/514117230/the-saga-of-the-irish-giants-bones-dismays-medical-ethicists
A tumor in Byrne's pituitary gland, which rests in the sella turcica (Turkish Saddle) of the sphenoid bone of the human skull, made him tall and continue to grow up to 7' 7". 😲 The wonder! A teeny hormonal gland within a teeny butterfly-shaped bone that rests superior to the nasal cavity and between the ocular cavities, is responsible for his long bones growing incredibly!
His large skeleton is on display at Royal College of Surgeons' Hunterian Museum in London; they remain there and are urged to be released for proper burial at sea by the researchers and bioethicists.
📝According to legal scholar Thomas Muinzer, Byrne's body was stolen before its funeral and ultimately began its job as a spectacle for others to marvel at, similar to how Byrne's made money in life poor in Ireland.
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