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Elves

September 21, 2010

The Claims:

Elves are magical humanoid creatures, usually described as being slender and particularly beautiful. They are also described as having young features and pointed ears. Elves are associated with faeries and are sometimes described as being diminutive and childlike. These creatures are claimed to have superhuman agility and lightfootedness.

The Evidence:

The first claims and stories of elves come from pre-Christan Germanic mythology. These stories were further developed and adapted by both the Norse and old English. The culture, properties and even the language of elves were primarily developed by modern fantasy writers such as J.R.R. Tolkien. There are no serious claims today of the existence of elves, with no photographs even purporting to be evidence of their existence.

There is a possible explanation for the motivation behind stories of elves. Doctors and scientists have discovered a genetic disorder known as Williams Syndrome, caused by the deletion of 26 genes from a certain chromosome. Sufferers of this syndrome have distinctive “elvish” facial features, as well as an inability to gain weight and an unusually cheerful demeanor. Before the advent of science these people may have been seen as other-worldly and thought to be elves.

Conclusion:

Claims of the existence of elves can be dismissed due to the lack of modern evidence along with the discovery of a genetic disorder which explains why some people might have been considered elves in the ancient times.

Links:

Wikipedia Page on Elves

Wikipedia Page on Williams Syndrome

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