A British geneticist said on Oct. 17 he may have solved the mystery of the yeti, after matching DNA from two animals said to be the mythical beast to an ancient polar bear.
There have for centuries been legends about hairy, ape-like creatures, also known as “migoi” in the Himalayas, “abominable snowman” in North America and “almasty” in the Caucasus mountains.
The myth was given credence when explorer Eric Shipton returned from his 1951 expedition to Everest with photographs of giant footprints in the snow.
Bryan Sykes made a global appeal last year for samples from suspected yeti and received about 70, of which 27 gave good DNA results.
Two hair samples came up trumps — one from a beast shot in the Kashmiri region of Ladakh 40 years ago and the other found in Bhutan a decade ago.
Brown bears and polar bears are closely related as species and are known to interbreed when their territories overlap, according to Sykes.