The Riddle of the Hobbit

For generations, the inhabitants of the Indonesian island of Flores, located 563 km east of Bali, told stories of a race of little people called the Ebu Gogo: hairy, human-like creatures that hid in the island's limestone caves. Like leprechauns, the Ebu Gogo (the name roughly means "grandmother who eats everything") were assumed by anthropologists to be mythical. That was until a team of Australian and Indonesian researchers excavating a cave on the island uncovered ancient bones that included the 18,000-year-old skeleton of a 1-m-tall female with a brain the size of a grapefruit. In 2004, they announced in Nature magazine...

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