an imaginative look a palaeolithic life

The Neanderthal Test

I wrote this just for fun, so people could see if they have neanderthal characteristics or not.

1. How tall are you?

a)    Men: 5’7” or shorter; women: 5’3” or shorter (5 points)

b)    Taller than the above (0 points)

2. Is your chin:

a)    Pointy (0 points)

b)    Not very pointy (5 points)

c)    Not pointy at all in fact it kind of slopes backwards from my jaws (15 points)

3. What is your build? (as in your skeleton/musculature, ignore body fat)

a)    Stocky and muscular (10 points)

b)    Slender (0 points)

c)    Kind of half way between the two (5 points)

4. When you were eight you were…

a)    …more like a 12 yr old in physical development (10 points)

b)    …average for an 8 yr old or just a little above average (0 points)

c)    …physically less developed than other 8 yr olds (0 points)

5. Is the shape of your face, viewed from the side, most like A or B?

neanderthal test graphic face

a)    Most like A (10 points)

b)    Most like B (0 points)

c)    Kind of halfway between A and B (5 points)

6. Is your forehead…

a)    What forehead? (0 points)

b)    Vertical (0 points)

c)    Sloping but with small or non-existent brow ridges.  (5 points)

d)    Sloping with big straight brow ridges. (5 points)

e)    Sloping with big arched brow ridges. (15 points)

f)     Sloping with big arched brow ridges and I’m female. (30 points)

7. Are you ginger?

a)    Yes (10 points)

b)    No, but I have really pale skin that burns easily and/or freckles (5 points)

c)    No, and my skin tans easily and/or is dark (0 points)

d)    Are you kidding?  I have brown skin and afro hair (-5 points)

8. Do you wear turn-ups?

a)    Yes I have to wear turn-ups and also on my sleeves too as I have short arms and legs, but I have a large frame and so trouser legs and sleeves are always too long (10 points)

b)    No.  My clothes fit just fine. (0 points)

c)    As a fashion statement only.  I don’t need to have them. (0 points)

d)    Quite the opposite, clothes tend to be too short in the legs and arms for me as I’m tall and slender (0 points)

e)    No, I get my clothes tailor made so they fit my little short arms and legs and large frame just fine.  (10 points)

9. Can you do full (“ass to grass”) squats from standing with a narrow stance (shoulder width apart or less, toes facing forwards)?

a)    No, because I fall over backwards on account of the fact that my femurs are relatively long compared to my shins.  But I can do full squats just fine with a wider stance/toes facing out/heels raised, including with a heavy barbell (10 points)

b)    I can’t do any kind of squats because I’m unfit and/or inflexible (0 points)

c)    Yes I can do full squats in any stance, including narrow, without balance issues (0 points)

10.  Do you have space in your jaw behind your wisdom teeth?

a)    Yes (15 points)

b)    No (0 points)

c)    Space behind them?  I don’t have enough space for them! (0 points)

11.  Is your skull shape:

a)    Taller than it is long (0 points)

b)    Longer than it is tall (10 points)

c)    Small in all dimensions (0 points)

12.  Is the back of your head, when viewed from the side, most like A or B?

neanderthal test graphic back of head

a)    Most like A (0 points)

b)    Most like B (10 points)

c)    Kind of half way between A and B (5 points)

13. Are your hands, feet, fingers and toes:

a)    Short and wide (5 points)

b)    Average or long and thin (0 points)

14. Are a fast runner?

a)    No, because I’m an unfit couch potato (0 points)

b)    No, because I have short legs, so no matter how fast I move my little legs I can’t get much speed up even though I’m generally athletic and strong (5 points)

c)    Yes (0 points)

d)    Yes, very much so; in fact I compete in the 100m sprint in athletics at a high level (0 points)

e)    I can only manage a slow waddle on my legs, but using all four limbs I’m really, really fast, and I’m also really good at brachiating and tree climbing (0 points)

15. How about hill and/or stair running?

a)    You must be joking, us unfit couch potatoes aren’t even going to go near that, running on the flat is bad enough!!  (0 points)

b)    Yes I’m good at that.  Those taller guys with their long shin bones may be able to beat me on the flat, but I can beat them up a hill or a flight of stairs! (10 points)

c)    I’m good at it because I’m strong and athletic, but I don’t think my shins are shorter than average for my height.  (0 points)

16. Are you good at throwing spears/javelins?

a)    Yes (0 points)

b)    No (5 points)

c)    No, but I’m sure good at thrusting them into large animals (15 points)

17.  What diet would you prefer?

a)    Mostly meat plus some fruit and veg for vitamins etc (5 points)

b)    Mostly fruit/veg with some meat or fish for protein (0 points)

c)    Totally vegan or vegetarian (0 points)

18.  What is your blood group?

a)    O (5 points)

b)    Not O (0 points)

19.  Are you a rodeo rider?

a)    Yes, and I’m very good at it (5 points)

b)    No (0 points)

c)    You must be kidding, the idea of going near big animals terrifies me!! (0 points)

d)    No, but I hunt very large animals for food using thrusting spears and other short range weapons and that’s kind of like rodeo riding (25 points)

20. Is your ethnic origin (as in where your ancestors from the last 20,000 years ago came from): 

a)    Sub-Saharan African, (i.e. south of the Sahara desert) (0 points)

b)    Non-African or North African (i.e. north of the Sahara) (5 points)

c)    Mix of Sub-Saharan African and non-African and/or North African (5 points)

d)    Flores island, and no, I don’t mean descended from the Homo sapiens people who arrived here long after we did (0 points)

e)    Don’t tell anyone this okay, but I’m actually from a lost tribe of Neanderthals who have been living in the Sierra Nevada mountains in Spain, hiding from you Cro-Magnon people all this time because you’re a bunch of psychopaths.  (100 points)

21. How well do you cope with change and new things?

a)    I don’t like change or new things (5 points)

b)    I like change and new things (0 points)

c)    If this is your way of boasting about your new-fangled Cro-Magnon technology and a dig at how we allegedly never really got the hang of those Aurignacian core flake thingamajigs, then you can go jump off one of your fancy buildings.  We have no need of arrow heads or toothed blades, so we’re sticking with Mousterian thank you very much (30 points)

22. Have you ever had your DNA tested and compared to DNA from Neanderthal fossils?

a)    Yes, and it said it was a 1-4% match (5 points)

b)    No, never (0 points)

c)    Yes and it said it was a 0% match (-5 points)

d)    No point, I’m from sub-Sahara Africa (-5 points)

e)    I told you, we’ve kept well away from you Cro-Magnon psychos, so no, I haven’t submitted my DNA to any of your scientific studies (30 points)

f)     Yes, and it said I was an exact match to a Neanderthal fossil in a museum in Germany, which begs a lot of questions of my mum who’s a palaeogeneticist and my dad who’s an IVF specialist for which I’ve had no satisfactory answers as yet (100 points)


5 or less:

You’re not a neanderthal.  However, a negative result on this test is not proof that you’re a Homo sapiens.


You have some neanderthal characteristics, this could either be due to interbreeding or a little convergent evolution.


You seem to have rather a lot of neanderthal characteristics.  Note that this could be due to convergent evolution and nothing to do with interbreeding, and genes for these characteristics don’t necessarily come from neanderthals.  People who are ethnically from cold and/or mountainous parts of the world are more likely to have some of these characteristics, whether they actually come from neanderthals or convergent evolution, and not enough is known about the Denisovan hominid to know if some of these characteristics could have come from them (but hey they lived in Siberian mountains so it’s not that unlikely!)

Whatever the origin of the genes, you are more neanderthal-like than average for a Homo sapiens.  Future studies in palaeogenetics may reveal whether any modern people have more neanderthal DNA than the 1-4% currently discovered.


You are a remarkable specimen; please contact the Max Planck Institute immediately for DNA analysis*.

I scored 85 on this test.  I expect there’s people out there who’d score more than that.  Post your scores in the comments section below, along with any other details you choose to include that may be relevant, such as your ethnic origin or where your tribe has been hiding these past 30,000 years. Also, feel free to point out any errors or discuss any points of interest.

*please don’t, because if you haven’t figured out by now that this whole thing is just for fun, the nice people at the Max Planck Institute really shouldn’t have to deal with you.


4 responses

  1. Fredrik

    Awesome test! But I just got 30… =(
    I feel more like a neanderthal than a sapien though!
    Write more, want MOAR!

    June 28, 2013 at 21:18

    • well it’s not the most scientific test in the world…

      more articles are in the pipeline just been a bit busy lately. Glad you like them 🙂

      July 1, 2013 at 19:02

  2. BodilyParts

    I scored 100. Makes sense with my Scandinavian/Celtic ancestry.

    April 7, 2014 at 00:42

  3. Christina H

    72 🙂

    October 15, 2014 at 17:49

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