When Hobbits Were Real

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  • 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: lavendercottage.info/user/pbsdigitalstudios

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

Comments • 913

  • PBS Eons
    PBS Eons   2 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.

    • T C
      T C  9 hours back

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

    • HelMaschine
      HelMaschine  2 days back

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

    • MrTotosaurus
      MrTotosaurus  2 weeks back

      Lmao this channel fails a lot of the time on "minor" but super important details and presents them in an extremely authoritative
      way, often when the science hasn't reached consensus. Need to be more thorough.

  • Hector
    Hector  5 hours 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  9 hours back

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

      • Sloth Merchant
        Sloth Merchant  1 days back

        Or is it a midget

        • More or Less
          More or Less  1 days 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 days back

            Very interesting

            • Stephanie Coulter
              Stephanie Coulter  1 days back

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

              • David Rodriguez
                David Rodriguez  1 days back

                *Sauron wants to know your location*

                • David Rodriguez
                  David Rodriguez  1 days back

                  *Frodo and Sam want to know your location*

                  • David Rodriguez
                    David Rodriguez  1 days back

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

                    • NormanNorthman
                      NormanNorthman  2 days 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  2 days back

                        Could it just be a midget

                        • PC Principal
                          PC Principal  2 days back

                          “When Kim Kardashian was real.”

                          Fixed it for Kanye.

                          • Winter Noor
                            Winter Noor  2 days back

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

                            • granskare
                              granskare  2 days back

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

                              • Pepper
                                Pepper  2 days back

                                nice video PBS

                                • 森アンドレ
                                  森アンドレ  2 days 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  3 days back

                                    SMALL BRAIN!

                                    • MH Ace
                                      MH Ace  3 days back

                                      Issa Midget

                                      • MH Ace
                                        MH Ace  3 days back

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

                                        • MH Ace
                                          MH Ace  3 days back

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

                                          • magnvss
                                            magnvss  4 days 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.

                                            • Sub For Cookies
                                              Sub For Cookies  4 days back

                                              I think that's just a dude with dwarfism

                                              • Meat for all
                                                Meat for all  5 days back

                                                Damn

                                                • Mel Lane
                                                  Mel Lane  6 days back

                                                  Yes yes, I'm sure this is just as valid as Lucy was. Ha ha ha. Keep looking people.

                                                  • Milo Estobar
                                                    Milo Estobar  6 days back

                                                    There were alot of hobbits back then, but because there are no FBI before, they went extinct.

                                                    • Milo Estobar
                                                      Milo Estobar  6 days back

                                                      they're real, in south east asia...

                                                      • Lee Readman
                                                        Lee Readman  6 days back

                                                        thankyou very interesting

                                                        • dave maximo
                                                          dave maximo  6 days back

                                                          I think it was found in Philippines

                                                          • cybercroneca
                                                            cybercroneca  6 days back

                                                            Was she not the one they called Lucy when she was first found?

                                                            • MegaJf16
                                                              MegaJf16  7 days back

                                                              Are these scientists stupid? They really think a human born 40,000 with all those deficiencies would be able to survive until adulthood. It was survival of the fittest for ancient humans, and these guys clearly weren't at the top of the food chain.

                                                              • Some9uy
                                                                Some9uy  1 weeks back

                                                                stones and bones baybee

                                                                • alajsj T
                                                                  alajsj T  1 weeks back

                                                                  Ahhh floridis man, wonder if they had whack records too

                                                                  • Jahziel John Cristobal
                                                                    Jahziel John Cristobal  1 weeks back

                                                                    What about the phillipines?

                                                                    • Daniel Vestholm
                                                                      Daniel Vestholm  1 weeks back

                                                                      I appreciate the love for Tolkien in these comments

                                                                      • Ronald Reagan
                                                                        Ronald Reagan  1 weeks back

                                                                        The one they found it the cave was smeagal

                                                                        • Abhay Aggarwal
                                                                          Abhay Aggarwal  1 weeks back

                                                                          were they able to find out how many breakfasts they had?

                                                                          • Kohlenstoffisotop12
                                                                            Kohlenstoffisotop12  1 weeks back

                                                                            Fascinating.

                                                                            • Mr. Noice
                                                                              Mr. Noice  2 weeks back

                                                                              "When hobbits were real"
                                                                              Me looking at my 4"11 friend:" they still are..."

                                                                              • paper cranium gone insanium

                                                                                1:42 when you're the only one who doesn't want a hug at the family gathering

                                                                                • Yezper
                                                                                  Yezper  2 weeks back

                                                                                  Obi wan the Hobbit

                                                                                  • Drew Shourd
                                                                                    Drew Shourd  2 weeks back

                                                                                    I found this video to be at best introspective and I am left with figuring out the interpretation of the illustration of two giant lizards fighting in the background while a giant bird like creature seems to be chasing a bi pedal humanoid male....

                                                                                    • Jlog D
                                                                                      Jlog D  2 weeks back

                                                                                      Again who is Steve

                                                                                      • Anmol Yadav
                                                                                        Anmol Yadav  2 weeks back

                                                                                        Obi Wan

                                                                                        • sik Sicilian
                                                                                          sik Sicilian  2 weeks back

                                                                                          sifting through the LOTR comments, I think the main thing we all want to know is, if we bang one, is it considered bestiality?

                                                                                          • Dark Lord Sauron
                                                                                            Dark Lord Sauron  2 weeks back

                                                                                            Know I understand how Mr Tolkien Influeced to create Hobbits bilbo

                                                                                            • BlueFrenk
                                                                                              BlueFrenk  2 weeks back

                                                                                              1:44 Don't catch you slippin' up

                                                                                              • Bryan Johnstone
                                                                                                Bryan Johnstone  2 weeks back

                                                                                                so if hobbits are real now dose that mean its legal to have them in fantasy stories bypassing public domain?