There is a flurry of interest suddenly in the Zana story as The Daily Mail has printed a new piece hinting that Sykes new book will claim that Zana, the mysterious wild woman captured in Russia in the late 1800s, was perhaps a yeti. The piece is horribly written and looks like a teaser:
Professor Bryan Sykes of the University of Oxford claims a towering woman named Zana who lived in 19th Century Russia – and appeared to be ‘half human, half ape’ – could have been the fabled yeti.
I don’t think it actually DOES say that and I would be very surprised if it did since she was most certainly human. The rest of the article tells the story of Zana again (same as in 2013) so this simply looks like a way to keep a buzz about Sykes new book.
There looks to be nothing new here but media hype.
Originally published 1-Nov 2013
Here is the news of what Dr. Bryan Sykes found after studying DNA samples of supposed Bigfoot-like creatures in Russia.
Bryan Sykes, Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Oxford, has carried out DNA tests on saliva samples taken from descendants of Zana – a so-called ‘wild woman’ captured in the late 19th century in southern Russia, who local people believe was an ‘Almasty’.
Professor Sykes’ research (part of a worldwide analysis of alleged Bigfoot samples), has yielded a remarkable result: that Zana’s ancestry was 100% Sub-Saharan African and that she was most probably a slave brought to the region by the ruling Ottomans.
To answer the riddle and establish what species she belonged to, Professor Sykes has tested samples from six of Zana’s living descendants. He has also recovered DNA from a tooth taken from the skull of one of her sons, Khwit. Such work is highly specialized and Sykes was the first geneticist ever to extract DNA from ancient bone.
But the big surprise in Sykes’ results was that Zana’s DNA is not Caucasian at all, but African. Khwit’s tooth sample confirms her maternal African ancestry and the saliva tests on the six living descendants show that they all contain African DNA in the right proportions for Zana to have been genetically 100% sub-Saharan African.
The tale of Zana and her son, Khwit, have been staples in the mystery hominid stories of Russia where their version of “Bigfoot” is called the Almas or Almasty. It was suspected that Zana was not human but possibly a relict hominid, such as a Neanderthal. Previous study of Khwit DNA showed that he was all human. This more specific test was able to show that Zana was not of local origin but she was human. Her exoticness is likely what prompted the stories that morphed into her being non-human.
Now, many will argue that this does not preclude the existence of relict hominoids (hominids) that could be the Almasty. True, it does not. They also argued that Sykes finding of bear DNA did not preclude the existence of the Yeti in the Himalayas or that the unmysterious results of DNA samples from North America does not mean there is no Sasquatch/Bigfoot. But cryptozoologists were excited that this would finally be the study that gave them proof. Sykes’ response is that is gives them ANSWERS. When you take all the scientific data all together, it DOES NOT point to unknown primates still living in remote areas of the world. Is it possible? Yes. Is it probable? No. And, it’s looking less and less probable every day.
Read the sad story of Zana (some of which is true, some fiction) here.
Tip: Matthew Robinson