Chary, I was being deliberately ridiculous with the title there. It just struck me when I read the article that humans have been steadily getting larger, taller etc. over the course of the centuries of recorded history along with population exploding…..in my ‘tooned’ mind I saw us growing ‘out of’ our planet.
I remember going to Greenfield Village several times as a very young child. (pulled up the link and it’s nothing like it was All the WAY back then: http://www.thehenryford.org/village/historicdistricts.aspx ). They had a huge museum where they had put an actual village market place. The shops were so very small and even I realized that all adults (who were not as tall in the 1950s even as today) had to really duck to get in the doorways! The ceilings would not accommodate a man at 6 feet either and there was really no room to barely turn about. In fact, even when going into the historic homes that had been moved from their original locations to the ‘village’, it was very easy to realize how much smaller people were just 200 years ago.
Over the course of my life, I have seen people growing larger and taller and the increasing scale appears to be typical and not just the oddity. I’ve also noticed that birth weight and length of infants is also expanding but so is the gestation period extending into 10 months in many cases.
Anyone who has ever visited a home built around the time of the Revolutionary War along the back alleys of Philadelphia or Boston has been struck, metaphorically if not literally, by the characteristically low ceilings and small door frames. Even houses built in the early 1800s can make a person of average height by today’s standards wonder how the orignal occupants managed to stay conscious long enough to participate in an industrial revolution and a civil war.
For most people, contemporary buildings do not prompt similar claustrophobic concerns. The reason for this difference, as many people have correctly guessed, is that modern humans are taller than those from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In fact, over the last 150 years the average height of people in industrialized nations has increased approximately 10 centimeters (about four inches).
So my ‘tooned’ vision of the Earth tilting…....? Well, I don’t know!