Abominable Snowmen book and my mummified “Yeti” finger.
I was tipped off to this news several months ago (and again a few days ago) that Oxford University geneticist Dr. Bryan Sykes would be announcing some “unexpected results” concerning his DNA study of supposed Yeti hair samples. Well, now those results are being officially announced to the world, and I would think it’s safe to say they are not what anybody had expected, but no less amazing in my opinion.
For centuries, tales of the Yeti, an elusive but terrifying creature said to roam the inhospitable Himalayan Mountains, have enthralled curious minds. Now, research by a leading UK geneticist may have unlocked the truth about the Yeti, or Abominable Snowman, after hair samples from two mystery animals proved to be a genetic match to an ancient polar bear. The findings, to be explained in “Bigfoot Files,” a documentary series on Britain’s Channel 4 TV network, are the work of Bryan Sykes, a professor of human genetics at Oxford University. He put out a worldwide call last year for people to submit hair or other tissue from “cryptids,” or previously undescribed species, and collected more than 30 samples for analysis. Sykes’ research focused on two samples in particular, both from the Himalayas but found about 800 miles apart, one in the Ladakh region and the other in Bhutan. To his surprise, testing found a 100% match with a polar bear jawbone from Svalbard, the northernmost part of Norway, that dates back between 40,000 and 120,000 years, according to a news release from Channel 4.
First of all, the sheer fact that, yes, the Yeti is indeed a real living “prehistoric” animal and not just the stuff of legends anymore, is enough to get excited about. So yes, I am elated to hear this news coming from an extremely reputable source like Dr. Sykes and Oxford University. If anything, it shows that there’s sometimes much more than just a grain of truth to sightings and descriptions of legendary cryptids, that they are not just some imaginary creation made up by the locals.
Second, this confirms my own suspicions about the possible identity of the Yeti, in that it may be something altogether different from Sasquatch. For years I had erroneously made the same assumption that most people do, that is, lumping the Yeti in with Bigfoot and Almas, in that I had always believed they were all some sort of related bipedal primate. That is, until I began collecting Bigfoot prints for the Museum of the Weird.
When I first received a cast made from the original Tom Slick Yeti print retrieved on one of his Nepal expeditions, I was stunned. Now I don’t proclaim to be a scientist nor am I an expert in animal tracks, but even to my layman’s eyes these did not look anything like the Bigfoot casts I had already amassed! In fact, when I first saw the Tom Slick cast, my first thought was, “this is fake.” It just didn’t look like what I thought a Yeti print should look like (which in my mind, would be like a Bigfoot print). Once I realized that, yes, what I had was indeed a copy of the actual Tom Slick Yeti print and not a phony, my second thought was, “this could be a bear.” It was an an eye-opening revelation.
Here for your consideration is a side-by-side comparison of the Tom Slick Yeti print and a Bigfoot print (one of the “Grays Harbor” casts), both on display in the Museum of the Weird.
The Bigfoot print is nearly twice the length of the Yeti print, and the Yeti print has only four visible toes.
Look at the difference in size and shape, and let us know what your thoughts are.
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