About 50 km away from Johannesburg, South Africa, Lee Berger, a philanthropist from University of Witwatersrand led a team to excavate fossils from the narrow entrance of the Rising Star cave. Aiming to discover what we heard in the news as “new” species of human, female researchers from the team crawled into mere eight inches wide narrow chute to excavate the bones.

By the next day, the news was all over the world. After excavating more than 15,000 bones belonging to 15 individuals including an infant, a juvenile and a very old adult, the world heard a new term – Homo naledi, an ancient human species with similarities to both humans and apes. Berger describes the species as “long-legged”, “pinheaded” and “gangly” small-brained creatures. However, many researchers and experts call this claim unjustified and unsubstantial. What Berger claims to have found the new species, looks extremely similar to Homo erectus, ancient human ancestors who are claimed to be dead nearly two millions years ago and were found in southern Africa.

Though Berger hasn’t cleared the date to which they belong to, William Jungers, an anthropologist from Stony Brook School of Medicine in New York denies his claim while speaking to the Guardian, "If they are as old as two million years,then they might be early South African versions of Homo erectus, a species already known from that region. If much more recent, they could be a relic species that persisted in isolation. In other words, they are more curiosities than game-changers for now.”

While many researchers argue the resemblance of Homo naledi with Homo erectus, Christoph Zollikofer, an anthropologist at the University of Zurich calls these claims clearly fabricated for media. "The ‘new species’ and ‘dump-the-dead’ claims are clearly for the media. None of them is substantiated by the data presented in the publications,” he told the Guardian.

Though Berger and his team are working on to find substantial data to prove their claims, National Geographic Channel has come up with a special show called “Dawn of Humanity” to help Berger explain to the world about his new discovery.