The tiny “alien” skeleton that has been nicknamed “Ata” is believed to have been six to eight years old when it died. With only a length of six inches, an elongated skull, 10 ribs instead of the usual 12 human ribs, and other unusual deformities, the tiny “alien” skeleton has been the subject of a medical mystery for the past 10 years, reported the International Business Times on May 1, 2013.
“Researchers discovered the Atacama Humanoid was a mutated human who lived to be 6 or 8.”
Ata, the tiny “alien” skeleton, was found in 2003 in Chile’s Atacama Desert. For the past 10 years, theories about the tiny “alien” skeleton have ranged from being an alien that crash-landed on Earth to being a primate or an aborted fetus.
In the fall of 2012, Garry Nolan, professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford School of Medicine, and other researchers at Stanford University analyzed the specimen with a combination of DNA sequencing, high-resolution photography, X-rays, and computed tomography scans.
The medical testing of the tiny “alien” skeleton was able to show that 91 percent of Ata’s genes matched the human genome and that Ata’s mother was likely an indigenous woman from the Chilean area of South America. “The 9 percent in DNA mismatches could stem from several factors, including the specimen’s degradation and insufficient data.”
However, while 91 percent of the tiny “alien” skeleton’s DNA has been matched with the human genome and nine percent has been attributed to various other factors, “there is no known form of dwarfism that accounts for all of the anomalies seen in this specimen,” said Dr. Ralph Lachman.
Dr. Ralph Lachman is a professor emeritus at the UCLA School of Medicine and clinical professor at Stanford University. In an email to Stanford University professor Garry Nolan, Dr. Ralph Lachman emphasizes that not all of the Ata’s deformities can be explained.
And Garry Nolan agrees.
According to a Discovery News report on April 30, 2013, Garry Nolan wrote in a summary of his work about Ata that,
“The jury is still out on the mutations that caused the deformities, and the researchers aren’t certain how old the bones are, though they estimate the individual died at least a few decades ago. In addition, they didn’t find any of the mutations commonly associated with primordial dwarfism or other forms of dwarfism. If there is a genetic basis for the deformities, it is ‘not apparent at this level of resolution and at this stage of the analysis’.”
Garry Nolan also wrote about Ata, the tiny “alien” skeleton, that “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.”
Whether scientifically Ata is “an unfortunate human” or a tiny “alien” skeleton, most everyone would agree that philosophically Ata is a reminder that some people do feel alien and that “aliens” live among us — we might just not always be aware of it.
For the six to eight years that Ata lived, whether Ata was an alien or not, he or she most likely felt like one.