Lord of the Rings Fans Listen Up: Hobbits May Have Been Real
Wow, is this the most magical week ever or what? On Monday, we were hit with the life changing news that unicorns may have been REAL, and now we’re coming at you with more exciting finds about your favorite Middle-Earth creatures. Back in 2003, a new species called Homo floresiensis was discovered in a cave on the Indonesian island of Flores. The species’ small stature (they were only about three feet tall) and hairy bods led them to be nicknamed “Hobbits.” And as it turns out, our ancestors may have met them… and then killed them.
Initially when Homo floresiensis were discovered, they were thought to be about 12,000 to 95,000 years old. That time frame suggested a substantial overlap between the Hobbit-like creatures and Homo sapiens (us). It was then thought that our survival-minded species must have killed them off. Noooo, not Frodo!
However, according to a new study published Wednesday in Nature, that may have been a false finding. It’s looking more likely that they died out about 60,000 years ago. That would still create an overlap in existence, but a must less drastic one. Matt Tocheri, the co-author of the study recently told the Washington Post, “The overlap does point to the possibility that our species may well have had a hand in their disappearance.” Before you start spiting your ancestors, Tocheri warns that’s just speculation. He goes on to say, “Island populations are certainly vulnerable during fluctuations in food supply. A drought possibly related to a lowering of sea level during global ice age conditions might have contributed to the loss of population size and ultimately extinction.” For the sake of our faith in humanity, we’re going to choose to believe the latter.
What other fantasy creature are you hoping is real? Share with us on Twitter @BritandCo.
(Photo via New Line Cinema)