OXFORD, England, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Hair samples from supposed Yetis -- the Himalayan "Abominable Snowmen" -- may actually be from an ancient polar bear, a British geneticist says.
Bryan Sykes says he has linked purported samples of Yeti hair to an ancient jawbone of a breed of Arctic bear that lived tens of thousands of years ago.
Sykes, a researcher of human ancestry, said sightings of the legendary Yeti might actually have been observations of a previously unknown creature in the Himalayas, perhaps a hybrid of polar bears and brown bears.
He told NBC News he undertook the study to separate myth from possible reality about the Yeti and similar creatures like Sasquatch or Big Foot.
In 2012 Sykes issued a call for samples of hairs or tissue allegedly linked to such creatures, in order to conduct DNA tests on them.
"All my colleagues think I'm taking a risk in doing this, but I'm curious, and I am in a position to actually do something to answer the questions," he said.