Says Guiness: "If cases of
elephantiasis are excluded, the biggest feet currently known are those of
Matthew McGrory (b. May 17, 1973) of Pennsylvania, USA, who wears US size
28.5 shoes (UK size 28). Matthew McGrory’s accolade as the human being
with the largest feet is an expensive title - a pair of shoes costs him up
to US$22,745 (GBŁ15,435). Both his big toes are 12.7 cm. (5 in.) long and
even his little toes measure 2.5 cm. (1 in.) in length. Matt towered over
his friends at 2.235 m. (7 ft. 4 in.) in height, and weighed 104.5 kg. (280
lb.), in 1994, when his feet were last measured. The Florida giant once
said, “People stare sometimes, but most are kind.”
is only one
muscle that lies entirely on the top part of the foot. It's known as the
Extensor Digitorum Brevis muscle.
speaking, the answer is B: False. The
notion that a king from long ago (Henry I of England, 1068-1135)
gave us this measurement based on the size of his foot is an incorrect, but
widely-held belief. If you think about it, he'd have to have had
mighty big feet for the 11th century.
But it is true that Henry I was involved,
because, as odd as it sounds, the measurement is standardized based on
the length of his....arm !
Puzzled? Well, the story goes like
this: Our using the word "foot" was actually devised
from the Roman word for foot, "ped" or "pes". (Incidentally,
this word, pes, is a commonly-used word for foot in medical
jargon even now. For example, any physician you would ask would describe
the condition you would know as "flat foot" with the Latin words "Pes
In any event, the length of this measurement was
probably, at one point, based on the size of a Roman's foot, but the unit of
measurement was not standardized. After all, people then, as now, had
different sized feet. In fact, the unit varied in size considerably over
the centuries, ranging as high a value as 34 cm.
This is where the king comes in. If
you know much about English history, you may recall that Henry I was the
youngest son of William the Conqueror. Both William and Henry were
Normans, descendants of Vikings who settled in the Normandy region of northern
France in the 800's. Despite their heritage, the Normans had been in
France for generations, and therefore had been speaking French for
So what does this have to do with the topic
of the measurement known as a "foot"? Well, when William and
the Normans successfully conquered England in 1066, they brought
with them the French language, (which was based on the Latin the
ancient Romans spoke), as well as their units of measurement, (which were also
based on Roman units of measurement).
Thus, the unit of distance used in England
from that point on was the foot (in Latin "pes" or "ped",
and in French, "pied"). Before the Normans, the unit of
measurement we know as "foot" was not used in England (this,
according to Oxford English Dictionary).
As king, Henry decided it was his right
to standardize the unit of measurement, but instead of choosing his foot as
the standard length, for some reason he chose 1/3 of his arm's length
to be that standard measurement. Hence, the unit "foot"
inherited from ancient Rome was later standardized based on 1/3 the length of Henry I's arm.
Of course, with time, the Norman kings of
England adopted the English language as their own, just as they had
adopted French in their time in Normandy. And at some point, their
French word for foot, "pied", was translated directly into
English as "foot", with the standardized measurement still intact.
A break and a fracture
mean the same thing.
Of the 206 bones in the body, there are
typically 56 in your feet--28 in each)--though the number can vary. This
means that one out of every four bones in your body lies in your feet!
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