Scientists have solved the mystery of
skeleton discovered in South America, dispelling theories that it belonged to an extraterrestrial being.
The conical-headed mummified skeleton, nicknamed
, was discovered
in an abandoned church
in La Noria in Chile's Atacama Desert in 2003 after being found by treasure hunter Oscar Muño.
When found, the remains were reportedly placed in a leather bag and wrapped in a white cloth tied with a ribbon, the
Daily Star reports.
His strange skull, eye sockets, and ten ribs baffled science (Sirius Disclosure).
The discovery had baffled scientists for more than a decade due to
its head shape
, size and the fact that it had 10 ribs, when most
humans have 12.
Many thought it could have been a fetus, but this theory has now been discredited along with the belief that it was an alien.
The Alien Theory
Alien theories had been fueled after a UFO documentary featured Ata in 2013, the
Daily Star reports.
UFO believers descended on the abandoned mining town where it was discovered.
A documentary called Sirius, wildly speculated that he might belong to
a tribe of extraterrestrial visitors.
It was first thought to be ancient, but an analysis in 2012 showed that the small skeleton was actually
from the 1970s,
Scientists from Stanford University in San Francisco and the University of California found that the skeleton
is a baby who died about 50 years ago.
The reason behind his unusual appearance is because he has several genetic conditions that they believe contributed to his unusual bone structure.
The "alien" mummy was found in the Puna de Atacama in 2003 (Sirius Disclosure).
The studies showed a series of mutations
in seven genes
that, separately or in combination, contribute to various bone deformities, facial malformations or skeletal dysplasia, which is more commonly known as
Scientists believe the child died shortly after birth or was even born prematurely,
the Daily Star reports.
The research on Ata was published in a report on
, which highlighted mutations linked to dysplasia, an abnormal growth that can sometimes be cancerous.
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