A recent expedition to Bhutan by British writer Andrew Benfield and analyst Richard Horsey aimed to find elusive proof of the Himalayan legend known as the Yeti or Abominable Snowman. The pair recovered several hair samples from their journey through the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary that they hoped would confirm the creature’s existence.
However, DNA tests ultimately revealed the hairs belonged to a common horse breed called the Altai. This was undoubtedly a disappointment for Benfield and Horsey, who had spent years planning their Yeti-hunting adventure. Still, they say the experience was rewarding overall.
According to Benfield, stories of the Yeti bring together the local communities who share the folklore. For them, the cultural legend of the mysterious apelike beast is more meaningful than physical evidence. Horsey concurred, saying, “We realized it doesn’t really matter to most of these people whether it physically exists.”
While the DNA results seem to rule out Yeti involvement for now, the explorers aren’t discouraged. As Benfield put it, “It doesn’t really matter to most of these people whether it physically exists. It’s the role that it plays in their world.”
Though they didn’t find the Yeti itself, Benfield and Horsey’s openness to Himalayan culture led them to connect with local traditions and values on a deeper level. For them, the journey remains a success even without tangible proof. The adventurous duo may not have discovered an actual Yeti, but their respect for the legends suggests the spirit of the Abominable Snowman is still very much alive.