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A program on History Channel describes an allegedly non-human skull found in mexico, called the starchild skull. From http://www.starchildproject.com/:

THE STARCHILD SKULL is a genuine 900-year-old bone skull found in Mexico in the 1930s. The Starchild Project is an informal organization which began in 1999 when Ray and Melanie Young, the owners of the Starchild Skull, asked Lloyd Pye to head research efforts to determine what caused the unusual shape and properties of the bone.

The results uncovered by the research team ruled out all known deformities [click to read the report], and presented the scientific community with a genetic and physical profile never before seen on Earth.

Now new DNA findings indicate that the Starchild Skull may well be “alien”! Now all that remains is to determine whether alien means “foreign to normal human genetics within the framework of that subject as it is currently understood,” or “definitely not from planet Earth”…. or something in between.

Has anyone heard of this? My first thought was google, then this site. Didn't find anything definitive either direction. History Channel program seems to play up the extra-terrestrial possibilities.

My initial (uninformed) reaction; if its some sort of genetic abnormality, the skull seems very large. 900 years ago (carbon dating) wouldn't someone with a severe mutation die before maturity?

Has any scientific study been devoted in debunking this extra-terrestial hypothesis?

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    I'll have to look around, but I know some of the TV shows that featured the skull said they did genetic testing. As far as I can remember the results were inconclusive, but you never know with TV shows like that whether they just made the results sound more mysterious than they really were. – Scott Hamilton Apr 4 '11 at 12:17
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I think the key phrase in that quote from the Starchild Project is "the research team ruled out all known deformities." In fact, most independent experts think it most likely the skull is that of a child suffering from hydrocephaly. Dr. Steven Novella writes:

The authors never directly consider congenital hydrocephalus as a possible explanation, although they dismiss it along with a long list of natural deformities. Hydrocephalus literally means “water on the brain,” and results from a blockage in the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from where it is made inside the brain to the space surrounding the brain and spinal cord where it is reabsorbed. As a result of the blockage, CSF builds up inside the brain, pushing outward on the brain and skull. Because in young children the bones of the skull have not yet fused together, the skull is free to enlarge to accommodate this buildup of fluid.

If a child suffered from untreated hydrocephalus until age four or five, their skull would display distortions in almost every feature. All of the proper bones, prominences, holes, and sutures would be present, as they are in the Starchild skull, but they would be deformed and displaced. This is exactly what we find in the Starchild skull.

Hydrocephalus builds up over time, so a child with this disorder could survive several years, and if untreated (today hydrocephalus is treatable with surgery to drain the fluid) would probably die at several years of age. The resulting large bulbous head would be vaguely reminiscent of the typical image of a gray alien.

Later in the Starchild Project the promoters of the skull dispute the hydrocephaly explanation. I'd like an expert on the subject to take a look at that page because I wonder if the doctors quoted could have been thrown by the fact the the "Starchild skull" would represent a completely untreated case of hydrocephaly, and you'd probably never see that today.

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    From what I can remember, the skull is consistent with that of a hydrocephalic 5-6yr old child, and I believe this has been fairly demonstrated. However, Pye is now hiding behind a "god of the gaps" sort of logic, stating that since mitochondrial dna was retrieved but nuclear dna wasn't, this somehow proves the creature had an alien father and a human mother. WRONG! It simply means dna analysis of a 900 year old skull is difficult, which unfortunately leaves room open for extraordinary claims made by believers. – Monkey Tuesday Apr 4 '11 at 22:39

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