The mystery of the legendary Abominable Snowman has finally been solved, but in a way that will likely disappoint most Yeti hunters, as scientists have pulled the mask off this elusive creature to show its true face.
According to British geneticist Bryan Sykes, the Yeti is not an ape-like relative of Bigfoot, as the legends of this creature would have us believe. Gathering DNA samples from two regions of the Himalayan Mountains, Sykes has used sophisticated genetic analysis techniques to compare them to the genetic codes of other animals and samples that have been gathered over the years, and he came up with an exact match. The match came from a jawbone discovered in Svalbard, Norway, that belonged to a species polar bear that lived at least 40,000 years ago.
"This is an exciting and completely unexpected result that gave us all a surprise," Sykes said, according to Huffington Post. "There's more work to be done on interpreting the results."
Somewhere between 40,000 and 120,000 years ago is when the polar bear and the brown bear branched off from a common ancestor. However, the two species remain so closely related that they can interbreed, and that's what Sykes believes the Yeti is — a hybrid polar bear/brown bear — and there may be specimens of this hybrid species still in the Himalayas today.
"I don't think it means there are ancient polar bears wandering around the Himalayas," he said in the interview, "but we can speculate on what the possible explanation might be. It could mean there is a sub-species of brown bear in the High Himalayas, descended from the bear that was the ancestor of the polar bear. Or it could mean there has been more recent hybridization between the brown bear and the descendant of the ancient polar bear."
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This news comes on the tail of recent reports that a team in the U.S. claims they've found Bigfoot, however that 'research' seemed to rush to the desired conclusion regardless of what the results actually showed. If there's one thing that science is, it's accepting of any possibility that the universe can throw at us, as long as there's credible and testable evidence. That's where the Bigfoot investigators fail. If they were able to provide that kind of evidence, science would gladly embrace the existence of these creatures. In fact, many scientists would love it if Bigfoot and Yeti actually existed, even as they're described in the legends, because it would be a remarkable and wondrous discovery.
As Professor Sykes so aptly put it in his interview: "Bigfootologists and other enthusiasts seem to think that they've been rejected by science. Science doesn't accept or reject anything, all it does is examine the evidence and that is what I'm doing."
(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)
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