For those people (you know who you are) who wake up, stumble to the bathroom, and look to the mirror hoping to see a species of Homo other than sapiens, you’re in luck, thanks to a new app for the iPhone and Android phones. MEanderthal combines an uploaded photo of your face with an early human one created by a paleo-artist using early human fossils. LiveScience explains:
“You choose which human species you’d like to become, including: Homo floresiensis who lived between 95,000 and 17,000 years ago; Homo neanderthalensis who lived 200,000 to 28,000 years ago; and Homo heidelbergensis who lived 700,000 to 200,000 years ago.”
What changes might you expect when you’re Neanderthal-ized? For one thing, your schnoz will most likely expand quite a bit. This larger nasal organ helped early humans warm up and moisturize the cold, dry air during the ice age (no humidifiers back then).
“Big noses also meant sloping cheekbones compared with the flat cheekbones of modern humans. Neanderthals, especially males, also had big brow ridges and receding chins, she added. The large brow ridges are also found on chimps, gorillas and orangutans.”
The app will bring today’s humans in closer touch with our ancestors, some scientists say… perhaps a little too close.
Image: flickr / hairymuseummatt
On the off chance that you’ve ever had a yearning to hear what Neanderthal music sounded like—assuming you’ve even considered whether they made music—you should absolutely click here to hear a sample of jazz composer Simon Thorne’s 75-minute-long reimagining of Neanderthal music. If you have the patience to listen to the nonsensical beginning, then you’ll get a chance to enjoy the ancient-style chanting towards the end. Thorne initially thought it would be impossible to imagine what Neanderthals listened to, but he took on the unusual project and did his best to create a song that would evoke sounds from a Neanderthal’s life.
While the National Museum Wales commissioned the song to accompany an exhibit featuring Neanderthal tools and teeth, it might actually serve a bigger purpose in knocking down the misconception that Neanderthals were dumber than early Homo sapiens. Thorne told the BBC, “Every culture has language and music, so we can probably assume that [Neanderthals] had some kind of music too.”
Later this year, the music will be performed live when four singers with stone instruments go on tour. Can you say, “Rock on”?
80beats: Neanderthal DNA Tests Say They Rarely Interbred With Us
DISCOVER: Who Killed the Neanderthals?
DISCOVER: Interview with Anthropologist Robert Martin
Image: flickr/ wallyg
What are you going to be this Halloween? If you’re looking for costume ideas in the realm of science—or anything beyond the usual political candidates or scantily-clad cats/devils/pirates—you’ve come to the right place. Here we present DISCOVER’s official Top Ten Science-Related Halloween Costumes.
10) Quickie Squid: With little more than paper and a pair of CDs you can approximate these sensitive, intelligent, and sometimes colossal creatures of the deep. If you’re feeling really hardcore, you could even add a squid tattoo.
Image: Instructables/ Tool Using Animal
9) Operation man: Thinking about donating an organ? Bone up on your anatomy and surgical skills with a life-sized version of this childhood board game. No need to ask your fellow party-goers to punch you in the face.
Image: Instructables/ NavySWO91