If you're anything like me, you've probably always assumed that you could hear an anecdote or see a photograph and immediately know whether the subject was scientist Louis Pasteur or wrestler/actor Andre The Giant. We've all fallen victim to this type of hubris and braggadocio.

But then you find yourself at a dinner party, hoping not to be discovered by the host, and in the midst of a conversation with a man way above your intellectual weight class (you know because he has a kerchief). You find the man talking about historical Frenchmen of note, and in the middle of the story you realize you're not sure if he's talking about The Eighth Wonder Of The World: Andre The Giant or microscope enthusiast and science pioneer Louis Pasteur.

To help you when (not if) you find yourself in this situation I have compiled six differences between the two men. Here are the six differences:

  1. Andre The Giant contributed significantly less to the collective knowledge of germ theory. If someone is simply talking about the contributions someone has made to world knowledge regarding milk safety it cannot be assumed they're talking about Louis “Pasteurization” Pasteur. Though Pasteur did make significant advances in the field, Andre The Giant also contributed significantly to the world's knowledge regarding the amount of creamy 2% a seven-foot, five-hundred-pound giant can ingest without throwing up (answer: way more milk than you have in your house right now).
  2. Louis Pasteur was never slammed by Hulk Hogan. Despite his name recognition within the scientific community and his sturdy frame, Pasteur never headlined a Wrestlemania (or even performed on the undercard for that matter). And it would surprise many to find out that Pasteur was never known to have even held a championship belt at any weight class. If at any point in the story the subject falls victim to Hulkamania The Giant is surely the protagonist. Perhaps with more time, Pasteur would've developed a vaccine to prevent Hulkamania from running wild on any of us.
  3. Of the two, only Andre The Giant was routinely shown wearing a single-strap singlet. Andre's high-waisted singlet only had one shoulder strap and provided no leg covering. When in doubt, use this rhyme to remember: It was Andre whose legs and nipple were bare / A singlet is something Pasteur would never wear.
  4. Very few photos of Louis Pasteur standing near something or holding an item are shared on the internet because of their inherent comedic juxtaposition. There is no shortage of photographs of Louis Pasteur standing near things or holding beakers and measuring glasses. However, none of those pictures are particularly humorous or mesmerizing, due to Pasteur's sensibly sized hands. If it was Andre The Giant holding that graduated cylinder you can believe it would be included in a hilarious slideshow on eBaum's World in the early 2000's of Andre The Giant making regular things look tiny.
  5. Louis Pasteur requested his laboratory notebooks remain secret after his death. Andre The Giant on the other hand, placed no stipulations, that we know of, regarding the release or donation of his scientific works or laboratory notes.
  6. Louis Pasteur had a beard, Andre The Giant (usually) did not have a beard. Sure, there are exceptions. Early in his career, Andre can be spotted with a full beard and throughout the later part of his career, he sported flaring, bushy sideburns. But Pasteur consistently kept a well-groomed, full beard. If you're presented with a photograph and you're not sure if the picture is of Pasteur or The Giant a good jumping-off point is looking at the facial hair.