Jun 08, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

Pharaoh Akhenaten, His Elongated Skull and Possible Alien DNA

One of the more unusual ancient Egyptian pharaohs was Akhenaten – the tenth ruler of the Eighteenth Dynasty who reigned for seventeen years during the early to mid-1300s BCE. Akhenaten’s short time on the throne nonetheless had some major and historical accomplishments – he changed his name to Amenhotep IV, was married to Nefertiti, probably fathered Tutankhamun, and abandoned Egypt's traditional polytheism and introduced a monotheistic religion worshiping the god Aten. Oh, and he had an elongated skull that may have been found in 1907. Because Akhenaten’s history was seemingly wiped out after his death – and Egypt’s religion returned to polytheism, some have suggested there may have been something unusual about him that a DNA test on his mummy could possibly prove – that he was an alien.

“Unlike the rest of the pharaohs who ordered artists to sculpt and paint his figure with large shoulders and a narrow waist, he ordered that he be represented as he was. This has allowed Egyptologists to know exactly what his appearance was; bulging belly, narrow body and very long and thin limbs . All crowned with a large and elongated head.”

Does that description sound like an alien?

A recent article in UFO Spain (in Spanish) brings to light the question of why the mummy thought to belong to Akhenaten has not been studied further … especially with the possibility that it might contain alien DNA. While ancient Egyptians may have performed the childhood head-binding that resulted in elongated skulls in adults, historians have never been certain that the large heads of Akhenaten, Nefertiti and many of her children, including Tutankhamun, were due to the painful practice or something else. One sign often attributed to Egyptians having elongated heads are the statues and artwork depicting people wearing large cone-shaped headgear. In 2019, a study revealed a probable cause – two mummies found in graves in Akhetaten had wax cones on their heads that were held in place by the headgear. Why? Either as fertility devices or as part of their outfits as dancers.

What about Akhenaten and Nefertiti -- he was a male, she had plenty of children and both had real elongated heads?

Good question. Many Egyptian scholars believe Akhenaten’s unusual head and body shapes were due to a genetic abnormality. Early diagnoses pointed to Frölich's syndrome, which can cause obesity, delayed sexual development, atrophy of the gonads, and altered secondary sex characteristics. While Akhenaten had a feminine appearance and a big belly, Frölich's syndrome also causes infertility and he had many children. That led to researchers suspecting Marfan syndrome, which can cause a sufferer to be taller than average, have a long, thin face, an elongated skull, overgrown ribs, a large pelvis, enlarged thighs and spindly calves – all descriptions of Akhenaten. In addition, Marfan syndrome has a 50% chance of being passed on  to the next generation. However, while he had an elongated skull, DNA tests on Tutankhamun in 2010 were negative for Marfan syndrome.

Which brings us back to DNA testing Akhenaten’s mummy for Marfan, Frölich … or alien DNA.  UFO Spain offers this speculation:

“Furthermore, Nefertiti and her children also had elongated skulls. This has led to a theory; there may have been extraterrestrial DNA in Egypt, or at least past lineages. This hypothesis gains strength when the history of Egypt is analyzed and it is realized that the only reign that practically mysteriously disappeared from the records was that of Akhenaten. It is not known if he was killed or if he fled, since there is no way to clarify it.”

Bust of Nefertiti

In 1907, Edward R. Ayrton  found a mummy in tomb KV55 in the Valley of the Kings. Genetic tests in 2010 confirmed that the person was both the son of Amenhotep III and the father of Tutankhamun, and the age at the time of his death was consistent with that of Akhenaten. However, the results have been disputed. Why? What if the tests showed alien DNA? Could the Egyptian government – or some other world powers – be covering it up? After all, ancient Egyptians seem to have tried to wipe the existence of Akhenaten out of their own history. Nefertiti, who also had an elongated skull, was believed by some to have been Akhenaten’s sister before becoming his wife and Tut’s mother. A mummy thought to be hers was found but never confirmed and her history has all but disappeared as well. Another coverup?

Would another modern and more extensive DNA test on the mummy believed to be Akhenaten answer the question of its possible alien origin? Maybe. Will it ever happen? Many people have kept Akhenaten’s origin secret for thousands of years. There is obviously a reason why.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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