1. In what circumstances would real-time body growth occur? Say, for example, the lengthening of limbs and the skull?

For example, for their bones and muscles to grow right before your very eyes - how would that work? How would that be scientifically possible?

In what circumstances is it theoretically possible for such obscenely rapid growth to occur? Would some sort of mutations (either natural or not) be needed?

2.

3. It is not possible because of a couple of reasons. The amount of energy to support such growth would be massive and the act of growing would require simultaneous growth in all body structures.

For the amount of growth you are taking about it is best to compare it to a new born baby, this is when the most energy is used for growth. For your growth scenario you would require even more but let's just calculate it at a newborn rate. Newborns (first 3 months) use about 35% of their calorie intake on growth. To determine how many calories that is you need to determine your basal metabolic rate (BMR). BMR is based on age, gender and height, a 6' 160lbs 30 year old male will require about 1700 calories a day just to maintain their weight if they did nothing all day long. In order to grow as much as a newborn they would require another 595 calories a day. Those numbers do not seem like much but realize that most babies grow only about a 1.5 inches a month during this period. If we take the daily requirement in calories needed for a growth of 1.5 inches and compress it into a day, you end up needing an extra 17,850 calories, if you were sleeping while it happened.

That number however is just to create the tissues, growth also needs to populate the tissues with energy in order to have them function. If you wanted to get up after growing you would require even more energy.

However ... :-)

Growth this rapid would put a whole new meaning to growing pains. Bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, lymph system, skin, etc etc etc would all need to grow at the same rate, otherwise you would "come apart at the seams". In real growth this does not happen. Stresses on the tissues promote growth to compensate, if your body could not compensate fast enough you would get tearing. Even if it could I doubt a growth spurt this fast would be pain free, which would cause stress which would require even more energy.

4. Originally Posted by Darkhorse
It is not possible because of a couple of reasons. The amount of energy to support such growth would be massive and the act of growing would require simultaneous growth in all body structures.

For the amount of growth you are taking about it is best to compare it to a new born baby, this is when the most energy is used for growth. For your growth scenario you would require even more but let's just calculate it at a newborn rate. Newborns (first 3 months) use about 35% of their calorie intake on growth. To determine how many calories that is you need to determine your basal metabolic rate (BMR). BMR is based on age, gender and height, a 6' 160lbs 30 year old male will require about 1700 calories a day just to maintain their weight if they did nothing all day long. In order to grow as much as a newborn they would require another 595 calories a day. Those numbers do not seem like much but realize that most babies grow only about a 1.5 inches a month during this period. If we take the daily requirement in calories needed for a growth of 1.5 inches and compress it into a day, you end up needing an extra 17,850 calories, if you were sleeping while it happened.

That number however is just to create the tissues, growth also needs to populate the tissues with energy in order to have them function. If you wanted to get up after growing you would require even more energy.

However ... :-)

Growth this rapid would put a whole new meaning to growing pains. Bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, lymph system, skin, etc etc etc would all need to grow at the same rate, otherwise you would "come apart at the seams". In real growth this does not happen. Stresses on the tissues promote growth to compensate, if your body could not compensate fast enough you would get tearing. Even if it could I doubt a growth spurt this fast would be pain free, which would cause stress which would require even more energy.
Interesting. Thankyou.

So in what circumstances, then, could a young male, say 20-25, grow about 3 inches in a month or so? Is that unheard of? Impossible?

P.S.

I understand that I may be venturing into the realm of theoretical science here.

5. At that age (over puberty) there is a syndrome call Acromegaly that causes growth of the hands, feet and head (jaw, etc). It does not cause the growth in the whole body and here is the reason why. When children are developing their bones primarily grow from one end, they do not grow over the length of the bone. This growth area can be seen on X-rays as a gap (it is made up mostly of cartalige so it does not absorb the xrays) and is a good way to assess growth stage of a child. Orthodontists often use hand X-rays to determine if bone growth has finished which helps determine treatment. As puberty ends the cartalige disappears and the bones stop lengthening, so once you reach your adult height you will never get any bigger.

Before puberty there is a syndrome call Gigantism which causes extreme growth in children. This is the syndrome that Andre the Giant suffered from and that caused him to reach 6' 3" when he was 12 years old. Andre topped out at 7' 4" so most of his growth was done by 12. If the average baby is 20" long when born we can determine that Andre grew on average 4.5 inches a year before he was 12. The largest person known was Robert Wadlow who topped out at 8' 11". His condition was caused by hyperplasia of his pituitary gland, which caused him to continue to grow until his death at 22. Again if we assume that he was 20 inches long at birth we can determine that he grew 3.9" a year. Both these individuals had health issues related to their large growth. Robert Wadlow could not walk without braces and André René Roussimoff (the giant) was apparently in constant pain.

So in a nutshell growing 3 inches in a month, would not be possible.

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