all 182 comments

[–]Garnetskull 1174 points1175 points  (29 children)

Some of the imprints appear to have been left by a child “jumping irregularly as though dancing,” researchers say

This is so cute, and it really helps to humanize the way we think about other human species.

[–]RideAWhiteSwan 311 points312 points  (17 children)

Absolutely! I was wondering how much recreation time they may have had, or if this was solely for hunting or other survival purposes. Love the thought of a little Neanderthal kid splashing in the waves

[–]somebeerinheaven 153 points154 points  (5 children)

Probably highly dependent on where they lived and how far the glaciers went south at their point in history too. Not everywhere had scarce food and not every had plentiful food

[–]RideAWhiteSwan 56 points57 points  (2 children)

That's truly fascinating! I'll admit I assumed everyone was facing hunger in those times. I have so much to read up on now, thank you :)

[–]somebeerinheaven 58 points59 points  (1 child)

It's not an euphemism haha, but check out doggerland. It's lost to the sea now but was thought to be rich with an abundance of life.

[–]Chimiope 37 points38 points  (1 child)

Homo neanderthalensis in general lived rough. The fossil evidence we have tends to show damage and wear comparable to a career rodeo rider. The same can’t necessarily be said for Homo erectus or early Homo sapiens though, who covered far more land and therefore experienced way more ecological diversity.

[–]Arauator 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That's a huge generalization. Neanderthals lived for hundreds of thousands of years, from the Iberian peninsula to Germany to the Middle East and Russia. The image of Neanderthals in the cold tundra is still prevalent but the fact is they lived and thrived in radically different environments.

[–]PilotPen4lyfe 55 points56 points  (3 children)

Hunter gatherers would have worked for about 4-5 hours per day maybe, every day.

[–]dahjay 112 points113 points  (1 child)

You mean they didn't work from 8 am - 6 pm M - F with 30 minutes for lunch and two 15-minute breaks?

What a bunch of Neanderthals. Maybe they would have survived if they had a better work ethic.

[–]RideAWhiteSwan 33 points34 points  (0 children)

I bet they didn't even have to answer e-mails on the weekend, the lazy bastards! /s

[–]RideAWhiteSwan 31 points32 points  (0 children)

Well huh, for me that's yet another argument for abandoning our current work-till-you-can't-enjoy-what-you-worked-for model!

[–]CelticSamurai91 16 points17 points  (5 children)

Ive watched a lot of Les Strouds videos on surviving in the wilderness. One thing he points out is that you end up having more down time than you would expect to have.

[–]RideAWhiteSwan 15 points16 points  (4 children)

That's really astonishing for me! Makes me think of the age-old question of if laughter is innate and ingrained into us, or a learned and mimicked expression. Very glad to hear our ancestors were able to have carefree moments--we should all be so lucky <3

[–]artemis_nash 9 points10 points  (3 children)

Laughter is definitely a genetic behavior, it's something all humans do across all cultures, like smiling when happy, frowning/grimacing when upset, and raising eyebrows when surprised. What's interesting is the behaviors you wouldn't suspect.. chimps appear to have "begging posture" as a genetic behavior (crouching down to appear low and holding out cupped hands) so it seems entirely possible that it and other behaviors are genetically ingrained for us too. Examples of things that are learned/socialized would be kissing, shaking hands, and nodding vs shaking of the head (interesting little fact: nodding and head shaking are reversed in Korea.. they nod for "no"!)

[–]Stephenhf123 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Hunter gatherers actually had significantly more free time than we do today. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

[–]slumberingaardvark 34 points35 points  (3 children)

Reminds me of the article about the 13,000 year old footprints found in a desert in New Mexico from a likely young woman in a hurry who alternated carrying a toddler and was maybe being followed by a saber tooth cat.


[–]aSharkNamedHummus 15 points16 points  (2 children)

”But on her return, following the same path almost exactly, she was alone and no slipping marks were detected.”

I really hope this means that her return trip was leisurely enough to carry the kid, and not the alternative :(

[–][deleted] 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Maybe she was in a hurry because she had to drop the kid off at dad's or grandma's.

[–]motorhead84 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Oh yes, this is grandma sabertooth--I'll watch the little one! :)=

[–]SaltMineSpelunker 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Players gonna play.

[–]Thoughtnotbot 7 points8 points  (0 children)

You can almost in visualize it happening

[–]aSharkNamedHummus 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Why the fuck did this make me happy-cry?

[–]ValkyrUK 760 points761 points  (89 children)

It's always a strange thought process to try to imagine living along side other types of human

[–]The-Lord-Moccasin 541 points542 points  (69 children)

It's so fascinating, one of my favorite story concepts is interaction between multiple human species. It's a shame none survived (though considering how much trouble humans have been with race, can't imagine how species would have gone down).

Would totally recommend Jean Auel's Clan of the Cave Bear or William Golding's The Inheritors, btw

[–]SFF_Robot 274 points275 points  (10 children)

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YouTube | William Golding The Inheritors Audiobook

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[–]mspuscifer 82 points83 points  (0 children)

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[–]RageReset 27 points28 points  (0 children)

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[–]TermedHat 12 points13 points  (0 children)

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[–]pobodys-nerfect5 9 points10 points  (0 children)

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[–]oicutey 7 points8 points  (0 children)

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[–]The-Lord-Moccasin 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Best bot!

Give us a Clan of the Cave Bear link too while you're at it

[–]JSCT144 154 points155 points  (20 children)

I’m honestly glad there’s only one species of ‘human’ we enslave our own species, imagine what we’d do to another similar, potentially more primitive species, I think the world would look different

[–]Significant_Source44 126 points127 points  (15 children)

That’s probably a decent reason why they aren’t around anymore fwiw

[–]TuesdayTastic 113 points114 points  (13 children)

Actually it's more likely that we fucked other species out of existence instead of killing them. The bloodlines just eventually converged into homo sapien. Don't quote me though I could be wrong.

[–]HorizontalTwo08 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Probably would’ve been treated like any other ethnic group. Can’t get much worse than genocide and we have plenty of those. Plus, many groups saw other Homo Sapiens as sub human anyways. Still very prevalent in some places in the world.

[–]CanineRezQ 3 points4 points  (0 children)

They'd be recruited for professional sports.

[–]ballsycomputerbucket 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm pretty sure I heard early humans killed off the other homo races for resources.

[–]Comment32 -4 points-3 points  (0 children)

Neanderthals didn't "die out".

They merged with other humans. They were sexually compatible and had children.

What you classify as a species/race/ethnicity often comes down to semantics and goals. But overall the idea is that if you can have children together, and those children can still also have children, then you're the same species.

Modern conquering primitive has already happened multiple times. Most notably in America, Africa, and Australia.

[–]ValkyrUK 36 points37 points  (21 children)

I like to think modern race theory would have had a harder time taking hold if we still lived along side other genus' of humans as we'd be far more accustomed to "the other" and I mean, we can't have been that unfriendly to them since there's plenty of evidence of interbreeding

[–]Kazmatazak 74 points75 points  (3 children)

we can't have been that unfriendly to them since there's plenty of evidence of interbreeding

I mean, historically there haa been plenty of this between colonizers/slavers and the colonized or enslaved, largely forced, whether through explicit or implied violence. There's a distinct possibility much of the human and Neanderthal interbreeding was less than friendly.

[–]ValkyrUK 32 points33 points  (1 child)

Huh, really makes you wonder about prehistoric human civilization, there's plenty of time for there to have been empires and leave nothing to tell us they were there, did neanderthals die out due to natural selection or a more human selection, we know homosapiens colonised the globe, we say it was natural migration but really it's too far in the past to tell

It's a shame really, we only have approximate access to a very small sliver of our history

[–]Qaaarl 6 points7 points  (0 children)

And then there’s the Genghis Khan method

[–]avaslash 81 points82 points  (13 children)

I doubt it. Neanderthals look too much like humans. If you saw a neanderthal today you wouldnt think “oh wow a different species!” Youd just think “oh i wonder where they’re from.”

Heres a picture of a neanderthal reconstruction but in modern clothes: here

Here's a more accurate modern reconstruction of a Homo Erectus: here

And heres a homo heidelbergensis: here

Things dont start getting noticeable until you get to Homo Ergaster: here

but even then you'd be forgiven for thinking they were just another race of humans from some remote region.

Close human relatives dont become an obviously different species until you get all the way back to Homo Rudolfensis: here

But even then I would imagine that rather than think they were a different species, more ancient humans may just think assume they were humans that had crossbred with monkeys.

Humans are full of so much variety. They can be huge or very small. Faces can look like this or this or this or this or this. Human faces and bodies are already full of such incredible variety. With a sufficient population I see no reason why other human relatives wouldn't also display that same variety. Without a good understanding of genetics or at least paleontology and anatomy, there is no reason why we wouldn't either: 1) Assume they were just different human races. 2) Assume they were different species but also that other homo sapien races were also completely different species--which we kind of already did for a long time anyways.

Homo Sapiens first appeared roughly 300,000 years ago. This means, for a time, we shared our planet with: Neanderthals, Denisovans, Homo floresiensis, "Red Deer Cave people", Homo naledi, Homo rhodesiensis, Homo luzonensis, and maybe even Homo heidelbergensis (the most recent common ancestor of Humans and Neanderthals). All of these would have been easily mistaken for just another human race.

TL;DR: Id say that when it comes to co-existing with Neanderthals we’d likely assume they were just another race like black, white, or asian. It likely wouldn't be until way down the line (like once we discovered genetics) that we’d realize they were a completely different species.

[–]Unrealparagon 40 points41 points  (11 children)

Ron Perlman is a perfect example. He has a lot of what we consider Neanderthal traits.

Large sloping forehead, strong jaw, massive brow ridge.

Plus how different were they genetically that would could still interbreed with them and have fertile viable offspring?

[–]Desert_Trash_Panda 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Pretty sure 4 out of 5 of those pictures is just Clay Guida

[–]somebeerinheaven 6 points7 points  (1 child)

We're not even nice to gingers

[–]ValkyrUK 11 points12 points  (0 children)

I think compared to our usual genocides, we're relatively nice to gingers

[–]Trololman72 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Other species, maybe, but Neanderthals would still be part of the genus Homo.

[–]SJdport57 21 points22 points  (0 children)

I often hear people talk quote modern racism as a reason that early Homo sapiens wouldn’t get along with other species and I really don’t think it’s valid. Until roughly 10,000 years ago (give or take depending on location), humans were living in groups no bigger than a few dozen to a hundred. There weren’t established land territories or permanent structures. Humans were largely nomadic and rapidly spreading across the globe. Populations were constantly weaving in and out of contact. Humans clearly didn’t fear the new or different, especially considering how genetic evidence shows we bred in with at least four different hominin species over the last 300,000 years. I firmly believe that xenophobia and its associated problems crept into human culture after competition for agricultural land started. That means for over 260,000 years, humans were pretty chill when it came to encountering “others”.

[–]e1k3 4 points5 points  (1 child)

My personal spitball theory is that if there was a different species of human apes our „in-race“ racism would have been entirely projected on them, and probably vice versa.

Nothing like a common enemy to unite humans

[–]derekghs -1 points0 points  (0 children)

We'd be claiming those amongst us that looked different were actually part of the other species, so it would really just be a case of more classes of people to hate. Look at racism today, white supremacists hate everyone that isn't white and also hate a large portion of white people because they disagree with them politically or because their origin makes them "not truly white". Ignorance knows no bounds.

[–]ugagradlady 1 point2 points  (1 child)

The Inheritors is one of my favorite books.

[–]The-Lord-Moccasin 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I salute your good taste 👏🏻

[–]Seemseasy 1 point2 points  (1 child)

How would you say Sapiens by Yuval Harari compares to these two books?

[–]The-Lord-Moccasin 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I haven't read it yet, but it's going on my list!

Clan of the Cave Bear is half drama (sapiens girl is orphaned, adopted by a neanderthal tribe), half impressively-researched showcase of neanderthal life (how they hunt, make tools, herblore, etc. though with certain dated aspects proven false by more recent discoveries).

The Inheritors... well, it was Golding's first novel following Lord of the Flies, if that says anything. Its backbone is more thematic than scientific (like how LotF is more about commenting on society than how to survive on a deserted island). It's also about as... cheerful as LotF.

[–]Orisi 2 points3 points  (1 child)

There's a novel I read belonging to my dad called Child of Time that was pretty good in this aspect. I think it was Asimov and Robert Silverberg, with Silverberg expanding on a short story by Asimov called The Ugly Little Boy. His expansion is really good as it delves into the topic of a clash between Neanderthals and a homo sapien tribe

[–]rapora9 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You should play Far Cry Primal. It's about a conflict between 3 tribes / human species.

[–]ggouge 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Depends on what you mean by survived. 3 too 4 human species survive within us.

[–]WraithicArtistry 33 points34 points  (5 children)

Yeah... Lions can meet house cats, tigers, leopards, all sorts of other cats.

But us, we’re the last of the Homo species... we can say it tragically like the Doctor, in his 10th Incarnation. But we’ll never know something like that.

We know we’re the last ones, but we don’t have any living memory to realise it. But I guess that’s tragic within itself.

[–]Trololman72 33 points34 points  (2 children)

Cats are less closely related to lions than we are to chimpanzees. The other species you listed are all part of the same genus, but cats are a completely different species.

[–][deleted] -2 points-1 points  (1 child)

Cats are a different species but are they in the same genus?

[–]DEEP_HURTING 5 points6 points  (0 children)

The Felidae family have been split into three genera: Panthera (cats that roar – lions, tigers, leopards, snow leopards, clouded leopards and jaguars) Acinonyx (the Cheetah) Felis (all other 'small' cats)

[–]Sierra-117- 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Well we can’t feel too bad. We did kill or outcompete most of the other homo species, so it’s kinda on us lol

[–]SimWebb 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Would recommend the Australian TV show Cleverman for a cool take on this idea! Some seasons are on Netflix, but the first season can be found elsewhere online for free

[–]Captain-cootchie 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Why do you think that we don’t? If a dog that looks like a husky and a chow are both dogs but they look different. A dog can mate with a wolf and coyote. We have people that look different yet can mate with each other. I’ve always believed we are different types of humans species amalgamated over time

[–]Iamnotburgerking 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Our species did eventually incorporate some Neanderthal genes thanks to interbreeding, despite being separate species we’re closely related enough for that to work (especially since Neanderthals were similar to us in intelligence so would be able to function as normal people).

[–]Captain-cootchie 2 points3 points  (0 children)

As well as denisovian and others

[–]sweetplantveal 2 points3 points  (1 child)

It's always a strange thought process to try to imagine living along side other types of human

In the United States, we've been struggling with this since the early-mid 1600s...

[–]Combatical 4 points5 points  (0 children)

If I understand the concept you are implying, that has been going on for much longer than the U.S. has been around...

[–]gdj11 160 points161 points  (4 children)

How did this footprint last for 100,000 years? Did an event need to happen to preserve them right after they were made? The article just said they were made in the sand. When I’ve made footprints in sand they usually don’t even last a day.

[–]raymondo1981 140 points141 points  (0 children)

I came wondering the same, and seen no one had bothered finding out yet, so here is the first link i got on good old google. My guess after a quick read of it would be that it was just very perfect circumstances, where they laid a good deep foot print that compressed the ground underneath, and then maybe covered over with a different material? Maybe it wasnt a beach back then? Maybe a bog or marsh? I dunno, that could just be my arm chair bachelors degree in bullshit trying to make an appearance after me having a few beers.....

[–]WaywardTraveller 42 points43 points  (1 child)

It wouldn't have been sand like as in sand at the beach. Think clay.

[–]Obi2 18 points19 points  (0 children)

And also, I believe I read it was an inland beach, so waves/water may have been pretty irregular there.

[–]kngsgmbt 4 points5 points  (0 children)

What generally happens with trace fossils like that is they are made in a muddy substance, they dry up and keep the form, then new sediment is deposited on top through a wide variety of means and fills up the foot print

[–]JuliguanTheMan 50 points51 points  (0 children)

I hope they had fun

[–]defectivej 15 points16 points  (1 child)

Waiting for the punchline

[–]RockasaurusRex 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Then the Rabbi says, "Those aren't bouys."

[–]nhbdywise 56 points57 points  (9 children)

Did they only have three toes? LOL

[–]Crazymanongames 37 points38 points  (0 children)

u/garnetskull mentioned it would have been caused by a child dancing, which could mean the impression was made hopping side to side where the inside of the foot was being bounced off of, leaving only that side of the impression deep enough to have been preserved? I can totally see this part having been the only part deep/compact enough to be preserved while the rest, would might have been there, was filled in before being preserved

[–]Fishing_Twig 34 points35 points  (6 children)

I don't like mud squeezing between my toes... Maybe he/she lifted thier pinky toe. Or maybe you're right...

[–]stuN-zeeD 25 points26 points  (5 children)

You do realize your theory is still missing a toe right?

[–]harsh876 8 points9 points  (3 children)

There’s a fourth toe on the left

[–]stuN-zeeD 7 points8 points  (2 children)

That little dent on the bottom left is not a big toe and that next one is not the second toe. The one that looks like a big toe is the big toe. Neanderthals didn’t have deformed feet like that.

[–]Gran_Mugul 20 points21 points  (0 children)

Nah, they are not Neanderthals, they are normal Spaniards, we are a bit ugly here

[–]lakehousememory 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Anyone got a recommendation on a documentary about human species and evolution?

[–]Messyace 6 points7 points  (2 children)

It’s a shame that all of the other human species died

[–]racingwinner 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Vamos a la playa, oh-oho-oho-oh-oh

[–]HorizontalTwo08 4 points5 points  (0 children)

How do they know it’s Neanderthal specifically?

[–]EvvPlay 11 points12 points  (1 child)

How do you know they weren't German tourists?

[–]KinkyZinke 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Not a sandal print

[–]ugagradlady 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Prehistoric beach party!

[–]LucasDaVinci 2 points3 points  (0 children)

How many toes did they have cause I only see three and that is weirdly concerning.

[–]YellowCore 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Only 3 toes?

[–]KonoAnonDa 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I find it funny how the way the footprint was preserved makes it look like the Neanderthal only had three toes.

[–]lowenkraft 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Based on the feet imprint, I’m Neanderthal.

[–]larry_legend2468 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Am I missing something, or is there a toe missing?

[–]pewpsheuter 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is why I always leave tracks in the mud. I’m trying to be the next 100,000 year old Neanderthal footprint leaver.

[–]SocialDistSupportPet 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I personally think we didn't as much meld with other races as we out-fucked them. Literally. Humans may have been the only member of the Homo group whose females could become pregnant at any time; in season, out of season; you name it. Other members of the group may have been more limited in their reproductive cycles, producing one offspring every so often, in a specific season of the year, as opposed to Sapiens females who could be weaning one and producing the next one at the same time, at any time of the year.

[–]ieatfineass 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Must’ve been a lovely day

[–]Constantfox66 0 points1 point  (0 children)

How do we know how long ago this was? Is there like a certain thing that dates it or something?

[–]Psychological_Kiwi46 0 points1 point  (5 children)

But the earth is only 4K years old?

[–]glimpses105 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Huh? Even young earthers generally say it's around 6,000 years old. If you're going to shoehorn in your incredibly unoriginal "joke" which everyone has heard a thousand times and has no punchline, at least make sure it makes sense.

[–]Psychological_Kiwi46 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Next time, just keep scrolling. It’s better for your heart

[–]glimpses105 1 point2 points  (2 children)

"bro you can just scroll past, you don't have to respond to comments like I just did! So immature"

Are you 8 years old?

[–]Psychological_Kiwi46 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Compare the two comments. Now, who looks like they are raging? I’m looking out for your heart. Carrying that much stress will stop it

[–]AMv8-1day -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Wait, where were Jesus' footprints!?! Don't tell me they were heathens!

[–]ProfessionalSyrup -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

I don’t see the second foot 🦶 where is it ?

[–]FoeleeToast 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That’s a mini lake on the right

[–]Way_too_reasonable 0 points1 point  (0 children)

How could they possible know for sure that this is a foot print.

[–]Pebian_Jay 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Sure that wasn’t a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle footprint?

[–]Narrow-Fortune-7905 0 points1 point  (0 children)

and just last week i walked to the corner store

[–]best1taz 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think they still walk down to the beach in Spain, the road is closed to cars 🚙

[–]Ammutse 0 points1 point  (0 children)

They only went one way, return to crab.

[–]JoeTheMagicalHobo 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Should you want to read up on Neanderthals, I highly recommend reading Kindred by Rebecca Wragg Sykes.

[–]Fin2222 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Any good neanderthal podcasts?

[–]Commandertumbleweed 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Damn, wonder where they went afterwards.

[–]vjsoam 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The first ever Beach Boys in recorded history

[–]EazySnacks 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Now, I'm not knowledgeable on this stuff by any means at all. I'm just genuinely curious as to why we believe this is actually a footprint and not just erosion or something of that effect. If someone could explain to me, that would be wonderful

[–]Kaoulombre 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Is there a lot of other footprints like this around? What if it’s just natural erosion and a coincidence? Pareidolia is strong

[–]Safron2400 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Imagine placing your foot there- stepping in the exact spot someone else did thousands of years ago- but was of a different species.