Researchers at Britain's Oxford University conducted DNA tests on dozens of hair samples claimed to have come from large humanlike primates, popularly known as Bigfoot or the Himalayan Yeti, and concluded that the samples actually belonged to more common creatures such as bears, wolves and cows.
As part of a study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B on Tuesday, the researchers tested two hair samples -- one from Ladakh, India, and another from Bhutan. While one of the samples was traced back to an ancient polar bear, neither provided results to support the existence of a Bigfoot.
“I thought there was about a 5 percent chance of finding a sample from a Neanderthal or (a Yeti),” the Associated Press, or AP, quoted Bryan Sykes of Oxford University, the study’s lead author, as saying. “The fact that none of these samples turned out to be (a Yeti) doesn't mean the next one won't.”
Because two of the 36 hair samples were found to have come from a polar bear, which is not a native of the Himalayas, the study's findings suggest that there could be a new or hybrid bear species roaming the region, AP reported. Meanwhile, some scientists have said that, to prove Bigfoot is real, evidence more robust than a hair sample would be required.
“I would want visual or physical proof, like a body part, on top of the DNA evidence,” Todd Disotell, a professor of anthropology at New York University, told AP. “Every mammal in the forest leaves hair and poop behind and that's what we've found.”
While there have been many reports of Bigfoot or Yeti sightings around the world, scientists have been mostly skeptical their existence, stating that such a strange creature would have been identified if it really existed, the Christian Science Monitor reported.
“While it is important to bear in mind that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence and this survey cannot refute the existence of anomalous primates, neither has it found any evidence in support,” the researchers said in the study.