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In a remote corner in Iran’s South Khorasan Province, near its border with Afghanistan, is a village that, until about a century ago, was inhabited by people of very short stature. Indication of their dwarfism is found in the local architecture. Of the roughly two hundred stone and clay houses that make up the ancient village, seventy or eighty of them are of exceptionally low height. These adobe dwellings are less than two meters tall with narrow doorways that cannot be entered without stooping. Some of these houses have ceiling as low as 140 cm.

Marriages between close relatives, poor diet and drinking water laced with mercury had left the residents of Makhunik a good half a meter short than the average height of that time.


A boy stands in front of a tiny house in the village of Makhunik, in Iran. Photo credit:

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