Researchers at Oxford University in England are taking on a big challenge with their latest DNA investigation: Bigfoot.
Scientists at the university’s Wolfson College have begun a study that sets out to identify the types of animals and species that hikers and mountaineers around the world have identified as Bigfoot, Yeti, and Sasquatch, according to the Associated Press.
Geneticist Bryan Sykes, who is leading the study, is asking anyone with evidence of Bigfoot or a Yeti to send in their evidence and help scientists figure out what the mythical creature actually could be. The scientists will perform DNA analysis on hair or other samples to try and identify the species of animal, according to the report.
“I’m challenging and inviting the cryptozoologists to come up with the evidence instead of complaining that science is rejecting what they have to say,” Sykes told Discovery News. He could not be reached by ABC News.
Sykes said he really doesn’t expect to find solid evidence that Bigfoot exists, but he’s keeping an open mind. He said it would be wonderful to find a species scientists didn’t previously know about — perhaps, as the project puts it, a “collateral hominid.”
Reports of Yetis began with pictures of giant footprints in the snowy Himalayas in the 1950s, and there have been sightings rumored in mountainous regions around the world.
People with evidence of Bigfoot, including hair, skin, or teeth samples, are urged to send a description of their items and photos to the researchers. Sykes and his team will then ask to sample the most promising evidence, and compile a full DNA profile for each of the samples.
“As an academic I have certain reservations about entering this field, but I think using genetic analysis is entirely objective; it can’t be falsified,” Sykes told Discovery News. “So I don’t have to put myself into the position of either believing or disbelieving these creatures.”