A recent survey has found that one in four British people admit to being racially prejudiced. On top of that, a recent DNA test suggests that the Cheddar Man, the first Brit, who lived 10,000 years ago had dark skin and blue eyes. That is, you might say, ironic, because modern British people are mostly white-skinned.
Researchers from the Natural History Museum in London have made a significant finding by an extraordinary DNA test — 10,000-year-old ancient Briton had black skin, dark curly hair, and blue eyes while it was long believed that the Cheddar Man, whose bones were found in a cave at Cheddar village, Somerset, had pale skin and blonde hair.
But, upon the revelation of such shocking details, the netizens are left bewildered as they drew fun while comparing the Cheddar Man with David Dickinson, Silvio Berlusconi, and Alan Sugar.
Even celebs did not spare a moment to comment on it like Pierce Morgan did. The 52-year-old Good Morning Britain show host has written on Twitter, "I think I've solved the mystery of Cheddar Man."
Michael Moran said: "This Cheddar Man guy. Feel like I've seen him before. Didn't he once have a popular Sunday night TV show?"
Another Twitter user compared the Cheddar Man with British antique expert and TV host David Dickinson.
Taking to the micro-blogging site, Mark Wallace wrote, "New archaeological reconstruction of Cheddar Man," alongside a picture of a man wearing a cheese costume.
Media personality Lanre Bakare compared the Cheddar Man with Thulsa Doom, a character from 80s cult movie Conan the Barbarian.
But who is Cheddar Man?
Cheddar Man is the 10,000-year-old complete skeleton, which was found in a cave near the village of Cheddar in southwest England in 1905.
While scientists have been studying the skeleton for a long time, recently London's Natural History Museum and University College London (UCL) made a groundbreaking success as they were finally able to analyze the DNA extracted from the skull. And, the test result suggests that the Cheddar Man had blue eyes and dark skin.
"Cheddar Man is special because he represents the population occupying Europe at the time," said Tom Booth, a bio-archaeologist at the museum. "They had dark skin, and most of them had pigmented eyes, either blue or green."
Initially, it was believed that Cheddar Man had pale skin. But with the help of new technology, scientists earned success to obtain DNA from the age-old skeleton by drilling a 2-millimeter hole in his skull and extracting bone powder.
Hence, now it is believed that Cheddar Man's ancestors arrived in Britain via the Middle East, after leaving Africa.
"Cheddar Man's genetic profile places him with several other Mesolithic-era Europeans from Spain, Hungary and Luxembourg whose DNA has already been analyzed," UCL genetics professor Mark Thomas said in a statement.
"These 'Western Hunter-Gatherers' migrated into Europe at the end of the last ice age and the group included Cheddar Man's ancestors."
The entire story of Cheddar Man has been captured in a documentary, First Brit: Secrets of the 10,000 Year Old Man.
Dr Tom Booth, who is a scientist at Natural History Museum, said in the documentary: "If a human with that color skin wandered around now, we'd call him black, and a lot darker than we'd expect for Europe as well."
He added: "It really shows up that these imaginary racial categories that we have are really very modern constructions, or very recent constructions that are really not applicable to the past at all."
Meanwhile, researchers also revealed that Cheddar Man is directly related to one in 10 people living in the United Kingdom today.
Therefore, netizens' speculations might turn out to be true. You never know! But as of now, most of them are having a hard time accepting the fact that Cheddar Man does not conform to the preconceived notion of complexion that is associated with Brits. Tina Daheley tweeted: "7.02.18: Doomsday for white supremacists as we discover the first modern Brit had dark/black skin and blue eyes."
However, another lady who goes by the Twitter name Charlotte wrote: "It's all maybes & ifs & percentages. Not hard facts. Of course it's all about Diversity & Immigrants mentioned at end of article. Another waste of time & money."
This just goes on to prove how torn people are over the discovery. Maybe the likes of Charlotte are right, but that is not toning down the amount of fun that more liberal, tolerant people are having with the issue!