Last November, some geneticists claimed to have sequenced the genome of Bigfoot. People were skeptical. So were all the peer-reviewed journals they tried to publish in. Just couldn't get the damn thing printed.

So the researchers went and founded their own, brand-new journal in which to publish their findings (yes, really). From the website of first author Melba Ketchum (emphasis added):

Rather than spend another five years just trying to find a journal to publish and hoping that decent, open minded reviewers would be chosen, we acquired the rights to this journal and renamed it so we would not lose the passing peer reviews that are expected by the public and the scientific community. DeNovo, the new journal is aimed at offering not only more choices and better service to scientists wanting to submit a manuscript, but also reviewers and editors that will be fair, unlike the treatment we have received.

This is DeNovo's website (yes, really really). Here's a screenshot, in case it gets updated, is taken down, or implodes on itself in a mushroom cloud of absurdity:


Please note the helpfully labeled slideshow cycling through on the front page — pollen; ladybug; eagle; h2o — as if to say: "Don't worry, this place is legit. Look, stock photos. Also this is a ladybug because you probably didn't know that."

The site also claims to be "open access," but charges 30 bucks to access the Bigfoot genome paper. It bears mentioning that the Bigfoot genome paper, at the time of this posting, is also the only paper in Vol. 1, Issue 1 of the new journal. Seeing as "open access" clearly does not mean what these researchers think it means, you'll forgive us if we remain skeptical when they say their data "conclusively proves that the Sasquatch exist as an extant hominin"; if we had to guess, we'd say that "conclusively proves that the Sasquatch exist as an extant hominin" doesn't mean what the researchers think it means, either.


Ars Technica has scored a copy of the paper, and is working with someone with relevant genomics experience to analyze the DNA sequences presented therein. So far, says Ars science editor John Timmer, "much of the paper speaks for itself — and it says some very strange things."

The Houston Chronicle's Eric Berger also has a great roundup of feedback from notable researchers like Richard Gibbs (who established the Human Genome Sequencing Center — what would become an integral arm of the Human Genome Project — back in 1996) and Princeton geneticist Leonid Kruglyak, and includes this great blurb from Todd Disotell, a human origins expert at NYU (emphasis ours):

[DeNovo is] clearly a fake Vanity Journal with lots of ShutterStock pictures, misspellings and it was only created on 2/4/13. I've only read the abstract and conclusion [of the paper] and neither makes any sense.

You'll find all the dubious details over on Ars, but here's a video of a sleeping sasquatch (included in the publication) to whet your appetite. More feedback from geneticists at the Houston Chronicle.