The Yeti is descended from an ancient bear polar, according to a British geneticist, who said Thursday that he may have solved the mystery of the yeti through his latest research study.
Bryan Sykes, emeritus professor at Oxford University, has said that he has matched DNA from two animals – one said to be the mythical yeti, and the other an ancient polar bear.
"We have found an exact genetic match between two samples from the Himalayas and the ancient polar bear," said Sykes.
The legend of a mythical yeti has been touted across continents for centuries, with those in the Himalayas labeling the beast "migoi," where as those in North America call it "Bigfoot," and in the Caucasus mountains it is called the "almasty."
Various eye-witness accounts of a Bigfoot have circulated for decades, and in 1951, explorer Eric Shipton returned from his expedition to Everest showing photos he had taken of giant footprints in the snow. Those photos sparked widespread rumors that the yeti was real, although no firm evidence has ever been presented that has convinced all critics beyond doubt.
Many of the claimed sightings of the creature have spurned claims that the yeti was related to human beings. However, the new claims by Professor Sykes indicate that the creature is more likely to be a bear hybrid.
Sykes' research was conducted after he made a 2012 global appeal for DNA samples from suspected yeti sightings. They received about 27 that were considered good DNA results, and they were then compared with the genomes from other animals stored on a database.
"In the Himalayas, I found the usual sorts of bears and other creatures amongst the collection," Sykes told BBC radio, ahead of the broadcast of a TV program on his findings. "But the particularly interesting ones are the ones whose genetic fingerprints are linked not to the brown bears or any other modern bears, (but) to an ancient polar bear."