I’m sort of gobsmacked that it took this long for anyone to actually do this, but Michel Sartori, an entomologist at the Museum of Zoology in Lausanne, Switzerland and his co-author Bryan Sykes, a prominent human geneticist at the University of Oxford, have gathered ‘bigfoot’ and ‘yeti’ hair samples gathered from various cryptid museums and submitted them for DNA testing.
Sykes believed that science hadn’t really given a fair shake investigating claims of ‘anomalous primates’ and suspected that they might actually be remnant neanderthals. Certainly, they wouldn’t be the first species believed to be extinct only to pop up in the modern age. Cryptozoologists were more than happy to help as well, like Loren Coleman, director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine. “The proper scientific point of view is not to dismiss any hypothesis out of hand but simply to subject it to testing,” is the thought of Norman MacLeod of The Natural History Museum in London, author of an accompanying commentary on the research. And we agree.
Of the more than 30 hair samples gathered for testing, none were unidentified. They were found to be from bears, horses, porcupines, cows, and members of the canine family. “I cannot say that the sasquatch or related animal does not exist,” says Sartori, “But at the moment I have no evidence of the existence of these creatures.”
The most interesting thing to come from the study was that one of the bear samples matched DNA from a polar bear bone found in 2004 which was dated as being 10,000 years old. Although the result is still preliminary and requires further testing, it certainly stirred up interest and speculation that perhaps the ‘yeti’ sightings are not in fact a new species of hominid but instead a new or very, very old unknown species mix of a polar and brown bear.
While the study didn’t yield the results desired, at least for cryptozoologists, I would imagine that they were glad just to know for sure what they had. While it may not have shown proof for the existence of a Sasquatch as previously speculated, perhaps we’ve gotten the first lead in this mystery as to what the source of the hundreds of sightings over the years actually were. Would you be terribly disappointed to find out Bigfoot was a unknown species of bear instead of a primate? From a cryptozoological point of view, it seems like a win either way.