For those people (you know who you are) who wake up, stumble to the bathroom, and look to the mirror hoping to see a species of Homo other than sapiens, you're in luck, thanks to a new app for the iPhone and Android phones. MEanderthal combines an uploaded photo of your face with an early human one created by a paleo-artist using early human fossils.
"You choose which human species you'd like to become, including: Homo floresiensis who lived between 95,000 and 17,000 years ago; Homo neanderthalensis who lived 200,000 to 28,000 years ago; and Homo heidelbergensis who lived 700,000 to 200,000 years ago."
What changes might you expect when you're Neanderthal-ized? For one thing, your schnoz will most likely expand quite a bit. This larger nasal organ helped early humans warm up and moisturize the cold, dry air during the ice age (no humidifiers back then).
"Big noses also meant sloping cheekbones compared with the flat cheekbones of modern humans. Neanderthals, especially males, also had big brow ridges and receding chins, she added. The large brow ridges are also found on chimps, gorillas and orangutans."
The app will bring today's humans in closer touch with our ancestors, some scientists say... perhaps a little too close.
Image: flickr / hairymuseummatt