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Scientists Hunt Yeti Using DNA Testing

Posted on the 23 May 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost

Oxford researchers on yeti hunt

Bigfoot: Not just a myth? photo: Bob Doran

The background

Researchers at Oxford University have begun a scientific project to establish whether or not the yeti exists. In conjunction with the Lausanne Museum of Zoology, the team will analyze the DNA of alleged yeti remains – and have invited yeti and Bigfoot hunters from around the world to submit their own samples for testing.

Do you have any spare yeti remains lying around? If so, you can find out how to submit them for testing at the Collateral Hominid Project’s website.

What is a yeti?

A yeti, also known as the Abominable Snowman, is a type of cryptid. “Cryptids are species whose existence has been suggested but never confirmed by science. Yetis are among the most persistent cryptids, with myths about the creatures in regions as widespread as North America and Russia – and supposed sightings common around the world,” explained Rob Waugh in The Daily Mail. Bigfoot, a similar cryptid, has allegedly been spotted in North America.

Unusual academic pursuit

“Investigating mythical monsters isn’t exactly how you’d image Oxford students and researchers spending their time. (What, was the Bullingdon Club full this year? Rugby lost its luster?),” wrote Amy Rolph at the Seattle Pi blog.

Scientific advances make yeti hunt possible

Project leader Professor Brian Sykes told Wired that alleged yeti sightings have largely been ignored by the scientific community because of the lack of testable evidence. “However, recent advances in the techniques of genetic analysis of organic remains provide a mechanism for genus and species identification that is unbiased, unambiguous and impervious to falsification,” Professor Sykes said.

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