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Mystery Of The Patagonian Giants: Europe’s Lost Race From The ‘Land Of The Bigfeet’

Ellen Lloyd – AncientPages.com – Ancient legends and myths from all across the world tell of a group of huge and strong people that co-existed with humans in the past and were sometimes feared and on other occasions admired.

These giants were present basically everywhere in the world and they were simply part of Earth’s history.

For more than 250 years Europe was captivated by the tales of a mysterious group of people that were called Patagonian giants.

The existence of these enigmatic and unknown beings was brought to light for the first time in the 1520s when Ferdinand Magellan and his crew saw them while exploring the coastline of South America en route to their circumnavigation.

“One day we suddenly saw a naked man of giant stature on the shore of the port, dancing, singing, and throwing dust on his head.

The captain-general [i.e., Magellan] sent one of our men to the giant so that he might perform the same actions as a sign of peace. Having done that, the man led the giant to an islet where the captain-general was waiting. When the giant was in the captain-general’s and our presence he marveled greatly and made signs with one finger raised upward, believing that we had come from the sky. He was so tall that we reached only to his waist, and he was well proportioned…”

The etymology of the word is unclear, but Patagonia came to mean “Land of the Bigfeet.” Magellan seized two of the younger males as hostages to bring back to Spain, but they got sick and died on the journey.

In 1579, Sir Francis Drake’s ship chaplain, Francis Fletcher, rote about meeting very tall Patagonians.

English sailor offering bread to a Patagonian woman giant (the first Italian edition of John Byron’s A Voyage Round the World in His Majesty’s Ship the Dolphin). London, 1767, Rare Books Division.

In The World Encompassed (London, 1628), the first detailed account of Sir Francis Drake’s circumnavigation, the author, Drake’s nephew of the same name, wrote:

Magellan was not altogether deceived, in naming them, Giants; for they generally differ from the common sort of men, both in stature, big and strength of body, as also in the hideousness of their voice: but yet they are nothing so monstrous, or giant-like as they were reported; there being some English men, as tall, as the highest of any that we could see, but peradventure, the Spaniards did not think, that ever any English man would come thither, to reprove them; and thereupon might presume the more boldly to lie: the name Pentagones, Five cubits viz. 7. Foote and half, describing the full height (if not somewhat more) of the highest of them. But this is certain, that the Spanish cruelties there used [referring to Magellan’s hostage taking], have made them more monstrous, in mind and manners, then they are in the body; and more inhospitable, to deal with any strangers, that shall come thereafter.”

Sir Francis Drake’s reduced the height of the Patagonians from ten feet to seven and a half feet but was obviously more intent on discrediting the Spanish and blaming them for the “monstrosity” of the giants. Ironically, though, he was really confirming the basic facts behind the myth.

In the 1590s, Anthonie Knivet claimed he had seen dead bodies 12 feet (3.7 m) long in Patagonia.

Also in the 1590s, William Adams, an Englishman aboard a Dutch ship rounding Tierra del Fuego reported a violent encounter between his ship’s crew and unnaturally tall natives.

Were the Patagonian giants somehow related to the Didanum people?

In 1766, a rumor leaked out upon their return to Britain that the crew of HMS Dolphin, captained by Commodore John Byron, had seen a tribe of 9-foot-tall (2.7 m) natives in Patagonia when they passed by there on their circumnavigation of the globe. However, when a newly edited revised account of the voyage came out in 1773, the Patagonians were recorded as being 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m); very tall but by no means giants.

Later it was said that the Patagonian giants were an exaggeration. Apparently, these beings were not so large after all. A French expedition under Louis de Bougainville made a point of looking for the giants: “We made contact with these so-famous Patagonians and found them to be no taller . . . than other men.”

There did seem to be a great many who were six feet tall and taller, much bigger than the average European of that era, but these were hardly colossi. Later explorers of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century reported the same thing-tall people, yes, but not really giants.

Some said these giants were a hoax but were they really? Were they just a group of very tall people perhaps?

We have seen on several occasions that giants are mentioned in a number of sacred texts and books, like for example the Bible that tells not only about the Nephilim but also about the mysterious pre-Adamic race known as the Didanum people.

The Didanum people were ancestors of the Nephilim and Rephaim. Were the Patagonian giants somehow related to the Didanum people?

We know that myths and legends of every culture contain important elements of truth. Legendary giants are also an important part in mythology, but they are definitely not a myth. One of the most puzzling archaeological mysteries has been discoveries of giant prehistoric skeletons.

It is impossible to ignore the evidence scattered in different corners around the world. Once in the distant past giants did walk the Earth. It is a fact open-minded people can easily accept.

Written by – Ellen Lloyd – AncientPages.com

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