Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday Weird: The Starchild Skull

In the 1930's, in a small rural village 100 miles southwest of Chihuahua, Mexico,
at the back of a mine tunnel, two mysterious remains were found: a complete human skeleton and a smaller, malformed skeleton.

An American girl of Mexican heritage in her late teens (15 to 18) was taken by her parents to visit relatives living in a small rural village 100 miles southwest of Chihuahua, Mexico and went exploring through some of the nearby mines.

At the back of a mine tunnel she found a complete human skeleton lying on the ground's surface. Beside it, sticking up out of the ground, was a malformed skeletal hand entwined in one of the human skeleton's upper arms. The girl proceeded to scrape the dirt off a shallow grave to reveal a buried skeleton smaller than the human one and also malformed.

The girl recovered both skulls and kept them for the remainder of her life. Upon her death they were passed to an American man, who maintained possession for five years before passing them to the American couple who now control them.

the starchild skull

Experts suggest the child's high degree of rear-skull deformity could be from cranial binding. But squeezing a skull's upper bones out of their natural shape leaves them permanently separated, which results in a life-long "soft spot" at the top of the head.

The child's skull is well-sutured (no soft spot), with none of the usual distortions normally caused by binding.
 
The average volume for a human brain is 1400 cubic centimeters (cc). The volume of the human skull is 1200 cc, typical for a small human. In contrast, the volume of the child's skull is 1600 cc, which is 200 cc beyond the average for adult humans. And had it lived to become an adult, its brain capacity would have grown to 1800 cc or more, well beyond the human average
 
In paleoanthropology a 200 cc increase in brain capacity of a human type creature warrants the naming of an entirely new species. Homo Erectus averages 200 cc more than Homo Habilis; Homo Archaic is 200 cc more than Erectus; Neanderthal is 200 cc more than Archaic. Thus, this child might well represent an unknown species of human-like beings.


starchild on the left, regular skull on the right

There are other aspects of the skull that make it different from a normal skull (the bones are much thinner than the bones of a normal skull, it's missing frontal sinus cavities, the ears are larger and deeper than norma ear canals, etc).

There are two schools of thought regarding the skull: it's either an as of yet unknown deformity, or it's an alien-human hybrid.

Either way, no one can argue that it is a strange discovery and we may never fully know the answer to what happened to the child.

10 comments:

~Sia McKye~ said...

Interesting. Could very well be a deformity. Be interesting to have a face reconstruction artist work with this skull. But fun to see what he/she came up with. Especially if they did both skulls found.

Maria Zannini said...

My vote is for hybrid. Other than the larger ear cavities, it looks remarkably like what is colloquially called a Gray.

R. Mac Wheeler said...

Hmmmm

Clearly an alien.

Teebore said...

Was anyone ever able to do any dating on it? I'd be curious about how old the skulls are.

Southpaw said...

I'm with Sia and Teebore. I'd like to see a reconstruction and have the bones dated!

Anne said...

i don't know why i'm fine with bones and skeletons and such any other time, but add any sort of deformity or unknown problem to make them 'not normal' and they creep me right the eff out

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Another great mystery. Thanks for sharing it Sarah. Truthfully, would we want all the answers to all the mysteries? I think life would be boring then.

Johanna Garth said...

Cool, what struck me about this story is the girl who found the skulls was a lot braver than I would have been!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now I know where they got the idea for the lame fourth Indiana Jones movie...

Talli Roland said...

Interesting! If somewhat creepy...

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