“Skull-duggery” (Crystal craniums)

There are many crystal skulls out there, the overwhelming majority of which both skeptics and believers think were made in the last 200 years. The dispute centers on how many ancient, magic skulls there are, with believers saying 13 and skeptics saying zero.

The origins of these 13 enchanted quartz craniums have variously been described as Mayan, Aztec, or Cherokee. Bolder claims have them coming from down below (Atlantis) or up above (an exoplanet). There have been numerous persons asserting to be in possession of ancient crystal skulls, but all claims have withered under scientific scrutiny, and no such skulls have ever been found during an archeological dig.

The busiest time and place for these frauds was 19th Century England. Interest in ancient culture artifacts was high and dating techniques weren’t what they are now, so the fraudsters got away with it for a while, selling bogus pieces to museums and universities.

Faux archeologists have given way to New Age entrepreneurs as the main peddlers of crystal skulls. Powers attributed to them include healing, cancer eradication, gravity suppression, expanded psychic awareness, and providing holographic images of the holder’s past events.

The skulls also serve as a townhouse for souls of ancient Mayans. They entered the skulls in order to wait for someone with the ability to unlock their prophetic knowledge to happen along. The key, however, is to get all 13 skulls together and juxtapose them is such a way that will usher in an era of bliss, enlightenment, and twice-weekly taco days.

One of the more enthusiastic promoters is crystalskulls.com, a website so loose with the facts that it describes the Great Flood as “scientifically verified.” If anonymous testimonials are your passion, you’ll want to stop by. Here’s one: “I’ve always found your skulls to have a much higher vibration and love quotient than other skulls.” And another: “When I meditated with my new skull it gave me the name of A-Ma-Ru, meaning doorway or portal to higher consciousness.” You can bulk up your Good Vibrations and spirit travel for $298. Shipping is extra, as the website delivers through FedEx, not the higher consciousness portal.

An Ancient Aliens episode declared every tested crystal skull to be of comparatively recent origin and void of supernatural power. This seeming anomaly for the program is understandable once one realizes they were profiling Anna Mitchell-Hedges, who was in possession of a crystal skull found in 1924 that hadn’t been proven fake. However, this was because she had rejected all requests for testing from scientists and their annoying dating technology. She said the skull had given her a premonition of the JFK assassination, not bothering to explain why she made no attempt to stop it.

After her death, the skull was examined by the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, which tested it and determined it to be recent. Ancient Aliens stands by its story. Smithsonian vs. Ancient Aliens, you decide the winner. The program noted that another 12 skulls need to come together to usher in the grand new epoch, which should buy them another dozen episodes.

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