Oxford University scientists will be examining potential Yeti DNA.

Since 1951, when explorers on an Everest expedition returned with pictures of giant footprints, there has been speculation that the Himalayas and areas like the Pacific North West of America are home to large creatures.

Led by Prof Bryan Sykes, the team of researchers will be using the latest genetic techniques to investigate organic remains which some claim belongs to the ‘Yeti’ or other hominid species.

He said: “Mainstream science remains unconvinced by these reports both through lack of testable evidence and the scope for fraudulent claims.

“However recent advances in the techniques of genetic analysis of organic remains provide a mechanism for genus and species identification that is unbiased, unambiguous and impervious to falsification.”

There have been many eyewitness reports of large creatures around the world.

In the Himalayas they are known as Yeti, but in America they are known as ‘Bigfoot’ or ‘sasquatch’.

Scientists from the Lausanne Museum of Zoology in Switzerland are also involved.

The study of animals whose existence has not yet been proved is called crypto- zoology and the Oxford- Lausanne Collateral Hom-inid Project is inviting those with collections of cryptozoological material to submit details of the samples they hold.