[[caption-width-right:250: She's not crazy, no matter what anypony else says.]]

Humans exist, right? After all, how couldn't they? The [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic whole world]] seems to be built with them in mind. Is it too hard to believe they at least existed?

Lyra asks herself this question a lot, as she's been utterly devoted to finding the truth for the past few years. When Lyra finds what she believes to be indisputable evidence in the form of a lyre, she becomes determined to prove their existence, no matter how much society (and her roommate) object.

This ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' {{Fanfic}} by [=JasonTheHuman=] has been [[http://www.equestriadaily.com/2011/12/story-anthropology.html featured]] on Blog/EquestriaDaily and can be found [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/4656/Anthropology here]]. There are also two official side stories: the February Write-Off entry ''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/11845/Caretakers Caretakers]]'' and the decidedly non-canon AprilFoolsDay chapter ''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/18724/Truth-vs.-Fiction Truth vs. Fiction]]'' (a sequel to the author's earlier fic ''FanFic/GurrenJesus'').

This story now has its own [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4dWMxTWTXE theme song]]!

The story has also been fully adapted into an audio-drama, the first part of which can be found [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZPjYHqJyvE here]].

[[folder: This Fanfic contains examples of: ]]

* AerithAndBob: Lyra considers how some ponies have human names (such as Pony ''Joe'') to be evidence.
* AllGirlsLikePonies: [[spoiler: Chloe, Lyra's human little sister, is deep in what her father calls the unicorn phase. Lyra bonds with her by telling her stories about Equestria, disguising them as stories Lyra made up, though after Discord shows up she tells Chloe the truth. She gets along well with Fluttershy, who was her favourite pony in the stories. In the finale, she mentions to Bon-Bon that she's thinking of asking Celestia to bring Chloe over to visit Equestria as a Christmas present]]
* [[spoiler: AncientAstronauts: Celestia reveals humans were like these, though how technologically advanced they were is still unknown.]]
* ArbitrarySkepticism: In an inversion of what's typical to be skeptical about, Rarity scoffs at Lyra's claim [[spoiler: that day and night on Earth change entirely on their own]].
* AngerBornOfWorry: when Bon-Bon threatened to throw Lyra out of the house, it was partially because she wanted to protect her. [[spoiler: She did almost crash with a cart she brought to life in a valley, though...]]
* BodyHorror: Lyra [[ProfessorGuineaPig casts spells on herself]] in an attempt to turn her forehoof into a human hand. It succeeds, and is easily reversible, but only after many [[{{Squick}} squicky]] failures.
* BookEnds: "Are you gonna eat that?"
* CassandraTruth: '''Nopony''' believes Lyra, about anything she says. Not even Twilight, the one pony who would actually listen to her, who actually has any inclination to for inquisitive fact finding. Lyra appropriately [[NotSoDifferent throws this back in Twilight's face]] when she recounts how nopony believed Twilight about Nightmare Moon.
** [[spoiler: It is [[PlayedForDrama played for drama]] when Lyra ends up in the human world. She knows that most people wouldn't believe her past, and struggles to find a good cover story. When she tells Audrey the truth about her, Audrey loses a lot of her faith in Lyra, who can't even tell the truth to her human family, and pretends to be amnesiac... up until Discord turns her back into a pony.]]
* [[spoiler: ChangelingFantasy]]
* ChekhovsGun: Lyra's interest in Greek culture and history, which she attributes to a half-pegasus heritage. [[spoiler:It's actually a further clue to her own Greek heritage on her human father's side, immediately identifiable by the name "Michelakos".]]
** Her nickname, Lyra, turns out [[spoiler:to be her real name, which convinces Audrey that she's telling the truth about being Thomas' long-lost daughter when she finds out that he did in fact have another daughter named Lyra who was mysteriously kidnapped about sixteen years before the story. It's also the name of a constellation, which is named because it resembles the [[ClassicalMythology lyre of Orpheus from Greek mythology]]]]
** The cutie-mark shaped necklace that Lyra receives from Princess Celestia [[spoiler: before being sent back to the human world, turned out to be charmed, and when Discord turns Lyra back into a pony, it sends her back to Equestria, allowing her to bring the Elements of Harmony to Earth and stop him.]]
* ChekhovsGunman: In chapter 11, Lyra sees books by authors Robert Jordan, Steven Erikson, and Thomas Michelakos. Robert Jordan and Steven Erikson are RealLife authors (best known for ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' and the ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'', respectively). [[spoiler:Thomas Michelakos isn't, and he becomes ''very'' significant starting in Chapter 17]].
* ClarkesThirdLaw: [[spoiler: When the ponies arrive in the human world, they keep wondering what kind of magic the humans are using to power things like cars, and Lyra has to explain that it's not magic, although she still doesn't really understand it either.]]
* ContrivedCoincidence: [[spoiler: It's a bit of a stretch for Lyra's human father to be so incredibly famous that literally the ''fourth'' person she has more than a fleeting conversation with recognizes his photograph.]]
* TheCuckoolanderWasRight: You're probably human, the very species whose existence Lyra is trying to prove.
** For that matter, Pinkie Pie's ([[FelonyMisdemeanor horrified]]) claims that humans eat cows, pigs, and chickens.
* CultureClash: Lyra mistakes ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' for lyre music.
* DeadpanSnarker: Paul, [[spoiler: It's enough to get him to wield the Element of Laughter against Discord in Chapter 30]].
* {{Deconstruction}}: The story deconstructs the popular {{Fanon}} interpretation of Lyra having a fixation on humans. It's by no means dark, but it shows that no matter how benign Lyra's behavior and beliefs are, they are nevertheless still deemed inappropriate in Equestrian society, to the point of becoming an increasingly more severe point of contention with her roommate. Lyra becomes paranoid, believing that pony's ignorance of humanity is all a government conspiracy. [[spoiler: Though she does turn out to be right]].
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: Lyra is saddened and horrified by humanity's history of conflict and to a lesser extent their consumption of meat [[spoiler:the former she learns about through studies in the human world, the latter from eating a [[IAteWhat ''Big Mac'']] while her human friends tend to be nonchalant about it. Also Lyra mentioning being on her own since she was 12 (due to pony aging standards) shocks Audrey, a human girl who is still considered a minor, and is slightly put off by her eating a plant. This trope abounds as Lyra struggles to adapt in the human world. ]]
* DemotedMemories: [[spoiler: Lyra [[RecurringDreams dreams]] about the human world from what she remembered when she was just a baby.]]
** [[spoiler: Lyra, which was a human name she chose because she liked the sound of it, turns out to actually be what her ''human'' parents named her]]
* DistantFinale: The final chapter takes place one month after the previous chapter.
* DramaticIrony: PlayedForLaughs, when Bon-Bon recieves Lyra's letter that she won't be returning home, while offering rent for nearly 6 months. Bon-Bon is overjoyed that Lyra got over her human obsession and found a musical career that pays so well. [[spoiler: Of course, Lyra was just turned into a human]].
** When the Mane Six [[spoiler: arrive in New York, Applejack speculates that Discord has already done a number on the place when they see the cityscape, and is baffled when Lyra tells her what she sees is perfectly normal. Consequentially, when they get separated, the cast is hopelessly lost because they can't tell what's normal and what isn't. For bonus irony, Discord is showing surprising restraint compared to his antics from his prior appearance in Ponyville]].
* EmbarrassingFirstName: Lyra's real name is Heartstrings, which she doesn’t care for too much.
* EntertaininglyWrong: Paul's theory about why Lyra acts so odd and is [[spoiler:reading up on history that is common knowledge and would have already been taught in school]]? She's a time traveller.
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: [[spoiler: People claim this is what Discord's causing. Naturally, he takes great joy in mentioning this to Lyra]].
-->'''Discord''': Surely you must know how fascinated humans are by the idea of the end of the world. They’re just ''begging'' for it to come, Lyra. I’m only doing what humans have been looking forward to for years now.
** Of course, [[MayanDoomsday people have been expecting the end of the world at that point anyway]].
* ExpositoryThemeTune: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4dWMxTWTXE Lyra's Song]].
* FaeriesDontBelieveInHumansEither: Nopony has even heard of humans before, except for Celestia and Luna, [[spoiler:and Lyra's parents, before she found the ancient books]]. And possibly Pinky Pie and her grandmother(see PlotHole below), who actually gave her accurate information about humans.
* FantasticAnthropologist: It's right there in the title.
* [[FantasyForbiddingFather Fantasy Forbidding Parents]]: When her parents realize the scope of Lyra's obsession, they tell her to stop fantasizing and to throw out all her "artifacts".
* FirstEpisodeSpoiler: [[spoiler:Lyra's adventures in the human world]] make the bulk of the story. However, they come as a plot twist in the first few chapters.
* FishOutOfWater: [[spoiler:Lyra on Earth]].
** [[spoiler:The Mane Six as well, once they arrive on Earth. And you thought New York City was confusing to HUMAN out-of-towners....]]
* GenreSavvy: [[spoiler: Thomas, who can tell that Lyra's lyre necklace is important simply from the fact that she got it from Celestia, as he is a writer of {{Troperiffic}} fantasy.]]
* GilliganCut: Bon-Bon deduces after receiving Lyra's letter that she's finally moved on from her human obsession. At that exact moment, [[spoiler:Princess Celestia has just turned Lyra back into a human and is sending her out of Equestria.]]
* GoodSamaritan: Audrey takes in Lyra after finding her on the streets of Des Moines, [[spoiler:which earns her the Element of Kindness]].
* GrassIsGreener: Although [[spoiler: Lyra doesn't find Earth to be perfect]] she cannot fathom why [[spoiler: Humans are so fascinated by something as "boring" as magic and other things we consider "fantasy"]].
* [[spoiler:HumanityEnsues]]: To Lyra, [[spoiler:though [[ChangelingFantasy she was originally human in the first place]].]]
* [[spoiler:HumanitysWake: Though thoroughly gone, Human society and inventions greatly influenced Pony society.]]
* [[spoiler:HumansAreTheRealMonsters: Celestia reveals that the reason there aren't any humans around anymore is because of... humans, [[SubvertedTrope with a little help]] from Discord.]]
* IAteWhat: Lyra's reaction to [[spoiler: finding out what a hamburger is made of]]. She admits she liked it, though, but [[spoiler:she decides not to eat meat ever again]].
* InterspeciesAdoption: [[spoiler: it is revealed that Lyra was being adopted by a foal-less couple [[DoorstopBaby after they found her in the Royal gardens of Canterlot]].]]
* IntriguedByHumanity:Lyra obviously, and more or less the main plot point of the story. The[[spoiler: first part the]] story shows the consequences of believing in a creature that has not been proven to exist, and adopting their habits:namely the skepticism of her peers (and the frustration of Bon Bon) and the fear that the government is hiding the fact that they exist. [[spoiler: Her obsession is attributed to the fact they she was in fact [[HumanAllAlong born a human]].]]
* IWasHavingSuchANiceDream: Lyra has a [[DreamingOfTimesGoneBy dream of Manehattan, except everyone, including her, is human]][[note]](presumably Manhattan)[[/note]]. After realizing this, she thinks about [[TemptingFate how there's so much she wants to see]], and then is woken up by Bon-Bon.
* LowerDeckEpisode: Scenes from the [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic series]] where Lyra and Bon-Bon are in the crowd are written into the story, with added context of course.
* [[spoiler: MageInManhattan: Discord follows Lyra into the human world where he starts causing chaos. An interestingly literal version of this trope, as the events occur in New York City.]]
* {{Masquerade}}: Lyra believes the supposed nonexistence of humans is this, and she appears to be right.
** Lyra appropriately points out all kinds of inconsistencies within the Hearths Warming Eve [[TheConspiracy story]] that everypony else takes as almost literal fact, her roommate dismisses it offhand.
** [[spoiler: Confrimed as true.]]
* [[MistakenForSpies Mistaken For A Spy]]: PlayedForLaughs, when Twilight was asked by Princess Celestia to find out as much about humans as she can, and so naturally goes to the human-obsessed Lyra for help. However, this was just after Princess Luna gets angry at Lyra for the mere mention of humans, and assumes Twilight's there to find out how much she knows and eliminate her. This goes into insane and hilarious levels of paranoia, even after Twilight's intent is proven genuine.
** The implication is that Twilight is acting as an UnwittingPawn to Celestia in order to spy on Lyra, which could make her ProperlyParanoid.[[spoiler: Which turns out to be true]].
* MythologyGag: Lyra's birthname was Heartstrings, but she was more accustomed to the name Lyra after reading it in a book, a reference to the fact that Lyra's original name in the toyline was Heartstrings, but the fandom demanded that she be renamed Lyra.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: If Lyra hadn't been so interested in humans, [[spoiler:Discord probably never would've found Earth.]] Naturally, [[EvilGloating he takes great pleasure]] in [[LampshadeHanging pointing this out to her.]]
** NiceJobFixingItVillain: [[spoiler: If Discord hadn't turned Lyra back into a unicorn, she wouldn't have been able to use Celestia's enchantment to return to Equestria, contact the Mane Six and bring them and the Elements of Harmony to Earth. And the elements were of use, though not as expected...]]
* TheNotLoveInterest: Despite the two practically being the {{OTP}} of the fandom, Lyra and Bon-Bon are simply roommates in this story. Bon-Bon even threatens to kick Lyra out at some points.
* ParentalObliviousness: Lyra's parents disapproved of her human obsession and ordered her to stop, but they have no idea that she picked it up again after moving out. Lyra does a good job hiding it when they visit again, at least until [[MurphysLaw Twilight]] [[HilarityEnsues needs help writing a report on humans.]]
* PinocchioSyndrome: Lyra desperately wants to become a human, even through nopony else has even heard of them. [[spoiler: She gets her wish, and it is revealed she wasn't born a pony.]]
* PlotHole: At one point, Pinky Pie mentions that she'd heard about humans from her grandmother, but later she says she'd heard of them from Bon-Bon talking about how Lyra always talked about them. She also notes the second time that it seems like she's one of the only ones who had ever heard of humans, even though there seem to be a fair number, [[spoiler:though only a few that know they actually exist]].
* ProlongedPrologue: After he posted ''Chapter 9'', leaving a huge cliffhanger ([[spoiler:Lyra is a human]]), [=JasonTheHuman=] wrote on his blog, "I hope you all enjoyed the prologue. The story begins next Monday."
* [[RaisedByWolves Raised By Ponies]]: [[spoiler: Lyra somehow ended up in Equestria and was being [[RaisedByNatives raised by ponies]].]]
* TheReveal: [[spoiler: Humanity on Equestria is extinct, and Lyra is human.]]
* SarcasmBlind:
-->'''Lyra''': I play the lyre. I heard that’s not very popular around here, though.\\
'''Nathan''': A lyre? I guess if you found someone who played [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime ocarina]], you could start a band.\\
'''Lyra''': Really?\\
'''Audrey''': She doesn’t really get sarcasm.
** Also from chapter 23:
-->'''Lyra''': I was reading that history book you gave me and it said that America had been in wars. A lot of them, actually.\\
'''Paul''': News flash. I’ve never heard that before.\\
'''Lyra''': So… It wasn’t true? I mean, if there had really been so many, you would have heard – \\
'''Paul''': That was sarcasm, Lyra.
* SayingTooMuch: When questioned about humans, Luna immediately begins ranting about how better off everyone is without their influence. Then she orders Lyra to drop everything regarding the subject, and promptly storms off.
* ShoutOut: When Lyra first meets Nathan, he's wearing a shirt with the word [[{{VideoGame/Portal}} Aperture]] on it.
** Audrey and Nathan both make references to Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda when they find out that Lyra plays the lyre.
** After telling Monica his theory that Lyra is a time traveler, he comments that she acts like someone out of a movie. Specifically, a Creator/TimBurton movie, if the "[[Film/EdwardScissorhands quirky outsider]] played by Creator/JohnnyDepp was a teenage girl instead".
** Chapter 29 contains a reference to Music/TayZonday's popular song ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwTZ2xpQwpA Chocolate Rain]]''.
* TakeThat: When Lyra finds [[spoiler:the book ''Literature/TheLastUnicorn'', she thinks it is insulting, since it is not how unicorns are like at all, and doesn't understand why Amalthea doesn't like being human.]]
* ThisIsReality: “This isn’t one of your books. This is real life.” HilariousInHindsight, considering the circumstances.
* TomatoInTheMirror: After revealing the truth about humanity and all its flaws, Celestia reveals one more thing to Lyra... [[spoiler:[[InterspeciesAdoption She's adopted.]]]]
* TransNature: In a way. Although it is clear that she wanted to become human despite not knowing they had [[spoiler: gone extinct in Equestria and not knowing she was one from another universe]], later on, [[spoiler: she starts having dreams of turning into an unicorn again and started showing signs of being homesick.]] No one knows for certain, but there is the possibility that [[spoiler:part of her wanted to stay an unicorn and remain living in Equestria.]]
* TrueCompanions: Lyra and her [[spoiler: human]] friends. [[spoiler: They are able to defeat Discord with the Elements of Harmony.]]
* UndyingLoyalty: Randall towards Lyra, [[spoiler:earning him the Element of Loyalty]].
* UnfortunateNames: After [[spoiler:arriving in the human world]], Lyra name-drops Twilight Sparkle to [[spoiler: her new human friend, Audrey. She assumes Twilight must have been raised by hippies and that she must be teased "[[Literature/{{Twilight}} because of the books]]."]]
* ValuesDissonance: In-universe with [[spoiler:Creator/PeterSBeagle's ''Literature/TheLastUnicorn''. To Lyra, who ''was'' a unicorn, the portrayal of the titular protagonist comes across as highly offensive.]]
* WhatAreRecords: {{Inverted}}. When [[spoiler:Audrey's father]] shows Lyra music [=CDs=], she doesn't know what they are and is only familiar with vinyl records. It's [[LampshadeHanging pointed out]] how unusual it is.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: [[spoiler: It's never explained how Lyra ended up in Equestria in the first place.]]
* WhamEpisode: Chapter 9
** Another comes in chapter 24 [[spoiler: when Discord reveals he followed Lyra to the human world and changes her back into a pony.]]
** And another comes in chapter 27: The Mane 6 [[spoiler: arrive in New York to defeat Discord. He's just as surprised as they are when the Elements of Harmony [[OhCrap fail to petrify him again]].]]
* WhamLine: "All we knew for sure is… you weren’t born here in Equestria, Lyra."
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: [[spoiler:When she turns human, Lyra’s hair remains mint green.]]