Inside the Cave Where Homo Naledi Was Discovered

Chris Higgins
YouTube / National Geographic
YouTube / National Geographic / YouTube / National Geographic

Recently, researchers discovered a new human relative, Homo naledi, in South Africa. The bones were located in the Rising Star cave complex, in a portion of the caves accessible through a seven-inch-wide crevice. The team who entered the cave to study and retrieve the bones really had to squeeze their way in!

In 2013 and 2014, six scientists dubbed "underground astronauts" made the trek into the caves. All six are women with graduate and post-graduate degrees, as well as caving experience. Here's a video showing how hard it is to get to the dig site:

If you liked that, here are a bunch more National Geographic videos showing the process in the field:

I just love how excited these scientists are by a mandible. Awesome. (Also, the Science Tent looks rad...clearly labeled with a giant "SCIENCE" sign.)

And this one shows a comparison of the bones much later:

For a detailed writeup on the new discovery, check out this excellent article by our senior science editor Jen Pinkowski.

[h/t: The Kid Should See This.]