Is the yeti mystery solved? DNA indicates the Abominable Snowman is actually a bear descended from ancient polar bears, according to a British scientist who believes he's solved the centuries-old mystery of the apelike Himalayan creature.
Oxford University genetics professor Bryan Sykes compared hair samples from two Himalayan animals to an animal-genome database, and found a genetic link to a polar bear jawbone discovered in the Norwegian Arctic that dates back thousands of years.
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"This is a species that hasn't been recorded for 40,000 years," he told reporters, according to The Telegraph
. "Now, we know one of these was walking around 10 years ago. And what's interesting is that we have found this type of animal at both ends of the Himalayas. If one were to go back, there would be others still there."
The tests produced no connection to modern Himalayan bears, but were direct descendants of the prehistoric species.
Skyes noted "it may be a new species, it may be a hybrid" between polar bears and brown bears.
The Abominable Snowman is one of many legendary ape-like animals, along with Bigfoot, whose existence has been questioned by scientists and loosely documented by hundreds of eyewitness accounts and blurry photographs. The legend of Bigfoot picked up steam earlier this month when researchers in Dallas released video footage
of the beast and DNA samples they claimed are the real deal.
Dr. Melba Ketchum told reporters an Oct. 3 news conference that her research team has been collecting data and evidence for five years for what they called "The Sasquatch Genome Project."
For the Yeti, Sykes asked museums, scientists, and Yeti experts last year to pool collected hair samples thought to be from the creature.
Tom Gilbert, professor of paleogenomics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, told The Associated Press that Sykes' research offers a "reasonable explanation"
for Yeti sightings.
"It's a lot easier to believe that than if he had found something else," Gilbert said. "If he had said it's some kind of new primate, I'd want to see all the data."
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