Study Disproves ‘Bigfoot’ Hair Samples

September 17, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. resemble /rɪˈzɛm bəl/ (v.) – to appear similar or alike
Example: Some people assert that early humans resembled apes.

2. lend /lɛnd/ (v.) – to share something or allow the use of something
Example: The museum lent its artifacts for the study.

3. purported /pərˈpɔr tɪd/ (adj.) – believed or rumored to be true but is not completely real
Example: Scientists investigated the purported benefits of smoking.

4. sighting /saɪtɪŋ/ (n.) – the act of seeing something that is looked for, often a rare thing
Example: Residents reported sightings of a Bigfoot in the forest.

5. herd /hɜrd/ (n.) – a group of animals living together
ExampleHerds of different species can be found in African grasslands.


Read the text below.
A study suggests that the hair samples claimed to be from Bigfoot are just from some wild animals.

Bigfoot is known to be a 7-foot, 500-pound creature that resembles an ape and lives in forests. Although several investigations support the beast’s existence, most people still think Bigfoot is just a mythical creature.

In a 2012 research by Oxford University and Lausanne [loh-ZAN] Museum of Zoology in Switzerland, scientists aimed to finally solve the mystery of Bigfoot’s existence. Researchers asked museums and Bigfoot experts to lend any physical evidence that can be attributed to the creature.

The study’s lead author Brian Sykes [sahyks] of Oxford University said that his team analyzed 36 purported hair samples from Bigfoot. Among the countries where the samples came from are Bhutan [boo-TAHN], India, Indonesia, Nepal, Russia, and the US.

After a series of DNA testing, researchers found that the hair samples were similar to the DNA of creatures like bears, wolves, horses, and even a human. The researchers expected that the hair samples would match to the extinct human species Neanderthals [nee-AN-der-thawl] who looked like Bigfoot.

Despite the results, Sykes acknowledges that the recent study lacks enough proof to suggest Bigfoot’s inexistence. Todd Disottel [tod dis-uh-TEL], anthropology professor at New York University, said the researchers need physical or visual proof other than DNA findings to prove whether Bigfoot is real or not.

With the long history of reports on Bigfoot sightings, some scientists wonder why the creature is hard to find. Stuart [STOO-ert] Pimm, ecologist from Duke [dook] University, noted that if Bigfoot is real, the species should have formed herds just like what wild animals do.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you believe that Bigfoot exists? Why or why not?
·         What is the importance of knowing whether Bigfoot exists or not?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think some people still believe in mythical creatures even in this modern age?
·         Do you believe in other supernatural topics like ghosts and UFO? Kindly explain.

September 17, 2014