No fairy tale: Origins of some famous stories go back thousands of years

Statistical analysis of language evolution helps estimate storytelling dates

illustrations of folktales

ONCE UPON A TIME  Some folktales such as “Rumpelstiltskin” (left) and “Beauty and the Beast” (right) may have been told in some form for thousands of years, statistical analysis shows.

Borisblue/Wikimedia Commons (Rumpelstiltskin), Garabombo/Wikimedia Commons (Beauty and the Beast)

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