In Africa, the longstanding Western legend of an 'African unicorn' was explained in the early 20th Century by British researchers.They found and described the flesh-and-blood okapi, a giraffe relative that looks like a mix between a giraffe, a zebra and a horse They found and described the flesh-and-blood okapi, a giraffe relative that looks like a mix between a giraffe, a zebra and a horse.Dr Charlotte Lindqvist, who led the study, said: 'Our findings strongly suggest that the biological underpinnings of the Yeti legend can be found in local bears, and our study demonstrates that genetics should be able to unravel other, similar mysteries.'The team is not the first to research 'Yeti' DNA, but Dr Lindqvist says previous projects ran simpler genetic analyses, which left important questions unresolved.Dr Linqvist said: 'This study represents the most rigorous analysis to date of samples suspected to derive from anomalous or mythical "hominid"-like creatures.'Her team investigated samples such as a scrap of skin from the hand or paw of a 'Yeti' - part of a monastic relic - and a fragment of femur bone from a decayed 'Yeti' found in a cave on the Tibetan Plateau.Footprints have also been spotted and stories passed down from generation to generation.
The other eight were from Asian black bears, Himalayan brown bears or Tibetan brown bears.The term Abominable Snowman was developed in 1921 following a book by Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Howard-Bury called Mount Everest The Reconnaissance.Popular interest in creature gathered pace in early 20th century as tourists began making their own trips to the region to try and capture the Yeti. The Daily Mail led a trip called the the Snowman Expedition in 1954 to Everest.During the trip mountaineering leader John Angelo Jackson photographed ancient paintings of Yetis and large footprints in the snow.A number of hair samples were also found that were believed to have come from a Yeti scalp.