A University of Oxford scientist is convinced that the Abominable Snowman still roams the Himalayas after he found a genetic match between a prehistoric polar bear and samples believed to come from the Yeti.
Professor Bryan Sykes has conducted DNA tests on hairs from a couple of unidentified animals and compared them with the genome of other animals and found a perfect match with a sample from a polar bear specimen that dates back at least 40,000 years.
This would be a time when the polar bear and the closely related brown bear separated into two different species. Sykes believe that the apelike creature known as the Yeti could be the missing link between the two different bears.
“This is a species that hasn’t been recorded for 40,000 years. 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,” Sykes said.
His recent findings have been submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed science journal and will be part of a documentary series called Bigfoot files.
There are many claims of sightings of the elusive creature. Even Alexander the Great is said to have seen one in the Indus Valley in 326 BC, but locals say the Yeti would not be able to live on such low altitudes.
Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay reached Mount Everest’s summit in 1953 as the first on record. Both climbers reported seeing large footprints on their way to the top and both believed the tracks belonged to the Yeti. Later in life, they both became sceptical about the creature’s existence.
Cryptozoologists have tried to prove the existence of Yeti, Bigfoot, and even the Wendigo for decades. Some even believe they are all related somehow. Hundreds of sightings, reports, and blurry photos later, Sykes appears to be the one closest to revealing the “real” Yeti.
Those who chase mythological creatures have often been ridiculed, but one mustn’t forget that several animals believed to be either extinct or never to have existed in the first place, are now part of our fauna.
Such animals include the mountain gorilla in eastern Africa, the okapi, komodo dragons, and giant squids. These all started out as fables and witnesses’ reports were dismissed. Some of these are still extremely rare, but they are nonetheless out there.