DNA analysis verifies identity of German hiker missing for four decades near Switzerland’s Matterhorn.

Source: Google Photos

Nearly forty years after going missing while hiking near Switzerland’s famous Matterhorn mountain in 1986, rescuers found a mountain climber. As the ice on a Swiss glacier melted away, they found the things that belonged to a 38-year-old hiker from Germany. Scientists checked the DNA and confirmed that these things were his. This hiker had gone missing when he was 38 years old. Even though many people had looked for him back then, they couldn’t find any signs of where he had gone.

Despite a large search effort at the time, they couldn’t find any trace of the missing climber. However, recently, while some climbers were crossing the Theodul glacier above Zermatt, they stumbled upon the hiker’s hiking boots and crampons.

The effects of global warming on glaciers are showing things that were hidden before. This doesn’t just happen once. Before this, they discovered the bodies of two young Japanese climbers who got lost in a snowstorm in 1970. They found them by testing the DNA of their family members.

The icy mountains in Switzerland, including the location where the climber was discovered, have been melting really fast. In 2022, they lost over 6% of their ice volume, considered significant by experts. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report projects European glaciers to lose more than 80% of their ice by 2100, regardless of our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Regrettably, a few glaciers will vanish completely, regardless of our efforts to tackle climate change.

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