From Genghis Khan's ancestors to Roman Soldiers in China, here are some surprising Genetic facts.
One wonders from time to time as to where did he come from, how did it all begin. Most of the time this thought occurs when one finds himself passed out drunk near a gutter on Main Street and tries to recollect how he ended up there, where does he live and how on earth did he talk himself into doing something this crazy.
But sometimes one wonders about his ancestry, who his forefathers were, in which part of the world did they originate from. There are also other thoughts like, were they too as lazy as he is or did they too have a have a horrible boss or did they also get hopelessly drunk and pass out near a gutter on Main street.
Knowingly or unknowingly while searching for the above answers some took a DNA test and stumbled upon some extremely crazy facts about their ancestry. Here are a few:
Descendants of Roman Soldiers in China?
Whenever one thinks of China one might associate it with the food or glorious oriental culture or communism or the time he lost his job because his company decided to outsource jobs to China. But never would he associate it with Romans. A DNA test showed that people from a village in Liqian China had some distinct European features and one of the guys even looked like Julius Caesar. Soon a theory broke out that these villagers were actually ancestors of a lost Roman legion whose soldiers had run for their lives in 53 BC from a battle between Marcus Crassus and Parthians from Iran. Their desertion is kinda understandable considering thousands of Romans got slaughtered by a larger army and Crassus himself lost his head(literally). These poor legionaries were then involved in another battle this time between the Huns and the Chinese in 36BC thus ending up getting absorbed in China. So fascinating! But unfortunately not true. 77% of their Y chromosomes were found to be East Asian and completely unrelated to the Central Asian and Western Eurasian populations.
Vikings first discovered America?
As it turns out 80 Icelanders have a generic variation which is similar to that of Native Americans. So as the story goes, Vikings in order to secure a year on year growth in their plundering, settled in Greenland and Newfoundland and after that had interactions with Native Americans, possibly on American Soil. This happened in 1000 AD, about 500 years before Columbus decided to pay a visit. If this is true then we urge the Viking's ancestors to sue the hell out of everyone who credited Columbus with discovering America.
Genghis Khan's descendant in Florida?
Genghis Khan spent all his life being a ruthless ruler conquering large parts of Asia and Europe. After conquering such a substantial part of the Globe, he must have dreamt about his ancestors someday ruling over the whole world. Well, he might be in a bit of surprise to know that one of his direct descendant by the name of Tom Robinson is an accountant in Florida. So the descendant of a man who arguably had most dangerous and adrenaline rushing job does one of the dullest jobs in the world. Though to be fair he could have aided Genghis Khan in creating his Kingdom's annual balance sheet.
Living descendants of a 9000 old man found
Cheddar man(completely unrelated the cheese with the same name) is a person who inhabited the earth sometime in 7000 BC and his whole skeleton was found in Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, England. That's how he got his name. So he is the oldest whole skeleton in England and is famous because nature and animal plunderers spared his body of complete obliteration. Apparently, he maintained a good amount of dental hygiene and some of his teeth were intact which led to Mitochondrial DNA being extracted from his teeth. This was compared with current residents of the Cheddar village and 2 school kids were an exact match! Plus their history teacher was a close one. So these people have been living in the exact same village as their 9000 years old ancestor. Gives a completely new dimension to, 'I really don't wanna move, I love to stay put!'.
Blond Yorkshireman has African genes
John Revis was blond and blue eyed, which led him to believe he had some Viking and Anglo-Saxon genes. So he took a test and rather than finding that his ancestors were notorious raiders, he found that he had A1 haplogroup which is found in West Africa. Apparently, he descended from African clans made up a small part of Roman Britain armies were garrisoned in England around 43-410 AD. Hence on a serious note, a man who looked anything unlike a man from Africa was related to him via mutual ancestors. This thus sheds light on how interconnected humanity is and how meaningless distinctions based on race and cultures are.
Kaspar Schmidt is the man behind haplomaps.com , a website where you can find unique haplogroup maps, that are very useful to visualize and explore human DNA distribution worldwide and also read original articles, related to ancestry DNA, human Genetics and Genealogy.
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