Yeti Bear: Abominable Snowman Still Roams Himalayas, Says Scientist

Image: Yeti Bear: Abominable Snowman Still Roams Himalayas, Says Scientist Oxford genetics professor Bryan Sykes holding DNA sample taken from hair of a Himalayan animal.

Friday, 18 Oct 2013 06:44 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A British scientist who claims he solved the yeti mystery by conducting DNA tests on hair samples has concluded that the so-called Abominable Snowman is a mix between a polar bear and a brown bear. And it still roams the Himalayas.

Bryan Sykes, a professor of human genetics at Oxford University, put out a worldwide call last year for people to submit DNA samples from "cyptids," or previously undocumented species. He then selected two of the samples — both found about 800 miles apart in the Himalayas — and analyzed them to find other matches.

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According to a press release, Sykes found that one of the samples was a 100 percent match to an ancient polar bear jawbone found in Norway, which was estimated to be between 40,000 and 120,000 years old. The full findings will be presented on an upcoming episode of "Bigfoot Files," a documentary series on Britain's Channel 4 TV network.

"There's more work to be done on interpreting the results. I don't think it means there are ancient polar bears wandering around the Himalayas, Sykes told CNN.

"But we can speculate on what the possible explanation might be," he added. "It could mean there is a subspecies of brown bear in the High Himalayas descended from the bear that was the ancestor of the polar bear. Or it could mean there has been more recent hybridization between the brown bear and the descendant of the ancient polar bear."

Sykes' research is part of the Oxford-Lausanne Collateral Hominid Project, which also seeks to find DNA evidence to account for the existence of other mythical creatures like Bigfoot.

"'Bigfootologists' and other enthusiasts seem to think that they've been rejected by science," Sykes said in a Channel 4 press release. "Now I think that's a complete distortion of what science is about. Science doesn't accept or reject anything. All it does is examine the evidence, and that is what I'm doing."

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Related stories:

Bigfoot Footage: Video, DNA Samples Released by Sasquatch Believers

Man Calls 911 To Report Bigfoot Evidence

Animal Planet 'Mermaid' Hoax: Show's Fake, Viewers Feel Duped  

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