Fifteen years ago, in Chile a tiny mummy was found. At the time no one knew what it was. Some speculated from its six-inch size and elongated skull it proved evidence of alien life. Well, the truth is far less interesting. Turns out the mummy called Ata, is human.
A group of scientists, led by Garry Nolan from Stanford University along with colleagues from UCSF using DNA evidence confirmed it was the skeleton of a female child that died before birth or shortly after around 40 years ago.
“Well-if it has DNA I can determine if it’s human.” Read TTS Academy Genetics Technologies Advisor, Dr Nolan's personal account of his 4-year investigation into the infamous Atacama specimen and the research results that are making waves today in academia- https://t.co/VvIYQR8cVP pic.twitter.com/jn36ife0dB— To The Stars Academy (@TTSAcademy) March 22, 2018
It turns out that the child had multiple genetic mutations that caused her tiny frame and misshapen head.
Still Twitter had lots of questions and even more doubts.
The "Genetics Technology Advisor" is trying to determine if it's human? Well, I'm just a sporadic twitter user, and I can tell you that it's NOT human.— Prints Charming (@dartanyon_jonez) March 23, 2018
No way a six inch, well formed "Human" is 6 inches with full skeleton . Fetuses in the womb are 6inches and not even well developed. Im not buying it. Government trying to deter us once again.— doobiesnaxx (@dibsonherr) March 22, 2018
Luckily, Atul Butte, a Physician scientist, who was part of the team was there to answer questions.
Read the paper, and you'll see the mutations in the bone formation genes we found.— Atul Butte (@atulbutte) March 22, 2018
But Doobiesnaxx wasn't having any of it.
Idk Atul. Kinda hard to believe. Anyone can write an article to brainwash a reader.— doobiesnaxx (@dibsonherr) March 22, 2018
True. But then why would we even release anything scientific at all today? Nobody was thinking about this one yesterday! It's really just a fascinating scientific story of how DNA mutations can really throw human development off course.— Atul Butte (@atulbutte) March 23, 2018
People still weren't having any of it, but Butte seems like a really nice guy.
Aliens are real and your Nat Geo article on a skeptic won’t change that 54% of people believe in them and encounters are daily, as these beings founded life here. This 411’s hidden in the Vatican. Energy changes DNA. Their technology is more advanced than Nolan’s 10% grey matter.— Krista Raisa (@kristaraisa) March 22, 2018
I want to know if she was an adult and if there are other 6 inch tall people. How did she live? What did she do? Was she worshipped? Ignored? Can people now be born this small?— im short but im loyal (@gaygaud) March 22, 2018
Not an adult. Probably died before birth or soon after, but with unusual DNA mutations.— Atul Butte (@atulbutte) March 22, 2018
I think we can all imagine why it died either before or after. Before for medical reasons or after for human reasons(ethical cleansing) I can't imagine anyone wanting this back then, today maybe but back then humans weren't so kind.— (redacted) (@XaMoto19) March 23, 2018
Our estimate is that this child was born only ~40 years ago. With all the abnormalities, it would be hard to live after birth without a lot of problems…— Atul Butte (@atulbutte) March 23, 2018
The questions just kept coming.
Who cares? This doesn't come close to disproving the FACT that other life forms as complex as us, if not more, exist in the universe. Hopefully trump is an galactic alien ambassador and orders the invasion and destruction of our planet.— King (@CaponeOFFICIAL) March 23, 2018
So NOT trying to disprove life out there. I truly agree that other life forms must exist out there in the universe. But this isn't one of them.— Atul Butte (@atulbutte) March 23, 2018
Oh I agree completely. Just saying that this evidence doesn't take away from the fact that we are far from alone. Does the article say what caused the elongation of the skull?— King (@CaponeOFFICIAL) March 23, 2018
Yeah, it's in there, very unusual mutations in a handful of genes that we know are involved in bone growth. This child just happened to get a bunch of hits across the DNA at the same time. (I'm one of the scientists involved 🙂)— Atul Butte (@atulbutte) March 23, 2018
Atul I could listen to you talk about this all day!! Seriously - so interesting!!— Alexandria Swann (@Alixswann) March 24, 2018
Science is awesome, and once in a while can even be stranger than fiction!— Atul Butte (@atulbutte) March 24, 2018
And people say you can't learn anything on Twitter.
H/T: Twitter Moments