Geneticist resolves Yeti (Abominable Snowman) Hair mystery, belongs to Brown bear

The mystery surrounding legendary bipedal beast yeti deepens as the scientists have found that the hair samples collected from the Himalayas didn’t come from any unknown animal species but belong to Himalayan brown bears.

Eliécer Gutiérrez, a member of the team of researchers conducting this new study, informed that he and his team have not found any evidence that indicates that the hair samples belong to any other animal species besides brown bear.

During the said study, Gutiérrez and his colleagues reexamined findings of a 2014 study, which analyzed some hair samples collected from the Himalayan region.

The previous study concluded that one of the analyzed samples came from an animal walking on hind legs; according to scientists, the animal was aggressive in nature and was killed by a hunter around four decades back.


The 2014 study was conducted under the leadership of geneticist Bryan Sykes. After carrying out genetic analysis of the hair samples, Sykes, and his team linked the genetic formation of the hair samples with that of jawbones of Urus maritimus, an ancient Norwegian polar bear species.

The research team under Sykes claimed that the hair samples belonged to a “previously unrecognized bear species”. According to them, the animal used to live in the Himalayan region; they even claimed that it is a hybrid descendent of Ursus arctos or Himalayan brown bears and Urus maritimus.

After analyzing the same samples that were analyzed by Sykes and his team, Gutiérrez came up with some different conclusions.

According to Gutiérrez and his team, it’s not possible to differentiate between two bear species (Ursus arctos and Urus maritimus) just from a fragment of DNA. However, as the Himalayas are not known for housing polar bears, it can be confidently said that the hair samples belonged to Himalayan brown bears.

Here, it must be mentioned that the study conducted by Gutiérrez is not the first one to discredit the 2014 study by Sykes. In 2014, researcher Ceiridwen Edwards along with a colleague of his wrote a letter claiming that Sykes’ team has failed to analyze the “yeti” data properly. The letter was published in the same journal, in which Sykes’ study was published; both were published in a journal called Proceedings of The Royal Society B.

About the author

Nitin Agarwal

Nitin has a background in Electrical Engineering and is passionate about the Internet of Things. He covers how connected devices like smart homes, wearables, and industrial IoT are changing our daily lives. Nitin is also a DIY enthusiast and loves to build IoT gadgets.