Watch the Alien from Earth online

Alien from Earth is a PBS program broadcast last November about the famous Flores hominin, Flo. Watch the program online and check out the minisite here. The site also features a Q&A with Mike Morwood, one of the discoverers of the hobbit, and a teacher’s guide.

An ancient legend on the Indonesian island of Flores tells of an elflike creature similar to the fictional hobbit of novels and film. But a controversial 2003 archeological find not only suggests that there could be some truth behind the legend but promises to rewrite a key chapter in the human evolutionary story. This program investigates the discovery, analysis, and startling implications of the hobbit of Flores.

Known for its strange fauna, Flores may now have offered the world the strangest yet. The hobbit was an adult female no larger than a three-year-old child, with a skull less than one-third the size of a modern human’s. The discovery created a media sensation. But only now, five years later, are researchers beginning to make sense of this archeological oddity, dubbed Homo floresiensis. Definitive proof of its place in the human lineage awaits future finds, especially DNA evidence, but the implications of the work so far are intriguing and quite possibly revolutionary.


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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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