A new study finds that there isn't a Yeti or ancient polar bear descendant roaming the mountains in Siberia, based on an analysis of DNA.
A couple of incredible theories were put to the test recently, one a bit more far-fetched and alleging a Yeti is roaming the Siberian mountains and wilderness, and another that it is a descendant of an ancient polar bear that had yet to be discovered. The study, published recently in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, found that both hypotheses were incorrect.
In fact, of all the DNA samples tested that were allegedly from a Yeti or this mysterious bear species, none of them turned out to be anything but an already known species of bear – or, in one case, a dog. They found that the DNA from nine different specimens belonged to Tibetan brown bears, Himalayan brown bears, an Asian black bear, and a dog.
A 2014 study by Bryan Sykes, who is a geneticist at Oxford, made the intriguing claim that there was a genetic match between one of these supposed Yeti DNA samples and a polar bear that lived tens of thousands of years ago. However, this new research has put that theory to bed, at least for now.
“Our findings strongly suggest that the biological underpinnings of the Yeti legend can be found in local bears, and our study demonstrates that genetics should be able to unravel other, similar mysteries,” says lead scientist Charlotte Lindqvist, PhD, an associate professor of biological sciences in the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences. “This study represents the most rigorous analysis to date of samples suspected to derive from anomalous or mythical ‘hominid’-like creatures.”