Meet the Tallest Woman in the World, Rumeysa Gelgi

By: Yara Simón  | 
Young girl with long brown hair, looking up in deep thought
Just how big of a ladder would this little girl need to be at eye level with the world's tallest woman? ozgurdonmaz / Getty Images

Before she was the tallest woman in the world, she was the world's tallest teenager. In 2021, Guinness World Records named Rumeysa Gelgi, who is 7 ft and 0.7 in (215.16 cm) in height, the tallest woman living.

Born on Jan. 1, 1997, in Turkey, Gelgi has Weaver syndrome, a rare genetic condition that causes overgrowth. (Robert Wadlow, the tallest person ever, also had a rare condition that resulted in his extreme height.) Read on to learn more facts about the world's tallest living woman.


1. She Earned Her First Guinness World Record in 2014

In 2014, when she was 17, Guinness named her the world's tallest teenager. As Gelgi wrote in The Guardian, "I actually applied for it myself, as I saw the record holder at the time was shorter than me."


2. She Has More Guinness World Records

The former tallest teenager has three other Guinness World Record titles: longest finger on a living person (female), largest hands on a living person (female) and longest back on a living person (female). She earned those three additional titles in February 2022.


3. She Uses Her Titles to Raise Awareness

Weaver syndrome affects about 50 people, making it a rare medical condition. Gelgi uses her platform to bring spread awareness to it.

"I use these titles as a platform to raise awareness about my condition and also to empower people to be themselves," she wrote in The Guardian. "I hope to inspire and encourage other people with similar conditions to know they’re not alone and that anything is possible for them."


4. She Traveled by Plane for the First Time in 2022

Her condition made it difficult to travel. She wrote:

"I’m a web developer and for years I dreamed of going to Silicon Valley to develop my career. But the journey from Turkey would take a staggering 13 hours and I had long thought flying on a plane would be impossible: Due to my condition, I have spinal curvature, joint problems and muscle issues, which mean I cannot sit up for longer than two hours at once. After that I’ll need to lie down and have a rest, because of the pressure in my spine."


In 2022, she fulfilled a childhood dream when she made her way to California. The world's tallest woman, who began studying web development in 2020, traveled on a stretcher that spanned six seats.

5. You Can Watch Her Journey to the U.S.

Guinness captured her trip to the United States in its first feature-length documentary, titled "Rumeysa: Walking Tall."