Bryan Sykes, a genetics scientist at Oxford University has done a study on two hair samples allegedly coming from a Yeti, AKA, Abominable Snowman. He found that both samples match that of a polar bear, but not a modern one. The DNA matches the jawbone from an ancient polar bear jawbone that has been dated at 40,000 years ago.
Sykes had wanted to inject a little science into the myth of the Yeti. He asked for samples of hait and he received two. One was from a French Mountaineer gathered 40 years ago, taken from a mummy that was alleged to be a Yeti, from the Indian region of Ladakh, at the Western edge of the Himalayas. The second sample came from Bhutan, some 800 miles to the East just a decade ago.
Sykes contends that since both are fairly recent samples and found so far apart, there must be others and he is planning a trip to try to find one. Sykes stresses that it is not a modern Himalayan bear but one descended from the ancient polar bear that was believed to be extinct.
"I can't imagine we managed to get samples from the only two 'snow bears' in the Himalayas."
"The polar bear ingredient in their genomes may have changed their behavior so they act different, look different, maybe walk on two feet more often."
Sykes work has not yet been published because it was just sent out for peer review, but he is confident of his findings.
Tom Gilbert, professor of paleogenomics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, said that Sykes findings were a reasonable explanation of the Yeti.
"It's a lot easier to believe that than if he had found something else. If he had said it's some kind of new primate, I'd want to see all the data."
Sykes explained the legitimacy of his scientific work:
"The Yeti, the Bigfoot, is surrounded in myth and hoaxes, but you can't invent a DNA sequence from a hair."