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96 MIN READ TIME

I Am Not an Alien!

IN RECENT YEARS THE POPULARITY OF SHOWS like Ancient Aliens has led to many misconceptions about human skeletal variation. One of the most common ongoing myths is that elongated skulls belonged to aliens (or human-alien hybrids), even though knowledge of humans’ ability to shape crania has been documented for over a century. Widespread dissemination of faulty information has led many who are unfamiliar with skeletal variation to believe fantastical myths, such as the biblical story of giants, extra ribs in females, and alien construction of the pyramids. An enormous amount of normal variation exists on the outside (e.g., body size differences, skin color, hair variation, facial types, nose shape, attached or unattached earlobes). People—especially in multicultural populations—accept these differences as normal human variation, but for some unknown reason people expect skeletons to be nearly identical from one person to the next. Any variation is thought to be alien, pathological, or abnormal.

The Anthropology of Diversity

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