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The Unsolved Mystery of China’s Dwarf Village

Yangsi, a remote village in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, has baffling scientists for decades. Around 40 percent of its inhabitants are several heads shorter than the average human being. 36 of the village’s 80 residents are dwarfs – the tallest one is about 3 ft. 10 inches tall and the shortest, 2 ft. 1 inch. That’s too large a percentage to be categorized as random occurrence, but so far no one has been able to provide a better explanation.

Today, because of the large number of height-challenged residents, Yangsi is known as the ‘Village of Dwarfs’. According to village elders, their peaceful, happy life was ruined on a summer night many years ago, when a vile disease struck the region. Several locals suffered from a mysterious condition that mainly affected young children between the ages of 5 and 7. These children just stopped growing, remaining at the same height for the rest of their lives. Apart from their inability to grow taller, some of the victims also suffered from various disabilities.

Scientists and experts visited Yangsi, to study the water, soil, and grain in the region. They also examined the affected individuals in the hopes of gathering a few clues. However, they were unable to determine the cause behind the condition. It remains as mysterious today, as it was some 60-odd years ago.

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