Evolutionary psychologist Gordon Gallup has made a very interesting revelation about the possibilities of creating a human-chimpanzee hybrid, called humanzee. He has said that such a cross-breeding is not only possible but has also successfully happened once before.
According to Gallup, a human-chimpanzee hybrid was born in a Florida laboratory about hundred years ago. However, the scientists were troubled by the implications of such a creature and killed it in a panic soon after it was born.
Movies like Tarzan, King Kong and Planet of the Apes have shown that human beings can have a cordial relationship with their ancestors, the ape family. But interbreeding among the two species has seldom been thought about by the common public.
Gallup told Sun Online that in the 1920s, an experiment was carried out at a primate research center in Orange Park, Florida. A female chimpanzee was inseminated with human semen from an undisclosed donor, resulting in the birth of a healthy infant.
"But in the matter of days or a few weeks, they began to consider the moral and ethical considerations and the infant were euthanized," said Gallup. He added that he had received this information from his professor, who formerly worked at Yerkes before the center moved to Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia in 1930.
Gallup has expressed confidence in the rumor, saying that his professor was a credible scientist whose word cannot be taken lightly.
Many countries and research facilities have tried to achieve this cross-breeding successfully in the 20th century, the most prominent among whom was by Russian biologist Ilya Ivanov, who tried to create Soviet super-soldiers by mixing human and chimpanzee DNA. However, this attempt failed.
Another such experiment in China in 1967 failed at the brink of success when the scientists had to abandon the project after the Cultural Revolution broke out. The female primate, who was pregnant with a human-hybrid by then, died due to negligence.
The term 'humanzee' was made popular by Oliver, a bald chimp who walked on his hind legs. After Oliver came into the public eye in the 1970s, there was a lot of speculation that he was half-human. But DNA tests in 1996 proved beyond doubt that Oliver had not one human gene.
This did not put to rest the hopes and theories that humans can be crossbred with members of the ape family, although the repercussions of such an experiment are unknown.
When Gallup was asked whether such an experiment is justified, he gave a vague answer, saying that "it's a fascinating question" which has "profound psychological and biological implications."
"But whether the cost would justify the benefit is the other question in this equation."