Giants in Folklore Explained?
With every country, there are reports of giants. In these stories, there are two types of giants. One type is a human being from several feet taller than the average person to about double the size of the common folk. Another type is an individual who is of extreme size; a hundred feet tall or much taller. Folklore and legends from ancient times to medieval and renaissance are especially fond of telling tales about such colossal characters.
We know there have been considerably taller folks than what normal people are. If such a strange heighted individual was wearing head gear, as a big helmet, this person would appear as being even greater in height. It can be said, there are observers that have wrongly estimated a large person’s height by several feet taller.
Currently, according to the Guinness Book of Records, the tallest person living in the world today is Sultan Kosen from Ankara, Turkey. Mister Kosen, born on December 10, 1982, is 251 centimeters (8 feet 2.8 inches) tall. But, we are not seeing presently any of the greatly immensely huge individuals, as described from the centuries old tales. These giants seem to be mythical. How such myths got started will be explained and how surprisingly large extinct mammals and perhaps even dinosaurs played an important role.
The last great wooly mammoths lived only about 3,600 years or so. Dinosaurs too throughout the world, and died off millions of years prior to this. In some cases, only a few bones survived. In other cases, in certain countries, entire skeletons were found exposed by natural excavation or, falling hillsides or dried up deep lakes bottoms, etc. The world’s first full dinosaur skeleton was discovered in Haddonfield, New Jersey (USA) in 1858 by William Parker Foulke.
It is possible certain people, during the many centuries, saw a few giant bones, such as partial arm and leg bones, and falsely assumed them to belong to a very huge man as perhaps 100 feet tall or much taller. Not knowing the age of the bones, some people thought such super duper giants were still living somewhere in the land, far away from normal sized people; hiding in large forests or the big open, remote areas on top of mountains.
Other large bones found could be of ribs or backbones. Besides dinosaurs, other large animal fossils, could be Elasmotherium, an extinct giant rhinoceros, who lived unto 50,000 years ago and giant ground sloths who disappeared within the past 10,000 years.
Furthermore, ancient civilizations have built intensely large statutes of famous, well-respected men who were rulers and gods and huge statutes of goddesses. Some ancient people ignorant of what massive carvings are and how they were built, may have wrongly assumed these tall graven images were actually gigantic men and women, even sacred figures, that were turned into stone.
There are people, from very long ago, who used the idea of giants to create sensational yarns of giants to entertain people, especially small children. Some people, from the distant past, who grew up with these tales have simply believed in these fictitious stories as true after many family generations.