The legendary Yeti of the Himalayas, known as the “Abominable Snowman” and sometimes thought to related to the mysterious North American beast known as Bigfoot, may be nothing but a big albeit rare breed of bear, scientists have found.
Oxford University geneticist Brian Skykes ran DNA tests on hair samples thought to belong to the Yeti, One of the hairs came from a creature shot 40 years ago by a hunter in northern India. The other was found by filmmakers in a bamboo forest in Bhutan about 10 years ago.
Both hairs came from unidentified animals — that could be examples of the Yeti.
Sykes ran DNA tests on the two hair samples. He then checked them against a fossilized polar bear bone found in Norway. The bear to whom the bone belonged is thought to be as many as 120,000 years old.
To his surprise, Sykes found a perfect DNA match between the mysterious Yeti hair samples and the prehistoric bear.
While Sykes said that he did not believe that “ancient polar bears are wandering around the Himalayas,” it is possible that they Yeti is a sub-species of the brown bear, a species closely related to polar bears.
This isn’t the first time that a “bear theory” has been advanced to explain the Yeti phenomenon. Moutaineeer Reinhold Messner, the first man to climb Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen, came face-to-face with a Yeti in 1986 and has researched the creatures ever since.
He has located a 300-year-old Tibetan text which syas, "The yeti is a variety of bear living in inhospitable mountainous areas."
SOURCES: BBC News, The Mirror