Los Angeles Times

Mystery solved: Tiny skeleton belonged to a human girl with a combination of rare genetic defects

In the 14 years since it was found in an abandoned mining town in Chile's Atacama Desert, the bizarre 6-inch skeleton has inspired fervid speculation, including theories of unearthly origins.

It had 10 pairs of ribs - two fewer than the normal human complement - and an elongated skull with a pronounced point. Despite its diminutive size, the proportion of its limbs and torso suggested this was a human. Was this a stillborn baby? A nonhuman primate of some sort? An alien being?

Now, genetic science has given these mummified remains a species (Homo sapiens), a gender (female),

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times3 min readSociety
3 More Parents Plead Guilty In Admissions Scheme And Admit To Paying To Rig Tests
LOS ANGELES - Three parents admitted Wednesday to paying tens of thousands of dollars to fix their children's college entrance exams and pleaded guilty to fraud conspiracy in federal court in Boston. Peter Jan Sartorio of Menlo Park, Calif., and Greg
Los Angeles Times4 min readPolitics
Trump, Angry Over House Investigations, Blows Up Infrastructure Meeting
WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump abruptly blew up an infrastructure meeting with Democratic leaders at the White House on Wednesday and declared that bipartisan cooperation was impossible while House committees are investigating him, underscoring
Los Angeles Times2 min readPolitics
Gov. Newsom Makes Pact To Keep Feds From Spending Rail Grant Money While Lawsuit Proceeds
LOS ANGELES - Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday he had reached agreement with the Trump administration not to redirect funds from a high-speed rail grant while California's lawsuit against the federal government proceeds. California filed a lawsu