What on Earth is this skull from?

2014-04-01 00:00

WHAT on Earth — or any other planet — is this skull from?

That’s the question Dane Symons of Balgowan in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands asked himself after recently unearthing a strangely shaped cranium on his farm.

Symons had been digging trenches on his land when his spade glanced off a hard surface. He found it had struck a boney structure about five centimetres below.

“At first, as I dug the soil away from the bone with my fingers, I thought the skull was that of a sheep or goat, but as I lifted it out of the soil I realised that the life form was not like anything I had seen before,” he said.

The mysterious skull was intact, but further exploration where it lay revealed no further clues as to what it may have been.

“I dug around extensively, hoping to find the spine or any arms and legs, but found nothing more.”

Symons said he had e-mailed photos of the skull to a nephew — an archaeologist at a Welsh university — who was flummoxed at the find.

His nephew, Nam Noc, told The Witness: “It is unlike any known mammal”.

He showed the images to scientists and colleagues from various faculties at his university, who were equally stumped. “There was a lot of chin-rubbing and head-scratching. A professor here thinks it may be marine, because of certain features, but this does not add up. Balgowan is too far from the sea.”

He said forensic tests would determine the age of the skull.

Noc said studying the skull could reveal much about the creature’s life.

He revealed that one colleague, who was not prepared to be named until he had studied the skull, believes it could be other-worldly — from an alien being that died here generations ago.

“The way the lower part of the skull is constructed bears certain similarities to some species here, but the crown with the vertical blade is certainly not seen in any indigenous species on this planet.”

He said a reconstruction of the face that would have covered the skull, as done by forensic experts, would reveal a grotesque creature.

“The skull is small, and the being would not have been humanoid. It’s such a pity the rest of the skeleton is not intact, as I would be very interested in seeing it.”

Meanwhile, Symons has wrapped the skull in cotton wool and it is being couriered to his nephew, whose exact whereabouts are not being revealed to safeguard the find.

“There are a lot of nuts out there who would like to claim this rare find for themselves. We don’t know what secrets this skull may yield. It could be an entirely new as yet undiscovered species, or reveal highly sought after information about alien life.”

Symons’s wife, Colleen, said she was rather “freaked out” after he insisted on sleeping with the skull next to his bed at night after making the find.

“He washed it off and I have to say, when he put it on his bedside table, I got a bit worried.”

Symons is eager to hear the outcome of the academic research into the skull.

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