Saturday, March 8, 2008

Hobbits Are People

No rings to be fingered or old wizards with their long staffs. The fossilised remains of 3ft tall cave-dwellers were discovered in Indonesia four years ago, they were hailed as an undiscovered human species and nicknamed 'Hobbits.'

Australian scientists insisted at the time that they had unearthed powerful evidence of a previously undiscovered human species who had lived on the island while mankind as we know it continued to develop in the "outside world".

But now an opposing group of Australian researchers say the tiny people on the island of Flores were not a separate branch of the human family tree after all, but were stunted Homo sapiens, early modern man who did not grow because of iodine deficiency while in the womb.

They claimed they were in fact a backward group of humans, suffering from what the researchers describe as cretinism caused by a nutritional deficiency first found on the Isle of Crete.

The deficient midgets lived between 13,000 and 18,000 years ago in the hills in the centre of the island.

Scientists are due to start digging soon in the floor of the cave where a female fossil was found, hoping to find further evidence of a tribe of hobbits but they may now be accused of wasting their time trying to find proof of an evolutionary fluke that never existed in the first place.

While the existence of Elves and Goblins has long since been proven Hobbits are a bit more difficult to believe in.

The scientists who first announced the find gave the tiny cave dwellers the name of Homo floresiensis, or Man of Flores.

Because the tribes had to survive on what food they could find, they evolved a small stature, but the scientists said they were clever hunters because they had found evidence of toolmaking, butchering and fires.

They lived 20 miles inland and were too far from the sea to reach iodine giving fish, the study said.

In addition females would probably have relied on bamboo shots and root vegetables, which could have released cyanide into their bodies given the primitive cooking methods they were using.

This would have resulted in offspring being doomed to "dwarf cretinism" - missing a functioning thyroid that would have severely restricted their growth and mental and physical skills much like the modern Indonesians .

And in one fascinating observation, the researchers say there is also anecdotal evidence from the Nage people of central Flores who tell of ancestors who lived in caves, were short, roughly built, hairy, pot-bellied, stupid and ugly but great in bed.


frog ponds rock... said...

Yay!!! Great news, finally it emerges that Tolkien had Australian connections.. Woo hooo!!!!

I knew that only a serious pisshead could come up with a story like that...

warriorwoman said...

gonna get me a troll

gonna get me a troll