And you thought the Abominable Snowman was just the stuff of myths.
The rumored Himalayan beast, also known as the Yeti, may in fact have been a real-life relative of the polar bear, according to a British scientist who found a DNA match between alleged Yetis and an ancient polar bear.
“I think this bear, which nobody has seen alive… may still be there and may have quite a lot of polar bear in it,” Oxford University genetics professor Bryan Sykes told BBC.
Sykes conducted a DNA test on hairs from two unidentified animals that have contributed to the legend — one from a beast killed by hunters in northern India, and another individual hair found in a bamboo forest in Bhutan — and entered the genetic information into an animal DNA database. He found they had a 100 percent match with an ancient polar bear jawbone found in Norway that dates back to between 40,000 and 120,000 years ago, when the polar bear and the closely-related brown bear were still diverging as species.
That means Asia’s Big Foot may be a descendant of the ancient polar-brown bear mutt, or a more recent creation of some inter-species mixing, Sykes told BBC.
But it’s definitely, probably, real.