An anthropologist claims that a small island in Indonesia is home to a less-evolved human species.
Anthropology is the study of humanity and pre-modern human species are within the field’s scope.
Tales of hybrid creatures are lodged in the collective psyche — even Teddy Roosevelt wrote about a deadly encounter with a “half human, half devil, or half-goblin beast” in his 1892 book “The Wilderness Hunter.”
Mythbusting wins out in many cases — Dave Chorley and Doug Bower admitted to making the famed crop circles thought to be done by aliens and the jackalope was just a rabbit with deer horns stuck onto it.
But there is no doubt the Homo floresiensis did exist — in 2003, bones of the 3-and-a-half foot, bipedal creature were found on the island of Flores.
A controversial new book called “Between Ape and Human: An Anthropologist on the Trail of a Hidden Hominoid,” by Gregory Forth is set for release on May 3.
“We simply don’t know when this species became extinct or indeed dare I say — I did dare say — we don’t even know if it is extinct,” Forth said in an interview with LiveScience.
Legends, 30 eyewitness accounts and a detailed story from a man on the island who claimed to have buried a deceased half-primate, half-man have Forth convinced the H. floresiensis still roams today.
Anthropologists theorize that the H. floresiensis had the cognitive ability to make tools, which would be a crucial evolutionary step towards survival.
“There is some possibility that it is still alive,” Forth said.
Not all experts are on the same page.
“Realistically, the idea that there’s a large primate that is unobserved on this island and surviving in a population that can sustain itself is pretty close to zero,” paleoanthropologist John Hawks told LiveScience.
Homo sapiens were extremely destructive in our evolution — ScienceAlert reported that Homo sapiens contributed to the extinction of nine other human-like species through competition for resources and even through violence.
“It’s very plausible that modern humans are responsible for its extinction,” Hawks added.
It’s disconcerting to think humans wiped out our distant ancestors and if that could mean our casual use of war is innate.
Forth’s hypothesis that H. floresiensis could still be alive raises questions about what could happen if we find it.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.