How can he know this if we barely have proof that Yeti’s exist? Well, there’s a few people out there who claim to have Yeti hair. Last year, Sykes contacted museums, scientists and Yeti-enthusiasts to see if they had any samples. Not so surprisingly, he managed to find two samples!
One sample came from a supposed Yeti mummy in the Indian region of Ladakh, located at the Western edge of the Himalayas. This sample is said to be around 40 years old. The other sample came from Bhutan and consists of a single hair that was found a decade ago.
“I can’t imagine we managed to get samples from the only two ‘snow bears’ in the Himalayas,” Sykes stated.
Sykes analyzed the samples in a database of animal genomes to discover that the Yeti has similar genes to an ancient polar bear that was found in the Norwegian Arctic 40,000 years ago.
“It may be a new species, it may be a hybrid [between polar bears and brown bears]”, Sykes stated this past Thursday. “The next thing is go there and fine one.”
Certainly finding a Yeti could be extremely helpful to Sykes’ research so he could figure why so many people who claim to have seen a Yeti describe it as a hairy hominid. “The polar bear ingredient in their genomes may have changed their behavior so they act different, look different, maybe walk on two feet more often.”
Sykes is due to share his findings with Britain’s Channel 4 this weekend.
Although Sykes research hasn’t been published, it has been submitted for peer review. Paleogenomics professor Tom Gilbert of the Natural History Museum of Denmark suggests that Sykes’ analysis was a “reasonable explanation” for the existence of Yetis.
“It’s a lot easier to believe that than if he had found something else. If he had some it’s some kind of new primate, I’d want to see the data.”
Source: NBC Los Angeles