For decades now, anyone who has climbed or is about to climb the Himalayas is haunted by one fact; does Yeti really exist? The apelike creature has been featured in many a story and movie, with many individuals even claiming that they had come face to face with it. However, without concrete evidence, the question of whether Yeti actually existed or not seemed to elude scientists for years, until now.
Professor Bryan Sykes, a geneticist researcher from Oxford University has finally managed to get a genetic match of the samples claimed to have taken from Yeti with another creature that is said to have inhabited the earth over 40000 years ago. The report also suggests the possibility of Yeti still inhabiting the Himalayas.
The tests conducted by Professor Sykes compared DNA taken from the hairs of two unidentified animals, out of which once was found in Bhutan and the other was found in Ladakh in India. The results obtained from the tests were then compared with the DNA samples of other animals stored in a comprehensive database of all the DNA samples ever retrieved and published. Professor Sykes was able to obtain a 100% match with the sample obtained from the jawbone of an ancient polar bear found in Svalbard in Norway.
The specimen used for comparison dates back to nearly 120000 years ago when the brown bear and the polar bear were existing as two distinct species. The recent specimens, the Professor notes are hybrids, meaning they contain genetic traces of both brown bears and polar bears. Furthermore, the new samples were acquired only recently (the one from Ladakh is about 40 years old and the one from Bhutan is about 10 years ago), meaning that these creatures could very well be inhabiting these regions even now.
Both the obtained samples contain brownish hairs, suggesting that the creatures they come from may be about 5 feet tall, which is shorter than the rumored height of the Yeti. However, Professor Sykes believes that these creatures may exhibit other characteristics like increased aggression and bipedalism that could give them the Yeti tag.
Reports of Yeti aka the Abominable Snowman has flooded the earth for centuries. In 1951, Eric Shipton, a British climber claimed to have seen the creature at the base of Mount Everest, and even clicked a photo of its footprint to prove his claims. And considering the fact that the area Eric had reportedly seen the creature in, houses only brown bears, Asiatic black bears and sloth bears, Professor Sykes believes that it could probably mean that the creature could be a descendant of the sub species of brown bear that in turn descended from the ancestor of the polar bear. He claims that it could also mean that there is more hybridization between the descendant of the ancient polar bear and the brown bear in recent times.