Legend has it that deep in the mountains of Tibet roams a beast. Some say the beast has a coat white as snow, his majestic fleece rippling in the cool Himalayan breeze. Very few have seen this beast lumbering about as he makes his way down the mountainside through a nearby village looking for a yak for his latest meal. But, ladies and gentleman, he is real.
The Yeti does exist.
Up until today, I was pretty sure there was no such thing as a Yeti. In fact, I would have bet all of my money on it, though I’m not sure where you place bets on mythical creature’s existence. Maybe an online gambling site or something. There probably aren’t a lot of bookies around that take that specific type of action.
The point is, apparently I was wrong. As usual, scientists from Oxford have made me look like a big idiot.
Professor of genetics Bryan Sykes got his hands on two samples from an unknown mammal. First was a hair found a decade ago. To me, the real thing that needed to be researched was why someone hung onto a single hair for 10 years. I would bet that person’s spouse is not crazy that they have chosen hair collecting as a hobby.
Running this hair as well as the jawbone of a mummified creature from the 1970s through a database of thousands of known creatures led to something surprising. The shedding mummifying creature is likely an unknown species of bear that is a cross between an extinct type of polar and a brown bear. According to Sykes, the hunters and random mountain people who came across this creature would have come across one thing- the Yeti!
“The fact that the hunter, who had great experience of bears, thought this one was in some way unusual and was frightened of it, makes me wonder if this species of bear might behave differently. Maybe it is more aggressive, more dangerous or is more bipedal than other bears,” said Sykes, the man who has proven once and for all that a Yeti does probably maybe perhaps actually really exist.
Suffice it to say that my mind is officially blown. I mean, after all of these years of thinking that a Yeti couldn’t really exist and all of a sudden I find out I was wrong? What else could I have been wrong about? Maybe Big Foot and the Chupacabra really do exist. Maybe there really are mermaids and they swim around with the Loch Ness monster in the lost city of Atlantis. Maybe all of these things were put onto the planet by some very real aliens in very real UFOs.
I don’t know what he would need, but we should get Sykes on all these immediately. He seems like just the man for the job. All he needs is a couple hairs. He’ll take those to his genetics lab, or genetilab as he probably refers to it, and we can solve all of the world’s mysteries. Just a couple of hairs and little bit of that Sykes magic.
Oooo! Maybe he can prove magic is real too! I’m really tired of trying to figure out how a rabbit could possibly live in a top hat.
We’re depending on you Sykes. If you can prove the Yeti is real, you must be able to do anything.
- Scientist ‘solves’ yeti mystery (bbc.co.uk)
- DNA links mysterious Yeti to ancient polar bear, scientist says (newsday.com)
- DNA clue links Yeti to bear (stuff.co.nz)
- Has DNA really solved the mystery of the yeti? (theguardian.com)