Scientists have examined DNA samples that were supposed to be from Yetis, and found out that in fact, they're just from bears.
A study published this week in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B attempts to get down to the question of whether mythical Himalayan Yeti exists. They examined nine different specimens from supposed Yetis and came to some very interesting conclusions – namely, that the DNA came from Tibetan brown bears, Himalayan brown bears, and an Asian black bear.
Also, the ninth specimen came from a dog, meaning that even the best potential clues for a Yeti’s existence turn out to be rather ordinary animals. The findings are in direct contradiction to a 2014 study conducted by Bryan Sykes, a geneticist at Oxord, who said there was a genetic match between Yeti samples and an ancient polar bear from tens of thousands of years ago.
Sykes thought that this Yeti might be some unknown species of bear that may have descended from this polar bear, but this study blows up that less-farfetched theory as well, and reveals that in fact they are just samples from animals we already know live in the area.
“Our findings strongly suggest that the biological underpinnings of the Yeti legend can be found in local bears, and our study demonstrates that genetics should be able to unravel other, similar mysteries,” says lead scientist Charlotte Lindqvist, PhD, an associate professor of biological sciences in the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences, and a visiting associate professor at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore).
“This study represents the most rigorous analysis to date of samples suspected to derive from anomalous or mythical ‘hominid’-like creatures,” Lindqvist and her co-authors write in their new paper.