24 April 7114
For the thousandth time today, I must ask myself whether this is truly happening to me. Is it really possible that I — an anthropologist on vacation to the Southern Isles — would be blown off course and to an island that has, somehow, been hidden from the world for more than five thousand years?
It cannot be so! And yet, here I am.
Scarcely upon my awakening on the beach — can it be called a beach? It seems harder than most beaches, as if the sand had somehow been petrified into a flat, hard surface — I was met by the natives of this strange isle.
I call them “natives,” for I know not what else to call them. Certainly, “people” does not fit, for while they bear some resemblance to humans, their differences exceed their similarities in many striking ways.
The first thing one notes when seeing these individuals is the size of their heads. Their skulls are enormous, easily exceeding the ordinary girth of a modern human head by 40%. Further, their heads are somewhat pliant, as if made of a porous material intended to cushion and protect.
Of course, these odd skull sizes are even more evident when you consider that these natives are entirely without hair (and this is not merely the case on their heads, but also their legs and arms!).
The lack of extra thickness of the natives’ necks argues for the likelihood that this extra bulk surrounding the brain is quite light. I did not make this connection immediately, however, for the natives — every single one of them — hunches continuously. At first, I thought this was due to the weight of their heads. Instead, their spines are uniformly bent.
The natives’ odd characteristics are in no way limited to their heads and spines, however. They have no toes at all, but seem to have grown an odd, bony structure, protruding down from the ball of each foot. Their legs are muscular, but I have seen no native ever bend a leg at more than 40-degree angle, and they walk gingerly, tentatively, and without grace.
Their upper bodies are wasted away, with arms that are barely more than vestigial. And yet, they have almost comically large ribcages, as if they each had an extra set of lungs.
They all appear dangerously thin. Perhaps I have happened upon them during a famine?
Of course, I was terrified when confronted by these natives, but I needn’t have been. Not only are they mostly friendly, but they speak a dialect of English. A representative asked me if I needed food. I allowed that I was in fact hungry. He handed me a rectangular, hard piece of breadlike substance (lending credence to my famine theory), a bottle of water, and — along with the others of his tribe — turned and walked awkwardly behind a hut.
Thinking that I would have no trouble whatsoever catching up to such a slow folk, I took my time standing up while trying to eat this bland bar of foodlike substance (eventually, I discarded it). But by the time I got to the hut, the natives were gone.
Who are these strange folk, and what strange environmental pressures have forced these horrible changes upon their bodies?
So many mysteries. I hope to learn more tomorrow.