Did Neanderthals speak with a high-pitched voice?


45 Responses to “Did Neanderthals speak with a high-pitched voice?”

  1. Brainspore says:

    Mike Tyson is a man out of time.

    • EH says:

      I think that was always apparent, but just which time he was out of remained a mystery.

    •  Interesting hypothesis, but Neanderthal genes are mostly mixed in with people of European rather than African descent. A group related to Neanderthals mixed in with what became Melanesians and Australian Aborigines, but that’s even farther from Africa.

      Tyson would seem to be a one off.

  2. jerwin says:

    I’m not sure what Elliot’s qualifications are, but his job sounds fascinating.

  3. waetherman says:

    My god, they were so annoying! No wonder we wiped them out.

  4. BunnyShank says:

    wonder why they didn’t use a woman for the demonstration

  5. Thomas Valley says:

    Are …there any women here today?

  6. Nadreck says:

    Well, it was widely accepted that Curly was some kind of throw-back: so now we know exactly what kind.

  7. Lolotehe says:

    What, they didn’t have any Pythons available for this demonstration?

    Also, adding snow to this video just made it delightful.

  8. That was hilarious :D

    (Also six years old, according to the link)

    • technogeekagain says:

      …. Actually, not only is the video six years old, I think the attempt to demonstrate feels about as scientific as something cooked up by a six-year-old. Concatenated speculations and a dubious attempt to implement them add up to going so far out on the limb that it breaks off.

      (“Loud, very loud, and…” seems highly implausible, for example. Is there any mammal which is incapable of vocalizing quietly?)

  9. Teirhan says:

    This is all fantastic research material for my epic fantasy trilogy about neanderthals.

  10. robuluz says:

    Seriously, Boing Boing owes me a new keyboard, there’s coffee over everything. That is without the doubt the funniest thing I have seen in weeks. Can they really be that oblivious? Can that really be completely unintentional? Oh please, please God, let it be true.


  11. pauldrye says:

    So basically Neanderthals sounded like the classic Tarzan yell:


    ((cue the “That’s Racist” kid))

  12. Irman A says:

    So, …. British? Neanderthals sounded British?

  13. markbellis says:

    So Monty Python finally has a female lead! I see her as John Cleese and ‘Elliot’ as Terry Jones.

  14. Geof says:

    Neanderthals were Daleks?

  15. dhparlee says:

    “Now Elliot, I will clamp your testes in this vise…can I hear a 1,2,3?”

  16. robuluz says:

    If only we could have got one “Oooh Vicar, you are awful!” Just one.

  17. peterblue11 says:

    so the neanderthals were basically the prehistoric Monty Phyton?

  18. BrianTheAlto says:

    This is an interesting coincidence: one of the commonly-reported experiences of folks claiming to see Bigfoot is hearing very resonant, high-pitched shrieks in the vicinity of the encounter. Oooh.. tingles..

  19. Richard Dagenais says:

    That video led me to this which was way better http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_7vZcOcAqM

  20. Palomino says:

    There are 15 known/recognized species of humans, most people are afraid to think otherwise. 

    Genus: Homo~
    Species: 15

    Of the 15, I think it’s Homo floresiensis,  or “Hobbit” , who may have had high voices.

  21. grib says:

    This theory may not be too far off.  One of the unique things about humans is  that our larynx allows for a range of different sounds.  Talking requires the smooth transition of many phonemes.  You only need look at our cousins.  What sounds does a monkey or an ape make?


    *edit* a vid – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2i1z37nYMrM&feature=related

  22. ryuchi says:

    They claim that many “non-african” races have Neanderthal genes. I wonder how on earth did they extract “neanderthal genes” from frigging fossils when they can’t find enough DNA in stuff that is only a few centuries old?

  23. eli laztanguren says:

    The people in the video are real cro-magnons?

  24. apoxia says:

    While I find the video hilarious, I much prefer the theory of Michael Corballis that Neanderthals used a form of sign language for communication.

  25. guanto says:

    So, they think Neanderthals were primitive and uncultured and therefore try to show that they sounded primitive and uncultured by means of a couple of wild guesses? No bias there, not at all. Very scientific.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      It looked to me like they tried to replicate the sounds that would come from an animal with that larynx, chest and general upper body structure.

  26. Frederik says:

    Would probably have made more sense to get a sound technician to manipulate a voice recording, rather then have some human who lacks the correct biology to emulate it wich makes it sound hilariouse and unscientific.

    • MarcVader says:

      So scientists who make you laugh are unscientific? Only the serious types are to be trusted? I don’t think I agree with you, at all!

  27. SHeadius says:

    I lost plenty of brain cells by watching that video.

    I didn’t have many to spare either!

  28. grib says:

    It’s a clip from a video meant for public consumption.  This is a demonstration, although not scientific it’s meant to get the point across of how they might sound.

    Google “Neanderthal” and “larynx” or “speech” and there’s quite a bit of information on this.

    Here’s a couple:



    *edit* removed redundant CNN link

  29. A. . says:

    when i saw the frozen screenshot i thought the woman was the neanderthal

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