If you think that hobbits are only found in books and movies you may be surprised by what scientists in Indonesia have discovered. The bones of a three foot tall humanoid female were unearthed on the island of Flores and similar remains have been found on the Palau islands in the South Pacific which are located about 2,000 km away from Flores. Scientists are beginning to believe that this may be an entirely new strain of human and has been named Homo floresiensis.
The first example of this species was a partial skeleton and skull that was found in a site known as Liang Bua. The skull that was connected to the skeleton was approximately the size of a grapefruit. The remains are known to have belonged to a three foot tall humanoid female and was dated to about 18,000 years ago. What is exciting is that the skeletons found on the Palau islands are more recent than this. In fact, this species is known to have lived at the same time as early Homo sapiens, something that is changing the entire way that scientists view human evolution.
This is because in the past human evolution was believed to have followed a single straight path. One species of human was thought to have evolved into the next and that two or more species of humanoids did not coexist at the same time. However the fact that Homo floresiensis lived at the same time as Homo sapiens and that modern humans and Neanderthals were co-existent in Europe approximately 30,000 years ago has caused scientists to review what was previously believed to have been true.
It is known that H. floresiensis was a tool user. This is because stone tools were found alongside the remains discovered on Flores. The tools were extremely delicate but would have been used by these small humans. Remains of six other individuals that belonged to the same species were also discovered on the island. Scientists are looking for more evidence of how they may have lived and the tools that they
The remains of these diminutive humans are new enough that they had not yet become fossilized. Because of this scientists are hoping to be able to extract DNA so that they can study it at length. This discovery may make it possible to get new information on how humans have evolved and how they arrived on the island. There are a number of theories that include land bridges or being washed ashore due to tidal waves.
Although the skeleton found on Flores dated from 18,000 years ago it is believed that these small humans were alive and active on the island until approximately 12,000 years ago. In fact, some people believe that since the island is so isolated that there is always the chance some may still be alive and living in isolated areas and that they simply have not been discovered yet. Some scientists believe that these small humans may also have given rise to some of the folk lore and legends of small people may have been based on these humans.