The Mystery of This Tiny "Alien" Skeleton Has Finally Been Solved


The Atacama skeleton, or Ata, named after the Chilean desert where the remains were found, has 10 pairs of ribs. The average person has 12. Ata's skull narrows to a ridged peak.

Her bones are as calcified as those of a child between the ages of 6 and 8. Yet her skeleton's apparent age is at odds with her size. If Ata ever stood, she stood 6 inches high, barely tall enough to peek over a spring crocus.

Her features attracted UFO hunters and extraterrestrial investigators, who suspected her bones might represent something remarkable.

Ata is indeed remarkable. And she is human, according to the story told by her genes, which was published Thursday in the journal Genome Research.

"We were able to look at all the mutations that were in this individual," said Stanford University geneticist Garry Nolan, an author of the new report. "And everybody is born with mutations. This person just happened to roll snake eyes." Read more here

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