A mysterious creature was found in the Chilean desert. Photographs of the mysterious remains immediately began to spread throughout the world. And together with them also various conspiracy theories. Scientists solved the mystery two years ago.
In October 2003, explorer Oscar Muñoz went to an abandoned mining town in northern Chile. He found a strange thing in the church, which was almost flooded with sand and dust. Inside the bag, he discovered a mummified creature several centimeters in size wrapped in a white scarf.
Before the mummy could be tested, a private collector bought it. For many years, the mystery was unsolved. In 2018, Garry Nolan, a microbiology and immunology professor at Stanford University, convinced the mummy owner to provide a sample for DNA testing. The DNA test showed that it was a human fetus from the 1970s. The Chilean girl had European ancestry.
A team of researchers from Stanford University led by geneticist Garry P. Nolan claims that DNA analysis has revealed more than 64 genetic mutations, including growth failure, scoliosis, premature aging, and many muscles and bone abnormalities.
Nolan says that what began as a story about an alien is actually a story of human tragedy. “The woman had a disfigured child that was somehow preserved and then sold as a strange item. He turned out to be a man with fascinating genetic equipment from which we can learn something important to help others. Let Ata rest in peace, “the scientist concludes.
What Caused the Mutations?
The mummy was found in La Noria, one of the many abandoned mining towns in the Atacama Desert, where sodium nitrate (Chilean saltpeter) used to be mined. The toxic environment could thus adversely affect the fetus’s development and lead to damage to its DNA.
According to scientists not involved in the study, the discovery could also lead the professional public to pay more attention to newborns born still. This can bring new insights into the development of serious diseases.