Liang Bua (Hobbit cave)

Well worth a visit

Photo of , , Ruteng

What we say: 4 stars

This large, open-mouthed cave was the site of a stunning archeological discovery in 2003 when the skeletal remains of a small humanoid were unearthed.

At only 106 centimetres in height, the adult female skeleton was dated back to only 18,000 years ago while being far similar in stature and development to fossils dating back over 3 million years. This discovery challenged long-held theories surrounding the history of human development and the jury is still out on exactly how Homo Floresiensis came to be. One theory is that this humanoid was related to Home erectus -- ancient African exports that fell to the bigger brains of Homo sapiens -- but that the isolation of Flores alowed them to survive far longer.

What isn't up for discussion though is what ended their existance -- a giant volcanic eruption is believed to have brought their time on Earth to an end. Though do note, our guide offered to take us to another village to meet one of the "Hobbit's" direct descendants!

There is a small museum on site and while the displays are only in Indonesian, they're easy to make sense of. The cave itself, hobbits aside, is impressive and the scenery along the way is just beautiful.

For more information, see this Hobbits on Flores webpage.

More details
How to get there: The easiest way to reach the cave is by ojek -- the road is all weather and in good condition -- the trips takes about 30 minutes each way and allow for 30 minutes to an hour at the cave.
Last updated: 6th May, 2013

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