Category Anthropology

Mayan Dwarf Liminality

Short-statured people, dwarfs and people with achondroplasia play a significant role in Maya mythology. It was believed that dwarfs lived together with the gods before humans existed. Because of this presumed divine proximity and their intimacy with the unknown, small-statured people were highly regarded. Dwarfs had elevated social roles that were steeped in cosmology and […]

The Aesthetics of Upward Arrow

Are arrows going up more beautiful than arrows going down? The upward arrow seems deeply embedded within the psyche of modern man. It inspires a positive emotional response while a downward arrow triggers negative feelings. The Simple Growth Obsession Test shows this default response also occurs when the viewer doesn’t know the context in which the arrow […]

Japanese Miniatures: Social Kogao Chins

A Japanese company for beauty products has developed masks to reduce the size of your face. The inside of the mask is laced with the metal germanium and generates heat on the skin surface to make you sweat out excess moisture. The existence of this product, no doubt condemned to end up in that unholy […]

Savage Scale Models

In his structuralist anthropological study The Savage Mind Claude Lévi-Strauss writes: ” To understand a real object in its totality we always tend to work from its parts. Reduction in scale reverses this situation…in the case of scale models, in contrast to what happens when we try to understand an object or living creature of […]

Counterfactual History

If we consider contemporary human size as just one possible outcome of different evolutionary possibilities then perhaps it becomes easier to envision a different, short-sized, future. What if human evolution had developed differently? Counterfactual history tries to answer what-if questions. It explores history by means of extrapolating a timeline in which a key historical event […]

Brodmann’s Area 10

Humanity’s insular dwarf Homo floresiensis, a human species that lived up until 12.000 year ago on the island of Flores, was only 100 to 110 cm tall and weighed approximately 25 kg. With its small size came a equally small brain of just 380 cm3. Modern man has an average brain size of 1250 cm3. Although H. […]

Tiny House Movement

Fish kept in small tanks remain small because they produce pheromones that suppress growth. If the same rule applies to people, the small house movement may proof to be a powerful tool to curb our physical growth. The small house movement is an intriguing architectural and social movement that advocates living in very small homes. While in most developed […]

Messengers of the Small Truth

Growth is a human default mode. Every individual, every reproduced cell and in fact every selfish copy of our DNA, intends to proliferate. From an evolutionary perspective such a default mode made perfect sense in the year 4.000 BC when the world population of Homo Sapiens stood at a modest 8 million. As the population […]

GH Resistance

Stature is a highly heritable trait controlled by genetic and environmental factors. Pygmies display a remarkable and inspiring resistance to growth hormone (GH). African Pygmies represent a paradigmatic example of non-disease-related idiopathic short stature. Even if large quantities of GH are administered to them, they simply ignore it and retain their normal size of less than 150cm. […]

The Larons

People living in remote villages in Ecuador have a genetic mutation that may just hold the key to shrinking mankind. The villagers have a rare condition known as Laron syndrome. They are generally less than three and a half feet tall, they are proportional, and interestingly, they are also almost free of cancer and diabetes. The Laron People (we […]