Recent DNA testing has been conducted on a set of ancient elongated Peruvian skulls that have baffled researchers for decades, due to their unusual shape and size. While the DNA testing is not complete, the results seem to indicate that the individuals they originally belonged to were not human.

First excavated by Peruvian archaeologist Julio Tello in 1928, the Paracas skulls were found in an extensive necropolis under Peru’s Paracas Desert, and are believed to be around 3,000 years old. The skulls have perplexed researchers ever since their discovery: while they appear to be the product of ordinary artificial cranial deformation, the Paracas skulls are 25% larger and 60% heavier than an ordinary human skull. Cranial deformation, a practice still carried out today by some cultures, can only change the shape of the skull, and cannot increase it’s volume, as is the case with the Paracas skulls.

The DNA testing was conducted by an anonymous laboratory, with the preliminary results having been announced by the Paracas Museum of History’s director, Brien Foerster. Tissue samples were taken from the skulls’ hair, skin, teeth, and cranial bones.

"It had mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) with mutations unknown in any human, primate, or animal known so far. But a few fragments I was able to sequence from this sample indicate that if these mutations will hold we are dealing with a new human-like creature, very distant from Homo sapiens, Neanderthals, and Denisovans," reports Foerster.

"According to reports, the individuals from the Paracas skulls were so biologically different that it would have been impossible from humans and them to ‘interbreed’. “I am not sure it will even fit into the known evolutionary tree.”

While there is a great deal of speculation circulating on the internet that these results mean that the skulls are extraterrestrial in origin, caution must be exercised in this regard, as there is no way to currently ascertain whether or not these individuals, or their ancestors, originated from off planet. These results simply mean that their DNA does not match ones from known humans, and may be a genetic offshoot that existed in parallel with modern humans. These results are also preliminary, and Foerster hopes to raise the funds to have the full genome of these skulls sequenced in the future. 

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