The Atacama Desert, 2003. Near an abandoned church in the ghost town of La Noria, a man called Oscar Muñoz found the remains of what is considered to be the strangest humanoid on Earth. The tiny desiccated body measures only six inches ( 15 centimeters) and has a number of unique features that have mystified the scientific world.
Completely unaware of the importance of his discovery, Muñoz sold the mummified body to a pub owner for the hefty sum of 30,000 pesos, the equivalent of US $50. The pub owner sold it for presumably more than that and the tiny body gained worldwide notoriety and the nickname Ata.
It was thought to be very old but thorough dating showed it had lived and died somewhere within the last hundred years.
Ata’s most striking feature is its skull. It looks human enough but its elongated and disproportionate cranium have swayed enough ufologists into believing Ata is undoubtedly of extraterrestrial origins.
The first rational explanation was to assume that due to its size, Ata was a premature human fetus. Some anthropologists said that it could also be the body of a young human suffering from an extreme case of progeria. Another theory is that Ata had a severe case of dwarfism.
These issues were laid aside after the extensive analysis performed last year by leading scientists at Stanford University. After six months of studying the skeletal remains, they concluded that the Atacama Humanoid remains a profound mystery.
In order to check whether its origins were human or alien, they performed a battery of tests, starting with genetic analysis. They wanted to see if Ata had human DNA. They took DNA samples from rib marrow and it turned out Ata was in fact human after all.
Ata was a human male and X-ray analysis of his skeleton proved that he died at 6 to 8 years of age. His mitochondrial DNA revealed that his mother was indigenous to South America. However, they did not find any of the genetic markers that indicate dwarfism, progeria, or oxycephaly. In layman terms, they found no answer to his minuscule stature or alien-like skull.
Regardless of sex, race or size, humans have twelve pairs of ribs but Ata only had ten. There is no other known human skeleton with only ten pairs of ribs. Its cranium is very unusual and the cranium vault is proportionally larger than that of normal humans. Its bones are well developed and it even has fully-developed teeth in the mandible, eliminating the possibility of Ata being a deformed human fetus.
The scientists that performed the tests unanimously agree that they cannot give any definitive answers to the questions raised by this little humanoid. Its fragility certainly hindered his life in the harsh environment found in the Atacama Desert. If it is so small at an age of six years, at birth it must have been smaller. Even in modern neonatal intensive care units, a being so small would be very hard to keep alive, let alone in the desert, with little to no access to modern medical treatment.
Adding to the mystery ( or explaining it) is the fact that the locals say they’ve witnessed strange lights in the sky, UFOs and living beings that fit the description of little Ata. Unconfirmed reports tell of similar humanoids being kept alive and studied in undisclosed locations.
Researchers were able to show a human connection to Ata but that doesn’t rule out the possibility of him being an alien. There is also a discrepancy between its genetic material and its appearance. The smallest human being ever recorded and confirmed is Chandra Bahadur Dangi and he measured 21.51 inches ( 54.64 centimeters) in height. He is still three-and-a-half times taller than Ata.
Our current understanding and beliefs have no acceptable answers to give regarding this unexplained mystery. Mainstream science is opposed to the idea of alien life, especially here on Earth. Perhaps one day humanity will gain enough wisdom to accept things currently beyond understanding. Until then, the obstacles are ignorance and locked lips