Ata: the mystery is dissolved on the remains of a deformed corp found in Chile
Serious deformations and dimensions incompatible with the apparent age gave rise to strange speculations about the origin of the bone remains found in an abandoned city of the Acatama desert.
The small, very small child made a lot of talk about herself when she was found, in a bag, inside a church in La Noria (Chile), a mining town long since abandoned in the Atacama desert. The remains of the little body (no more than 12 cm long) of the child who was immediately renamed Ata (from Atacama) ended up in the black market of archeology and was finally bought by a private person who took her to Spain.
When it was known of its existence and the first photos began to circulate, seasoned by the stories of those who had seen it, many argued that this was evidence that extraterrestrial beings had landed on Earth and, dead, had been buried in the desert.
When he started dealing with it, science did not follow the rumors, despite the size and strangeness of that small body. The first analyzes suggested that the bones showed the typical structure and density of a child aged between 6 and 8 years, but these results puzzled in many, given the size of the remains and the fact that the body showed 10 ribs instead of 12. The mystery increased.
We then moved on to the DNA test, which provided the key to answering all the questions. The results of the study published in Genome Research show that it is a completely human child, afflicted by dramatic genetic mutations that resulted in reduced height, in the skeleton with unusual features (the ribs, above all) and in the cone-shaped head very pronounced that had so struck the imagination of its discoverers.
The study showed that the small skeleton belonged to a female subject to dwarfism, scoliosis and abnormality of the muscular and skeletal system, which died about 40 years ago. Garry Nolan (Standford University), one of the authors of the study, said that “she must have died immediately after birth, if not during childbirth: further study will help to better understand how some rare diseases develop”.