Proof of Giants on Earth
Were There Giants on Earth?
Humans have long expressed a mixture of fascination and fear around the question, “Were there giants on Earth?” Whether in legends or life, giants have been worshipped, reviled, ostracized, and celebrated. While the existence of dinosaurs is largely accepted, and millions of people travel across continents to marvel at majestic, larger than life monuments, the facts about human giants, or giant races, are much debated. Regardless of whether they are dismissed as myth or accepted as fact, giants represent important aspects of our individual and collective psyche. They capture our imagination, appear in religious texts, and drive scientific endeavor. But the question still remains — did giants once roam the Earth?
What Are Giants? A Brief Look at Gigantism
Merriam-Webster defines a giant as being a “legendary humanlike being of great stature and strength,” as well as “a living being of great size.” In physical terms, a giant is a person over seven feet tall with a condition known as “gigantism.” The tallest person documented modern history was Robert Wadlow (1918-1940), known as the “Alton Giant,” or the “Giant of Illinois,” who stood 8 feet 11 inches tall.
Wadlow intended to study law, but lived as a celebrity after traveling with the Ringling Brothers Circus and as a spokesman for giant-sized shoes. He died at a young age, an all too common end for those with gigantism — their weight and size puts constant strain on the heart and skeletal system.
Today genetic giants are gaining acceptance because overall, humans have evolved into a taller species. According to Max Roser, an economist studying global standards of living conditions, between 1810 and 1980 European male height grew from an average of 160 centimeters to 185 centimeters. But despite this acceptance, giants can still find life in a normal-sized world stressful and lonely, and like Wadlow, are treated as an oddity. This contradiction mirrors the way in which giant races have been regarded throughout history.
The Zone of Silence: An Ancient Mystery of Old Mexico
Because of Mexican engineer and chemist Harry De La Peña’s blond hair and blue eyes, since high school he had been called “El Luminaro,” the Luminous One. After a European education, De La Peña returned to Mexico to teach chemistry at the Instituto Tecnológico de Laguna in Torreon, Mexico. On a blistering day in 1966, he departed Torreon for a photo expedition with a group of friends.
On that day, El Luminaro would stumble into a zone of anomalous paradox. While native mestizos, the ethnically mixed descendants of Anglo and indigenous people, had long known the the area had strange and special qualities, it was now on the radar of a European-trained scientist. The locals believed that couples having trouble conceiving children could visit the Zone with a baby coming nine months later. Notably, Zone locals also had superior dental health with straight white teeth, and random blood samples from Zone residents show far greater health than those from outside the area.
Like the Bermuda Triangle, the Zone of Silence is located on the 27th parallel. Comprised of 1,500 square miles of inhospitable desert and extreme temperatures, there are no roads; only dirt tracks. And travel mishaps are dangerous as it’s difficult to call for help. El Zona del Silencio is an electromagnetic void; an anomaly, where compasses spin like dervishes and cell phone and radio signals are the definition of “hit-and-miss.” Even so, some view these odd reports as “deliberately invented to generate tourism and sold to the world via the mass media.”
Entering El Zona del Silencio
Ceballos, in the Mexican State of Durango, is the point of departure closest to the zone. In 1966 the town, comprised of dirt roads and shacks, was barely on the map. More than 50-years since, the roads are still some combination of dirt, dust and mud, but signs point the way to El Zona del Silencio, and a 16 kilometer rail spur provides access from the outside.
The wise enter the zone with as much ice and water as a vehicle can carry as well as extra gas. Only a fool would forget a hat. During monsoon season the ground becomes a slippery paste, and dry arroyos fill with torrential flood waters in an instant. Daytime temperatures can hit 120F and plummet to freezing after the sun drops below the horizon.
Nopal cactus grow in abundance — on the zone outskirts they have the typical green coloring, but change to pink and purple as one travels deeper into the region. What’s even weirder is that the purple and pink specimens are interspersed with green cactus plants.
Another rare species, the tailless Mapimí tortoise, is native to the area. Foot-long centipedes with purple heads and tails hunt anything they can catch, including mice and birds. Insects grow two to three times normal size, and albino reptiles and snakes are frequently sighted. Today much of the zone is within the boundaries of the Mapimí Biosphere Reserve — the inexplicable flora and fauna are subject to ongoing research.