23/05/2012 10:53 BST

Oxford University Scientists Hunt For The Yeti

Scientists at Oxford University are renewing the hunt for one of the world's most elusive creatures - the Yeti.

Individuals and institutions with are being encouraged to submit samples of hair and teeth from "cryptids" - animals that are unknown to the scientific world, such as the Yeti.

The university has collaborated with the Lausanne Museum of Zoology in Switzerland and scientists will analyse the samples and publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals.

The preferred material is hair in order to "avoid misidentification".

Bryan Sykes, from Wolfson College, Oxford, told "Theories as to their species identification vary from surviving collateral hominid species, such as Homo neanderthalensis, to large primates like Gigantopithecus widely thought to be extinct, to as yet unstudied primate species or local subspecies of black and brown bears.

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

"It is possible that a scientific examination of these neglected specimens could tell us more about how Neanderthals and other early hominids interacted and spread around the world."

The Yeti is well-known to many cultures, although often takes on different names including Sasquatch, Big Foot, Skunk Ape, Mande Barung and Yowie - not to be confused with characters from reality television show Towie.

We've put together a collection of Yeti sightings - ranging from the (almost) believable to the just plain bizarre.

Of course, feel free to submit your own theories and sightings.