When Hobbits Were Real

  • Published: 23 October 2019
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    Its discoverers named it Homo floresiensis, but it’s often called “the hobbit” for its short stature and oddly proportioned feet. And it’s been at the center of a major controversy in the field ever since. Was it its own species? Or was it really just one of us? Or, could it even have descended from a whole lineage of hominins that we don’t even know about?

    Thank you to these paleoartists for allowing us to use their wonderful illustrations:
    Julio Lacerda: 252mya.com/gallery/julio-lacerda
    Ceri Thomas: alphynix.tumblr.com/
    Franz Anthony: 252mya.com/gallery/franz-anthony
    Fabrizio De Rossi: 252mya.com/gallery/Fabrizio-De-Rossi

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: cepnet.mobi/user/pbsdigitalstudios

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    References: docs.google.com/document/d/1_m5Cr8QO358MZf69S18ba50RkGLL7Ew46i5ITAbHsCs/
  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 946

  • PBS Eons
    PBS Eons   3 weeks back

    We have a small update on this topic: A researcher who works at the hobbit site of Liang Bua reached out to us on social media to point out that the evidence for Homo floresiensis using fire comes from papers published before the dating of the site was revised. More recent research says that the evidence for fire in the cave comes from a time period after the hobbits were gone and suggests that modern humans were responsible. There also appears to be no evidence of burned Stegodon bones.

    • smile .as-default
      smile .as-default  3 days back

      @HelMaschine I don't completely agree because remaking videos are very expensive. However, some videos can be reupload with corrected "TEXT" flashing across the screen. Not the most professional, but I would respect this much more. Otherwise, a pinned comment is kind of okay for now, until this channel gets more funding

    • the artwoolf
      the artwoolf  3 days back

      Imagin cloneing a human species but then someone has to voluntarily be a surget for such humans...

    • Lost Aquarian
      Lost Aquarian  6 days back

      @T C so is the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien

    • T C
      T C  7 days back

      Although I agree with the both of you, the videos are overall interesting

    • HelMaschine
      HelMaschine  1 weeks back

      @MrTotosaurus yeah, at this point the video is spreading misinformation and should be taken down and revised.

  • Daniel Tangkilisan
    Daniel Tangkilisan  2 hours back

    They still live on the mountain of Muria in the regencies of Jepara, Kudus and Pati in the province of Central Java and also in the jungles of Sumatra. In Aceh, Sumatra, they are called Orang Mante. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzbIcprhW1I

    • Miroslav Averchenko
      Miroslav Averchenko  12 hours back

      How do you call a pub owner in Elvish? Eldelbar ... I guess it doesn't work in English... Ok, I'll help myself out.

      • ryanjacknotjackryan
        ryanjacknotjackryan  15 hours back

        0:54 thanks for the nightmares 💀

        • Aurum
          Aurum  22 hours back

          1:41 caption this

          • Lotyle Lemon
            Lotyle Lemon  1 days back


            • Anon Person
              Anon Person  1 days back

              Amy the famous skeleton we all learned in school to be of a different species of early human turned out to be a monkey

              • Txldbyslzy Slzy
                Txldbyslzy Slzy  2 days back

                Soo cool man

                • zachery hopson
                  zachery hopson  2 days back

                  Finds old midget bones

                  Pbs they must to be from hobbits

                  • Ilham Wicaksono
                    Ilham Wicaksono  3 days back

                    And people lives near Liang Bua is very short, even for Indonesian People standard, from what I read.

                    • Frederick Kintanar
                      Frederick Kintanar  3 days back

                      Great video, it's nice to get an overview of the latest research on Southeast Asian hominins. But it looks like we are only somewhere in the middle of a wave of discovery, so please provide an update video as more results come out, including ideas about how H. luzonensis might fit in with a braided stream view of species development. I'd also love to see a video about current thinking on the origins of language in this braided stream, such as the significance of genetic research by Carina Schlebusch and others on the genetic ancestry of extant hunter-gatherer and herder populations from southern Africa, from before the Bantu expansion. Surely there is a prima facie case that full human language dates back to the most recent common ancestor of extant humans, and that the clade that gave rise to the pre-mixing population of anatomically-modern humans in southern Africa already had the capacity and practice of full language. When was that? 300-400 thousand years ago? A long time before Chomsky's proposal of a single mutation some 70,000 years ago as part of a "behavioral modernity" package. And if full language was around back then, there may be a case (and evidence I don't know about) for Neanderthals and Denisovans having at least some elements of human language. Models of what cognitive and communicative capacities and practices they had may eventually be falsifiable as new data from genes, bones and stones is discovered. So what were the cognition and (proto-)language capacities of H. floresiensis and H. luzonensis? Inquiring minds want to know.

                      • Frederick Kintanar
                        Frederick Kintanar  3 days back

                        Some references:

                        CM Schlebusch#, H Malmström#, T Günther, P Sjödin, A Coutinho, H Edlund, A Munters, M Vicente, M Steyn, H Soodyall, M Lombard, M Jakobsson (2017) Southern African ancient genomes estimate modern human divergence to 350,000 to 260,000 years ago. Science, 358:652-655

                        Mário Vicente, Mattias Jakobsson, Peter Ebbesen, Carina M Schlebusch.
                        Genetic Affinities among Southern Africa Hunter-Gatherers and the Impact of Admixing Farmer and Herder Populations
                        Molecular Biology and Evolution, Volume 36, Issue 9, September 2019, Pages 1849–1861, https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msz089

                    • 1joshjosh1
                      1joshjosh1  4 days back

                      It's like my neighbour across the street

                      • Pupixario
                        Pupixario  4 days back

                        Gets born a manlet - Archeologists: Oh, it's a hobbit :D

                        • What’s Kraken
                          What’s Kraken  5 days back

                          Nibbits 🤔🤔🤔 ???

                          • Alan Harvey
                            Alan Harvey  5 days back

                            Kinda hope whoever did the original dating got fired... off by 100,000 years is a pretty big mistake.

                            • Hehe yea boii
                              Hehe yea boii  5 days back

                              somewhere in another world:WHEN HUMAN WHERE REAL

                              • Fanso Nate
                                Fanso Nate  5 days back

                                Just midgets

                                • Thexchumxbucket
                                  Thexchumxbucket  5 days back

                                  We’re still real

                                  • Pedro's Vids.
                                    Pedro's Vids.  6 days back

                                    Ark Survival characters were real

                                    • ابليس اعرج
                                      ابليس اعرج  6 days back

                                      What if it was a midget with a smol head

                                      • Isabella Nellis
                                        Isabella Nellis  6 days back

                                        I wish I knew about the species before I read the hobbit in class because my teacher said that hobbits aren’t real. I wish I could’ve said but they are though

                                        • Michael Castro
                                          Michael Castro  6 days back

                                          I know science doesn’t consider local folklore to fit with actual history but here in Micronesia many island cultures have legends about little island spirits or dwarf-like people that populated some islands before our ancestors arrived on our boats. It’s very interesting to think that some of these legends might have some basis in reality.

                                          • Zack Horton
                                            Zack Horton  6 days back

                                            Of course they are! I am chatting to one right now.

                                            • Step Stacker
                                              Step Stacker  6 days back

                                              Are these scientists and researchers the same ones that still deny the existence of a 900 pound ape living in the woods behind my house?

                                              Takeoff your blinders everybody big foot is very freaking real and not very friendly. Don’t believe me check out Sasquatch chronicles here on YouTube

                                              • Mirko Krizmanić
                                                Mirko Krizmanić  6 days back

                                                Why humans grow so slowly?

                                                • Hector
                                                  Hector  7 days back

                                                  Wouldn't they have been terribly inbred? There must have been a very small population on Flores, for a very long time.

                                                  • Moses Brown
                                                    Moses Brown  7 days back

                                                    Simple, it's just a mash up of primate bones.

                                                  • Sloth Merchant
                                                    Sloth Merchant  1 weeks back

                                                    Or is it a midget

                                                    • More or Less
                                                      More or Less  1 weeks back

                                                      If we knew every mystery of human history (all of it) I have a lurking feeling that we would be completely blown away and have our entire perceptions on reality irreversibly altered.

                                                      • Liz Torres
                                                        Liz Torres  1 weeks back

                                                        Very interesting

                                                        • Stephanie Coulter
                                                          Stephanie Coulter  1 weeks back

                                                          Why are you speaking so quickly? Please slow down, we’re trying to learn. Thank you

                                                          • David Rodriguez
                                                            David Rodriguez  1 weeks back

                                                            *Sauron wants to know your location*

                                                            • David Rodriguez
                                                              David Rodriguez  1 weeks back

                                                              *Frodo and Sam want to know your location*

                                                              • David Rodriguez
                                                                David Rodriguez  1 weeks back

                                                                *J . R . R Tolkein wants to know your location*

                                                                • NormanNorthman
                                                                  NormanNorthman  1 weeks back

                                                                  They are talking about bringing back the woolly mammoths via DNA extraction and cloning it by crossing it with an Asian elephant.
                                                                  Could the same be done with the hobbit by crossing it with the DNA of someone who is exceptionally small?

                                                                  • Jeramey Chan
                                                                    Jeramey Chan  1 weeks back

                                                                    Could it just be a midget

                                                                    • PC Principal
                                                                      PC Principal  1 weeks back

                                                                      “When Kim Kardashian was real.”

                                                                      Fixed it for Kanye.

                                                                      • Winter Noor
                                                                        Winter Noor  1 weeks back

                                                                        oh that's explained why indonesian are shortest people in the world

                                                                        • granskare
                                                                          granskare  1 weeks back

                                                                          Denisonvans had emigrated to the are of New Guinea, etc.

                                                                          • Pepper
                                                                            Pepper  1 weeks back

                                                                            nice video PBS

                                                                            • 森アンドレ
                                                                              森アンドレ  1 weeks back

                                                                              What? Were real? Damn, with my 155cm and 39 years, I‘m telling you guys, we never actually left the face of this planet. Tuh, how dare you? 😤

                                                                              • Anthony Rabadi
                                                                                Anthony Rabadi  1 weeks back

                                                                                SMALL BRAIN!

                                                                                • MH Ace
                                                                                  MH Ace  1 weeks back

                                                                                  Issa Midget

                                                                                  • MH Ace
                                                                                    MH Ace  1 weeks back

                                                                                    So do you think their is going to be another species after homo sapians? (i spelled it wrong idc)

                                                                                    • MH Ace
                                                                                      MH Ace  1 weeks back

                                                                                      Just because I’m watching this im going to watch the hobbit when i finish

                                                                                      • magnvss
                                                                                        magnvss  1 weeks back

                                                                                        What is clear is that there were (probably) a plethora of hominid cousins out there around the world... until we arrived. We were the Borg of hominid evolution. Resistance was futile.

                                                                                        • Ali Awad
                                                                                          Ali Awad  2 weeks back

                                                                                          I think that's just a dude with dwarfism

                                                                                          • Meat for all
                                                                                            Meat for all  2 weeks back