Man with world's largest feet finds fame

October 8, 2011 by Dave Clark
Morocco's Brahim Takioullah, who has the largest feet in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records, poses on a bench in front of the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.

The first thing that people notice about Brahim Takioullah is not his feet -- which he hopes will make him famous -- but his enormous height. He stands more than eight foot (246 cm) tall.

As he strolls through downtown Paris people gasp, stare, take his picture and ask: "Are you the tallest man in the world?" He's not, not quite, but he does have the biggest pair of feet on the planet -- and that's official.

Judges from came to France to measure him and confirmed his suspicion that he had record-breaking feet -- his left measuring one foot three inches (38.1 cm) in length and his right, one foot 2.76 inches.

Takioullah cannot stand up straight in the small flat he shares with his mother in the Paris suburbs, has difficulty getting into a taxi or the Metro, and can never move around without attracting attention.

But he is surprisingly good humoured about his situation, smiling and posing for cellphone snaps and politely answering questions about his condition, a rare medical problem that he hopes to cure through surgery.

Takioullah is from , and grew up in a small village -- grew up fast. In one year in his teens he put on more than three feet (one metre) in a spurt.

Now 29, no-one thought to investigate his unusual size until he was 18.

"The school doctor noticed that I was this enormous size and asked me to get some blood tests. I did that, and I was diagnosed with a very rare condition called acromegaly," he told AFP.

Morocco's Brahim Takioullah, who has the largest feet in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records, poses near a living statue in front of the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.

Acromegaly is a disorder that causes the body to produce excessive growth hormone. The can lead to other problems aside from great size, and Takioullah was advised to seek surgery.

But first he decided to finish his university studies in geography. When he began treatment, he was already huge and closing in on the world's tallest man, eight-foot three-inch (2.51 metre) Sultan Kosen of Turkey.

Five years ago, a French doctor brought him to Paris for treatment, and he is not expected to reach Sultan's height record.

Takioullah contacted Guinness himself to challenge for the record, and says he is proud to have it recognised, though daily life is not without its problems.

He hopes one day to have a specially built car he could drive himself, but for now even getting a pair of shoes stretches his budget -- he takes a European size 58, which no shop has ever stocked.

"I always need them made-to-measure and they're very expensive. I once asked a cobbler to make me some shoes and he said it would cost 3,500 euros (5,270 dollars)," he sighed.

This week he met an orthopedic podiatrist to be fitted with a specially made pair designed to support his huge weight.

"The thing is, when you have a very very large foot, even the machine to make the components isn't necessarily big enough. So we really had to work right on the edge of the machinery." said Jerome Liegeon.

French doctors are working to reduce Takioullah's brain tumour, and he hopes his newfound fame will help him find the specialist treatment he needs.

"The record now will be known around the world, and experts anywhere around the planet may be able to help," said Craig Glenday of Guinness World Records, publisher of the famous guide to the world's extremes.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Best of Last Year—The top Medical Xpress articles of 2017

December 20, 2017
It was a good year for medical research as a team at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, found that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Any exercise helps, the team found, but dancing ...

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.