Like frozen burgers, 'Bigfoot' DNA samples have a touch of horse

Brit boffin tests 37 supposed Sasquatch samples, finds all are known animals

Jeffrey Meldrum

Oxford boffin Professor Bryan Sykes' quest to prove the existence of Bigfoot by DNA testing supposed samples of the mythical beasts' fur and flesh has come up with dogs, bears and horses, but no Sasquatches, Yetis or Abominable Snowmen.

In a study soon to be published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Sykes and colleagues from Lausanne's Museum of Zoology explain how, in 2012, they called for submissions of Bigfoot samples for DNA testing. Eventually, 57 samples reached the labs.

Of those, 20 turned out to be glass or plants or were not suitable for analysis. The remainder went to be analysed: 37 samples were suitable for DNA analysis and all turned out to be a match for known species.

One sample was a human hair, four were from horses and a further four were wolves or dogs. Deer, porcupine and even cow samples were also submitted. One interesting anomaly the study turned up was polar bear DNA in samples from the Himalayas, which has bio-boffins rethinking theories about Ursus maritimus.

It also has Sykes wondering if polar bears' occasional tendency to hunt people perhaps wormed its way into myths that became Sasquatch stories.

The professor does not, however, think that his DNA studies put the Abominable Snowman out of its misery, telling NBC News "I don't think this finishes the Bigfoot myth at all.”

Instead, he thinks his work gives true believers a reason to keep hunting for a sample that proves Bigfoot is the real deal. ®

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