Growing taller even when you’re a full-grown adult should not be a concern for most people. In fact, there are thousands of people out there who wish to be taller even after puberty.
So when a 41-year-old Japanese astronaut shared his concern about growing taller while in space, it certainly raised quite a few eyebrows.
Norishige Kanai, who is based at the International Space Station for a six-month mission, tweeted on Monday that he had grown 9cm since arriving in space three weeks ago.
This is normal for astronauts because they tend to grow between 2cm and 5cm in space, as reported by Reuters
Due to the absence of gravity which causes their spine to extend, it makes it seem as if they have grown slightly taller. But their height will return to normal once they are back on Earth.
However, it wasn’t the fact that Kanai shared his growth spurt on social media that made the rounds on social media. It was when he said this:
“This makes me a little worried that I might not be able to fit in the Soyuz (spacecraft) seats for our return.”
Fortunately, after a couple of days of new stories and social media hype, Kanai finally corrected his initial claim today stating that it was actually a measurement error. He had only grown 2cm
instead of 9cm.
“This mismeasurement appears to have become a big deal, so I must apologise for this terrible fake news,” Kanai tweeted.
“It appears I can fit on the Soyuz, so I‘m relieved.”
It’s okay, Kanai-san. We would probably react the same way as well if we had found out that we won’t be able to go home just because we had grown taller. Unless we’ll be joining the NBA or becoming a supermodel or something.
Nevertheless, thanks for the good laugh!