Tiny 'Alien' Skeleton: Tests Reveal 'Atacama Humanoid' From 'Sirius' Documentary Has Human DNA
By Tom Barrabi | May 2, 2013 12:14 AM EST
The tiny “alien” humanoid that some have hailed as “proof of alien life” has been confirmed as human after extensive testing by Stanford University scientists.
The six-inch long skeleton, nicknamed “Ata,” was discovered in Chile’s Atacama Desert in 2003, and has been a source of intense speculation ever since. While some have claimed that the odd skeleton was that of a primate or aborted fetus, conspiracy theorists point to its elongated skull as proof that is it actually an alien that crash-landed on Earth.
However, researchers at Stanford University have conducted DNA testing that indicates the skeleton has earthly origins. The testers now believe that the tiny humanoid was six to eight years old before it died, Discovery News reports.
"While the jury is out regarding the mutations that cause the deformity, and there is a real discrepancy in how we account for the apparent age of the bones … every nucleotide I've been able to look at is human,” Garry Nolan, professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford School of Medicine, told LiveScience.
"I've only scratched the surface in the analysis. But there is nothing that jumps out so far as to scream 'nonhuman.'"
In the fall of 2012, Nolan and his colleagues at Stanford analyzed the specimen with a combination of DNA sequencing, high-resolution photography, X-rays, and computed tomography scans, Discovery News reports.
Besides the questions about its origin, researchers attempted to determine the causes of various deformities, such as the skeleton’s elongated skull or the fact that it has just 10 ribs, as opposed to the 12 possessed by a healthy human.
Ultimately, Nolan’s team discovered that 91 percent of Ata’s genes matched up with the reference human genome, Discovery News reports. The nine percent in DNA mismatches could stem from several factors, including the specimen’s degradation and insufficient data.
In addition, the tiny humanoid’s mitochondrial DNA alleles suggest that its "mother [was] an indigenous woman from the Chilean area of South America,” Nolan told Discovery News. However, the team was unable to determine what caused Ata’s deformities.
"It's an interesting medical mystery of an unfortunate human with a series of birth defects that currently the genetics of which are not obvious," Nolan said.
The research into the true nature of the humanoid was chronicled in “Sirius,” a crowd-funded documentary that debuted on April 22. The film, produced by Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence found Steven Greer, also documents the attempts to get the U.S. government to reveal what it knows about alien lifeforms.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Manny Pacquiao Vs. Chris Algieri World Tour Kick Off Press Conference In Macau [PHOTOS]
- 2014 US Open Update (Day 4 - Men's Singles): Murray, Djokovic, Raonic and Isner Advance to 3rd Round [PHOTOS]
- Prince Harry & Camilla Thurlow Getting Serious, St. Tropez Holiday Before The Prince’s 30th Birthday [PHOTOS]
- Kate Middleton’s Mom Accused Of Being A Social Climber, Prince George Not Seen By Relatives
Join the Conversation
- Ice Bucket Challenge Toddler Scarlett-Rose Davis Who Uses F-Word Apologises - Watch Original Video
- New Nail Polish Changes Colour When Exposed to Date-Rape Drugs: Helps Women Safety
- A Fish That Walks; Scientists Find A Fish That Does Better On Land Than Water[Video]
- Underground Eruption of A Volcano Noticed As Powerful Earthquakes Rock Iceland
- Tiny Beads Found In Shampoo And Exfoliants Are A Threat to the Sydney Harbour
- Sept 19 iPhone 6 Release Date Confirmed as Apple Sets Sept 9 iWatch, 2 iPhones Intro - Report
- Hundreds of Men Rape Teen for Three Years
- iPhone 6 Release Date Update: 4.7-Inch Model Scores 65.8% In Screen-To-Size Ratio; A Surprise Entry Scales Top Spot [List Attached]
- Product Recall Alert: Hewlett-Packard Pulls Out 6M Power Cords from US, Canada Over Fire Hazard Concerns, Australia Also Affected
- ISIS Wants $6.6M and Release of Aafia Siddiqui in Exchange of Head of Female US Humanitarian Aid Worker, 1st American Fighting for Jihadis Dead
- Ukraine Ceasefire Looks Remote As Putin Talks Tough At Meeting With Poroshenko
- Google Nexus 6 Release May Be the New Google Nexus X Smartphone as New Details Emerge