Reports continue to emerge that a wide-ranging DNA test carried out on dozens of hairs and other samples claimed to belong to the legendary creature Bigfoot has identified every one of the samples tested as belonging to more mundane animals. Now, skeptics are beginning to claim the myth of the creature has been dealt a mortal blow and that everyone should be saying RIP to the famous Yeti.
However, others are asking if it is it too early to dismiss all claims of the existence of such creatures. Most of the samples were positively identified as belonging to such animals as wolves, bears, deer and raccoons. Some others were found to have been shed by or extracted from farm animals such as cows and horses. The researchers who carried out the analysis were also astounded upon identifying samples of human hair reportedly passed off as belonging to the mysterious hulking creature of the mountains.
Bigfoot is a name assigned to a legendary, giant, apelike creature said to inhabit snowy or heavily forested mountains. The beast is also well known by other monikers such as the Abominable Snowman, Sasquatch and the Yeti, among others. The name Yeti generally refers to versions of the beast said to inhabit the Himalayans in Asia while Bigfoot is the name given to the beast as seen in the Northern America region. While there has never been any evidence of Bigfoot which could be called scientifically credible, the claims continue to persist. With DNA profiling becoming more foolproof, scientists recently decided to take a look, and now, the DNA found in Bigfoot hair samples may have just dealt a mortal blow to the ancient myth. Is it time to say RIP to Sasquatch?
In a bid to lay to rest all the doubts and mystique surrounding the perpetual claims of people sighting Bigfoot on expeditions and often coming back with proof in the form of hair, footprints and other “data,” a group of researchers made a call for hair samples to be forwarded to them. Researchers from Oxford University in the United Kingdom collaborated with colleagues from the Lausanne Museum of Zoology in the project. The initial appeal was made in 2012 and was addressed to the scientific community, self acclaimed Bigfoot aficionados, and even museums to share samples claimed to have belonged to the apparently super-secretive apelike creatures.
In the immediate aftermath of the researchers making the appeal, Bryan Sykes of Oxford University reported a healthy level of response. Many people were offering to send samples ranging from hair and blood to items reportedly chewed by the legendary creature of the mountains. Just about everyone offering to send their sample was confident that the stuff they had would be traced to a creature as yet unknown to science.
In the early stages of the project, the researchers felt there was a slight likelihood of finding at least one sample which could either be traced to a Neanderthal or some other yet-unknown primate. However, by the time they published their results, every one of the 36 hair samples tested was definitively proved to have come from a well known mammalian species, all of which are alive and well today.
While it is true the Bigfoot myth may just have been dealt a mortal blow via the DNA samples, the researchers are not writing off the existence of the legendary creature entirely. They will continue to test any samples sent to them in the future. That being said, it will take a very brave person to bet that any future samples will turn out to be much different from those which have just been examined this far. Getting the general public to say RIP to such a longstanding and popular myth might prove difficult to impossible, though, no matter how much scientific evidence is produced to discount Bigfoot’s existence.
By: Rebecca Savastio