Mystery of ‘alien-like’ six-inch skeleton with conical head finally solved

Scientists have solved a mystery over a strange six inch skeleton discovered in South America, rubbishing theories that it belonged to an alien being.

The mummified skeleton with a conical head, Nicknamed "Ata", was discovered in in an abandoned church in La Noria in the Atacama Desert in Chile back in 2003 after being found by treasure hunter Oscar Muño.

When found, the remains were reportedly kept in a leather pouch and wrapped up in white cloth tied with a ribbon.

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The discovery had left scientists baffled for well over a decade due to its headshape, size and the fact that the being on had 10 ribs, when most humans have 12.

Many thought it could have been a foetus but this theory has now been debunked along with the belief it was an alien.

Alien theories had been fuelled after a UFO documentary featured Ata back in 2013.

UFO believers descended on the abandoned mining town where it was discovered.

A documentary called Sirius, wildly speculated it could belong to a tribe of alien visitors.

It was first thought to be ancient, but analysis in 2012 proved the tiny skeleton was actually from the 1970s.

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Scientists from Stanford University in San Francisco and the University of California found that the skeleton is a baby that died around 40 years ago.

The reason behind its unusual looks is due to it having several genetic conditions that they believe contributed to the unusual structure of the bones.

Studies showed a number of mutations in seven genes that separately or in combinations contribute to various bone deformities, facial malformations, or skeletal dysplasia, which is more commonly known as dwarfism.

Scientists believe the child died just after birth or was even born prematurely.

The research into Ata was published in a report on Genome Research, which highlighted the mutations linked with dysplasia, an abnormal growth which can sometimes be cancerous.

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