One glance at this bizarre small skeleton is enough to convince most people this creature is extraordinary in a number of ways.
Experts who examined the humanoid say it is bizarre and there are several reasons why this particular skeleton is a medical mystery.
There are those who say this small creature, known as the 'Atacama Humanoid is of extraterrestrial origin. Is it really possible we have come across the corpse
of genuine alien being or are we dealing with an unknown human type of skeleton or perhaps even a complete hoax?
Can latest DNA tests reveal the truth about the mystery figure?
These are some of the questions many people have asked for a decade.
Ten years ago a 6-inch-long skeleton was discovered in the Atacama Desert in Chile.
The skeleton showed several anomalies, including its alien-like skull, teensy body and the fact that it had just 10 ribs rather than the 12.
Since then the strange humanoid has been hailed as evidence of alien life, but is it really?
According to Chilean media the "Atacama Humanoid", also called "Ata" was found by a man called Oscar Munoz in 2003 in La Noria, a ghost town in the Atacama Desert.
Munoz said he found a white cloth containing "a strange skeleton no bigger than 15cm" near an abandoned church.
In April this year, the upcoming documentary film team behind 'Sirius' released an announcement about the scientific study of a DNA sequenced humanoid of
unknown classification, known as the 'Atacama Humanoid.'
According to their DNA & Scientific analysis findings, the mysterious creature featured in 'Sirius,' was male and survived post-birth 6 to 8 years.
Some places on Earth can seem like alien environments, as this stunning panorama shows.
It is not the strange surface of an exoplanet, but rather the Atacama Desert Chajnantor Plateau in the Chilean Andes. Image credit: ESO
Dr Steven Greer -who led the project and documentary, has been repeatedly accused of perpetrating a hoax. Dr. Greer denies any tempering with the corpse and
says the humanoid is genuine.
"The CAT scan clearly shows internal chest organs - lungs and what appears to be the remains of a heart structure," Dr. Greer says.
A DNA sample from bone marrow extracted from the specimen, was prepared, sequenced, and analyzed by a top research scientist at a prestigious American university.
"There is absolutely no doubt that the specimen is an actual organism and that it is not a hoax of any kind. This fact has been confirmed by
Dr.Nolan and Dr.Lachman at Stanford," Dr. Greer makes clear.
Many believed the humanoid's body structure resembled that of an alien. Image credit: Sirius
DNA and other tests suggest the individual was a human and was 6 to 8 years of age when he or she died. Yet, the remains were just 6 inches (15 centimeters) long!
"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," researcher Garry Nolan, professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford School of Medicine.
"I've only scratched the surface in the analysis. But there is nothing that jumps out so far as to scream 'nonhuman.'"
The Atacama humanoid is still a medical mystery. Image credit: Sirius
Among the apparent abnormalities, Ata sports 10 ribs instead of the usual 12 and a severely misshapen skull.
"I asked our neonatal care unit how you would go about analyzing it. Had they seen this kind of syndrome before?" Nolan says.
He was directed to pediatric radiologist Ralph Lachman, co-director of the International Skeletal Dysplasia Registry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles,
California. "He literally wrote the book on pediatric bone disorders," Nolan says. Lachman was blown away, Nolan recalls: "He said, 'Wow, this is like nothing
I've ever seen before.' "
The Atacama humanoid is very tiny. Image credit: Sirius
The age the organism died, as its size suggested a preterm fetus, stillborn or a deformed child.
"This looks to me like a badly desiccated and mummified human fetus or premature stillbirth," says William Jungers, a paleoanthropologist and anatomist at
Stony Brook University Medical Center in New York.
"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 wrote of the Atacama skeleton.
Did the being perhaps suffer from a rare disorder?
The individual was 6 to 8 years of age when he or she died. Image credit: Sirius
It still remains unknown if mutations caused the deformities and the age of the body has not yet been determined, but according to Dr. Nolan the specimen is probably a few decades old.
"There is no known form of dwarfism that accounts for all of the anomalies seen in this specimen," Dr. Ralph Lachman, professor emeritus, UCLA School of
Medicine, and clinical professor at Stanford University, wrote in a report to Nolan.
Nolan says he doesn't regret having gotten involved in debunking a claim of alien life.
"I'm thrilled with the outcome," he says. Once the analyses are complete, he says, he'll submit his findings for peer review.
The other claim Nolan debunks is that Ata is an elaborate hoax. The x-rays clearly show these are real bones, complete with arterial shadows, he says.
"You just couldn't fake it," he says, adding, with a laugh, "unless you were an alien."
Advanced Extraterrestrial Civilizations -
Their Technology And Capabilities
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, "Arthur C. Clarke once wrote a long time ago.
In this Xenology article we take a look at who could be out there and what kind of advanced technology they could posses.
"Soon, humanity may face an existential shock as the current list of a dozen Jupiter-sized extra-solar planets swells to hundreds of earth-sized planets,
almost identical twins of our celestial homeland.
Unusual Organisms Living On Pandora -
A Fictional Alien World That Could Be Real
What kind of unusual organisms could exists on a world like Pandora? What could we expect to find there?
As we are about to find out the line between science fiction and science fact is thin indeed.
Pandora is the idyllic blue world featured in the movie Avatar. Its location is a real place,
Alpha Centauri, the nearest star to our Sun and the most likely destination for our first journey beyond the solar system.
Alien Message Can Be Hidden In Your DNA
Do We All Carry A Cosmic Greeting Card?
While SETI is busy searching for signals from alien civilizations, there are scientists who think we can find proof of advanced extraterrestrial life much closer to home - namely in our DNA!
Instead of leaving artefacts for humans to find once they are sufficiently evolved, an advanced extraterrestrial civilizations might instead incorporate information into the
human genome, allowing it to be copied and maintained over immense periods of time.