werewolf, werewolves and lycans

Catching up on MONSTER WEEK: “Lost Kingdom of The Yeti”

I mention this episode over on our sister site vampires.com this week, too, for reasons that you will have to visit said site to learn. Here we will focus on the program itself, and why it is important from a scientific point of view.

Science has advanced to the point that DNA can be recovered from a footprint. This is useful if you are searching for a creature that leaves behind tracks as the primary evidence of its existence. DNA can now also be taken from water. The researchers took samples from tracks recovered in one of the most inhospitable locations in Bhutan. When the results came in they did not identify a mystery ape, but they did reveal that the tracks were made by a species of sheep not known to exist in Bhutan at all, so that’s interesting. More intriguing was what they discovered when they analyzed the DNA collected from a stream of melting glacier water. Any living thing that had drunk from that water or waded through it would have left behind some DNA. What, then, did the scientists find? Human DNA. 99% human DNA.

This might seem to be a disappointment, but it isn’t. This stream is located in an area where no people live. In fact people CAN’T survive at that elevation for prolonged periods of time. The area is also off-limits by law. And no members of the expedition had been in that area or near that water prior to the samples being taken. If a human being drank from that water or waded through it, how the hell did he get there?

What’s even more tantalizing is that the DNA was only a 99% match. When you consider that chimpanzees also have a 99% match with human DNA, and the vast differences between a human and a chimp, who is to say that the being who left that DNA was human after all? (Also, Neanderthals shared 99% of our DNA.) And even if it was a plain ol’ human being, the fact of a human *being* in that area is almost as implausible as the idea of an unknown species of ape. I am actually more open to the idea of the Yeti’s existence after viewing this program, despite it leaning so heavily on the hard Science—and because of it.

The Evil Cheezman • July 5, 2018

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