Earlier this year, a team of researchers from DNA Diagnostics in Nacogdoches, N.M., led by Melba Ketchum, published a paper to the online journal De Novo with a startling title: "Novel North American Hominins, Next Generation Sequencing of Three Whole Genomes and Associated Studies."
In layman's terms, what "novel North American hominins" refers to is Bigfoot. Yes, that's right: Ketchum and her team were claiming to have sequenced the genome of Sasquatch.
It's not every day that researchers get the opportunity to sequence the genome of a creature for which no recognized physical evidence exists. In fact, this would be the first instance of such an endeavor. The principal reason it's never been done before is because, of course, you need to have DNA before you can sequence a genome.
Though Ketchum and her team did not have a body, they did have several clumps of hair, as well as samples of flesh and blood, which were collected in the field. In fact, the team assembled as many as 111 samples from which to extract DNA — again, a remarkable feat considering no Bigfoot body has ever been identified.
Before succumbing to a collective eye roll, first consider that most of these samples, though collected unattached from an identifiable animal, did turn out to be unusual. Researchers were able to successfully determine that the samples were non-human in origin, yet the mitochondrial DNA derived from them did appear to be human.