When Magellan reached Argentina in 1519, he was in for a shock:
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 sent one of our men to the giant so that he might perform the same actions as a sign of peace. … He was so tall that we reached only to his waist, and he was well proportioned …
The navigator’s account says the man was “10 spans high,” which would be 7 foot 6; later European explorers reported natives up to 15 feet tall.
These legends persisted for 250 years before they were debunked, and they left one permanent legacy: Patagonia means “land of the big feet.”