Himalayan Yeti Myth Explained
In case you were wondering
Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
An Oxford genetics professor studying the Himalayan yeti believes the creature (or at least the creature behind the myth) is a hybrid between polar bears and brown bears.
Bryan Sykes had been testing hairs from two unidentified animals (possibly yetis) when he found a 100 percent match with a 40,000-year-old polar bear sample, reports BBC News. During that ancient time period, brown bears and polar bears were thought to be separating as different species.
The hybrid bear (yeti?) “may still be there and may have quite a lot of polar bear in it,” Sykes told the BBC. “If its behavior is different from normal bears, which is what eyewitnesses report, then I think that may well be the source of the mystery and the source of the legend.”