The Human Biodiversity Hall of Fame:
A Celebration of Our Differences

The "Size Does Matter" Wing
So, you don't think biological differences between peoples impact modern life?

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Manute Bol

Manute Bol - 7'-7" Sudanese Dinka herdsman and twice NBA shot blocking leader 

Parts of Northeast Africa are home to the most elongated peoples on earth. These tall, skinny cattle-herding Nilotic tribes like the Dinkas and Nuers presumably evolved their elegant and extraordinary shapes in order to disperse body heat as rapidly as possibly by maximizing surface area to volume. For example, Manute's sister is 6'-10". Manute grew up guarding his family's cattle. At 15 he killed a marauding lion with his spear. He was first handed a basketball at age 19 and told to try to dunk it. On his initial attempt he smashed several teeth on the rim. He soon became much sought after by American colleges, despite being, like everyone in his tribe, illiterate. Teammate Charles Barkley said Manute had to be the smartest person he ever met to be able adapt to such a radically different life in America as an adult.

These southern Sudanese blacks, both Christian and pagan, have traditionally been kidnapped into slavery by the part-white Moslem northern Sudanese. For thirty years they've fought for their freedom from slavery in the horrendous Sudanese civil war. Interestingly, the Nation of Islam supports the government run by part-white slavetraders.


Konishiki - 600 pound Samoan-American grapples with smaller Japanese sumo wrestler
Konishiki -- 600 pound Samoan-American sumo wrestler
Just as white Americans had to learn that they just because they invented basketball, that didn't mean that they were the best at it, the Japanese are struggling with the realization that their national sport, sumo wrestling, glorifies a trait, sheer massiveness, that Japanese tend to lack. Two enormous Polynesian-Americans, Konishiki and Akebono (6'-8", 516 pounds), have generated much publicity and controversy by simply being bigger than anything seen in a sumo ring before.

Naim Suleymanoglu -- 4Naim Suleymanoglu -- 4'-11" Turkish weightlifter considered the greatest in the history of the sport.
Especially in the lower weight classes, short arms and legs are a major advantage. Along a broad swath across the steppes of Eurasia ,running from Bulgaria through Mongolia, thick torsos and short limbs are common. This region produces many exceptional weightlifters and wrestlers.  

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Magnus Ver Magnusson - World's Strongest Man pulling a WinnebagoMagnus Ver Magnusson - Iceland's four-time champion of World's Strongest Man contest
This staple of late-night viewing on ESPN2 features beefy brutes hoisting boulders, heaving beer kegs, hauling 18 wheelers, and other feats of strength that Thor himself would find right and fitting for manly men to compete at. Since neither footspeed nor agility (whether physical or mental) is much needed, the stars are mostly Conan the Barbarian-types from the blonder peoples of Europe: Finns, Dutch, English, Boers, Austrians, etc.

Their king of kings is the man with the greatest name in sports (at least from my hereditarian viewpoint): Magnus Ver Magnusson of Iceland.Magnus Ver Magnusson or Mark McGwire? Interestingly, Magnus is not particularly ripped nor particularly blonde. In fact, he looks like a brown-haired version of home run champ Mark McGwire. (This might be due to the fact that the Viking raiders brought home to Iceland a lot of Irish and Scottish slaves, who eventually married into the Nordic population). Like McGwire, and unlike a lot of chiseled West African athletes, Magnus' muscles look nicely marbleized with just enough fat to keep out the cold. Magnus is 6'2" and 287, Big Mac is 6'-5" and 270.

Venus Williams -- hardest server in history of women's tennis

Venus Williams - 6'-2" West African-American U.S. Open Finalist
The hardest female server in the history of Wimbledon (125mph), Venus' only rival for the most formidable physique ever in women's tennis is her little sister Serena (she's a mere 5'-10", but ripped like an NBA point guard). Before they were born, father Richard Williams was watching white women play tennis on TV for big bucks when he turned to his wife and told her they could produce better female tennis players than that. Five daughters later, they had hit the jackpot.

Wilt ChamberlainWilt Chamberlain - 7'-1", 275 pound West African-American NBA center
Among all the athletes of the 20th Century, Wilt's Darwinian superiority (as illustrated by his height, strength, intelligence, foot speed, coordination, and ferocity of will) was most obvious. As evolutionary psychology would predict, prodigious numbers of the females of the species wanted to mate with him. In 1991 he estimated that he had had sex with 18,000 different women over the previous forty years (an average of 1.2 per day). This claim was widely scoffed at, but let's say he was exaggerating by a power of ten. That would still mean he "slept" with 1,800 different women, and that number is almost certainly low, since it implies less than one woman per week. (But, Achilles had his heel: he was a terrible free throw shooter, apparently due to a mental block).
Iman -- Somali supermodel with husband David BowieIman - Somali supermodel (shown with husband David Bowie)
Iman was the first major fashion model from Northeast Africa. Beautiful Somali, Ethiopian, and Sudanese models are becoming common, since many have the extremely elongated body shape that the gay men who dominate the fashion industry have decreed is the ideal womanly image. New York-based journalist P.J. O'Rourke reported from Mogadishu that practically every young woman looked like a runway model. Somalis and Ethiopians tend to combine Northeast African genes with some West Asian Caucasian genes, too. This combination can give them an interestingly exotic look. (In contrast, Mr. Bowie's looks appeared to be derived from those of his dark master, Satan).

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E-mail me at steveslr@aol.com   Give me your nominations for the Human Biodiversity Hall of Fame

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