Rumored hobbit actually human with hypothyroid cretinism

Research recently published in PLoS ONE explains how the alleged Homo floresiensis, or the "hobbit," was actually an iodine-deficient human.

SiFy News reports that Charles Oxnard of the University of Western Australia's Emeritus and his colleagues have reconfirmed that their original findings on a skull, which was originally classified as Homo floresiensis, is in fact a human Homo sapien that was affected by hypothyroid cretinism.

The remains, which are allegedly 15,000 years old, were discovered in 2003 in the Liang Bua caves on the Indonesian island of Flores by archaeologists seeking evidence of the first human migration from Asia to Australia.

In order to test their thesis, Oxnard and his team have summarised data on the rest of the skeleton and mathematically compared the bones of cretins in relation to chimpanzees, unaffected humans and H. floresiensis. Their work has confirmed the close relation of H. floresiensis to the hypothyroid cretins, and the difference from both modern humans and from chimpanzees.

This led them to conclude that the Liang Bua remains were indeed most likely cretins from a population of unaffected H. sapiens.

According to, hypothyroid cretinism is a congenital condition resulting in growth retardation, developmental delay and other abnormal features.