Itty-Bitty-Teenie-Weenie People Discovered

Scientists have stunned and amazed (primarily amazed, although some stunning has been reported) the world with their discovery of a miniature human species on the island of Flores, which is in the Java sea. Okay, that's in the Indonesian area. We think. The species, given the name of homo floresiensis by spectacularly unimaginative scientists, were so small they could use a Cheerio as a hula hoop.

Homo floresiensis lived as recently as 12,000 years ago, and are the shortest species to be included in the human family tree. How short were they? Why, they were so short that they could be used as tellers at a piggy bank.

In fact, with a height of approximately three feet, the little people were so short they had to stand up to sit down. Their little heads were the size of grapefruits, and their brains were about a quarter of the size of homo sapiens. In spite of this, homo floresiensis showed a high level of development. Evidence shows that Flores Man - that's what the hip scientists call them - made stone tools, mastered fire, and organized hunts for meat.

Anthropologist Bernard Wood, who reviewed the research for George Washington University, said "It is arguably the most significant discovery concerning our own genus in my lifetime. These people were so short that they had to take jobs standing on wedding cakes. Seriously. We are talking real small here. They were so short they could run track around the toilet."


2004, Mark Hoback