Were Denisovans Bigger and Stronger than Neanderthal?

The name we have given this extinct species of humans is Denisovan, and it is pronounced “Denise” instead of “Denis” – “oh-vans” according to the latest information we’ve found. Take a look at a Denisovan tooth (molar) compared to a modern human’s. It is amazingly large. A jaw bone from these extinct humans was found in a cave in Tibet and was dated to at least 160,000 years ago. This was in the Baishiya Karst Cave in Tibet.

Denisovan vs Modern molar. Image source unknown

The WSJ writes: “A fossil jaw found in the Himalayan highlands of Tibet belongs to a vanished human species called Denisovans, deepening the mystery of human evolution in Asia, scientists said Wednesday in a new study probing the roots of humankind. Discovered by a local Buddhist monk, the fossil shows these archaic human relatives lived on the roof of the world in the rarefied air at almost 11,000 feet—an altitude that would leave many people today starved for oxygen.

comparison denisovans where huge
Skull comparison. Original image source unknown.
Denisovan range. Original image source unknown.

They settled at these frigid heights at least 160,000 years ago, more than 120,000 years before modern humankind arrived, said the scientists, who published their work on the fossil in the journal Nature.”

It reminds me of a bible quote: Genesis 6:4 King James Version (KJV)

“There were giants in the earth in those days;”

No kidding. They were giant and they were in caves, “in the earth” so I like to think this line is an ancient true memory passed down in stories until it was finally written down in Genesis. The passage also talks about interbreeding with these ancients (Gods) and the resulting hybrid offspring were very strong, men of great renown.

There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.  – {Genesis 6:4 KJV}

Modern Humans Mixed with Denisovans

The Denisovans (Denisova hominins) are an extinct species or subspecies of archaic human that is known to have ranged across Asia during the Lower and Middle Paleolithic era. 

Did we modern humans interbreed with Denisovans? It appears we did, and not too long ago, surprisingly.

Our species may have been interbreeding with Denisovans as recently as 15,000 years ago, according to a detailed analysis of the DNA of people living in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
We already know that, after Homo sapiens first migrated out of Africa, our species repeatedly interbred with a number of now-extinct hominin species, including the Neanderthals and Denisovans. The signs are in our DNA today – all people of non-African descent carry some Neanderthal DNA, while some Asian people also have Denisovan DNA.
via NewSci


One of the most notable contributions of the Denisovan genome to humanity is an allele of a gene involved in adaptation to low oxygen that allows today’s Tibetans and the Sherpa people to live at high altitude more comfortably than many other people. When discovered, this seemed odd, because modern humans did not penetrate the region until 40,000 years ago at the earliest, and the same allele is found in modern populations living much farther down. Denisova Cave itself is a relatively modest 700 metres above sea level.
via Nature


Many people around the world have more Denisovan DNA than previously thought, which has contributed to their sense of smell and ability to thrive at high altitudes, according to a study released Monday.

via FoxNews

How big were they, the Denisovans?

Denisovans (which may have been more than one species) could have been bigger than Neanderthal, but we don’t have enough data to say that with certainty yet.

Little is known of the precise anatomical features of the Denisovans, since the only physical remains discovered thus far are the finger bone, two teeth from which genetic material has been gathered, a toe bone, and a partial jawbone.[29] The single finger bone was unusually broad and robust, well outside the variation seen in modern people. It belonged to a female, indicating that the Denisovans were extremely robust, perhaps similar in build to the Neanderthals.  {Wikipedia}

What Were Denisovans Like?

The Denisovans apparently made bracelets, necklaces and a tiara made of woolly mammoth ivory to keep the hair out of the face.

Daily Mail (Australia) 3 August 2017:
“World’s oldest known stone bracelet could rewrite the history of early man: 70,000-year-old bangle suggests our ancestors were far more sophisticated than thought” – read the article {DailyM}

Archaeology November 1, 2016
“Ostrich Eggshell Beads Found in Denisova Cave” – read the article {Archae}

Where were Denisovans Located?

Here is a map showing the territory believed to be where Denisovans were located in relation to Neanderthal and modern humans.

location of denisovans on a map
The “out of Africa theory” showing modern human migration and the believed location of Denisovans and Neanderthal. Image source unknown.

Denisovans and Bigfoot

Could bigfoot be a real descendant of the Denisovans? Others have speculated about this, but no supposed bigfoot DNA tested so far has any components match with Denisovans. Do we have any real bigfoot DNA? Some think we do.

It will be an interesting story to watch. As we have no undisputed evidence of bigfoot as of February 14, 2020, True Strange News is very curious now about the Denisovans, a real ancient species of giant cave dwellers who scientists think died out about the time Neanderthal man did.

Denisovans on Catalina Island?

Another interesting claim is the the Denisovans made it to Catalina island and that some Native American tribes interbred with them.

Ralph Glidden was digging on Catalina Island in the Gulf of California between 1919 and 1928. He found, according to newspaper articles, numerous skeletons 7 to 9 foot tall. … Ralph Glidden was not the first to find a giant skeleton on Catalina Island. According to Pittsburgh Press July 20, 1913 and also Daily Telegraph on July 26; a German naturalist named Dr. A.W Furstenan unearthed an 8 foot skeleton on the island. The skeleton was found with artefacts such as mortars, pestles and arrowheads; all different from ordinary Indian relics. Plus a strange, flat stone, bearing unknown symbols.    …


3,000 Giant Humans Remains Discovered on Catalina Island, California
A report just published in the San Diego Union gives some details of an announcement by professor Ralph Glidden, curator of the Catalina Museum. He claims overwhelming proof that a fair skinned, fair haired, highly intelligent race of great stature lived on Catalina Island, off the southwestern coast of California, perhaps three thousand years ago, and that his excavation of a huge cache of skeletons, domestic utensils, urns, wampum, etc., is quite out of the ordinary class of Indian discoveries. … (Claimed source: The Ogden Standard-Examiner, Nov. 10, 1929)


If they could make it to Catalina Island, it would not be surprising if they made it to Calfiornia. I once interviewed a cave guide named Art years ago who showed us photos of giant bones found in a cave in California. As far as we know, the Denisovans never made it to California, however.

Giants in the USA, East Coast

On the other side of America, the Susquehannock people were also reportedly huge.

[Captain] John Smith encountered an Indians tribe of unusual size: here is from his his desciptions of the Susquehannock Indians:


“Such great and well proportioned men, are seldome seene, for they seemed like Giants to the English, yea and to the neighbours: yet seemed of an honest and simple disposition, with much adoe restrained from adoring the discoverers as Gods. Those are the most strange people of all those Countries, both in language and attire; for their language it may well beseeme their proportions, sounding from them, as it were a great voice in a vault, or cave, as an Eccho.”


“The picture of the greatest of them is signified in the Mappe. The calfe of whose leg was 3 quarters of a yard about: and all the rest of his limbes so answerable to that proportion, that he seemed the godliest man that ever we beheld.”

Susquehannock Indian skeleton comparison
Susquehannock Indians were reportedly huge. From greaterancestors.com 2011

In December 1607 Johns Smith was captured. He was taken to the chief of the Powhatans and later claimed that his life was saved by the chief’s daughter, Pocahontas. These days we might know Pocahontas best from the 1995 animated film produced by Walt Disney, but the real Pocahontas was captured by the English in 1613, she later married the tobacco planter John Rolfe.

Read more: GreaterAncestors


2017 research from a mastodon site in California that scientists say puts humans in North America at least 100,000 years earlier than previously believed. Previous estimates suggested humans arrived 15,000 years ago.
via Montana Man Has Oldest DNA, “Like Finding Bigfoot”

Andre the Giant

One of our favorite movies, The Princess Bride, features professional wrestler Andre the Giant. The   phenomenal stature of André René Roussimoff led to a movie role where he played Fezzik, the gentle giant in Rob Reiner’s 1987 film, The Princess Bride. He was 6′ 11″ tall, weighed nearly 500 pounds, had immense capacity for alcohol and food, “consuming perhaps 7,000 calories a day in alcohol alone.” We can’t help but wonder if this great actor born in Grenoble, France might resemble the Denisovans due to his ancestry.

Is it possible that what we consider a disorder, acromegaly, is caused by a mutation inherited from Neanderthals or Denisovans?

Were Denisovans Bigger and Stronger than Neanderthal?

Stay tuned as new evidence surfaces. We think they will turn out to be, but we need more evidence to support that theory than currently exists.

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1 comment

Timothy Levin, DC March 2, 2020 at 4:35 pm

Very interesting – could account for the large individuals encountered in colonial America and/or the large skeletons unearthed from the “Indian” mounds.


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