The mystery of the ‘Yeti’: A monster humanoid in the Himalayas

‘Yeti’ as imagined by an artist based on various accounts

There have been mysterious accounts of a beast like creature resembling an ape inhabiting the Himalayas. Also known as ‘The Abominable Snowman’ or ‘Him-Manav (हिममानव)’, the first reports of encounters with Yeti started appearing in the 19th century by some local Himalayan Buddhists. James Prinsep, an accomplished scholar of the colonial India also reported in 1832 of having seen a giant, tall & hairy bipedal ape-like creature that fled upon being detected.

Post that there have been several accounts. Most significant or believable accounts have been mentioned below:

1953: During his ascent of Mt. Everest, Sir Edmond Hillary reported of spotting large mysterious footprints which could surely not be of humans.

1954: Daily Mail conducted a Yeti expedition and allegedly found a Yeti scalp. The hair were analyzed but results were inconclusive.

1959: Sample of alleged Yeti feces were collected in an American expedition by Tom Slick. Cryptozoologists concluded that the feces were of an unknown animal.

1970: British mountaineer Don Whillans reported spotting a similar creature while climbing Mt. Annapurna

1983: Large footprints were discovered again by Daniel Taylor & Robert Fleming Jr who specifically led a Yeti expedition into Nepal’s Barun Valley.

Strange Large footprints like these are regularly photographed in Himalayas

2008: Photographs of the large footprints that people had been spotting for over two centuries were taken by Japanese adventurers – this gave a boost to the Yeti mystery.

2013: British mountaineer Mike Rees encounters and photographs similar large footprints in the
Himalaya – this is thought to be the best proof in favor of existence of Yeti.

2014: A video surfaces on the internet showing a hairy figure stumbling through the forests of Russia. It is claimed to be very heavy and exactly matching the descriptions of local Himalayan people who said to have spotted it.

Here’s a video analyzing the alleged ‘Yeti’ footage:

The footprints seem to have been spotted a lot of times; however, there is still lack of conclusive evidence whether this creature is an ape-like humanoid or just some species of bear. Even the videos do not provide any conclusive evidence for Science to acknowledge the existence of Yeti.

Professed Yeti Scalp preserved in Khamjung Monastery

Yeti mystery still happens to be one of the favorite ones of Science and in particularly for cryptozoologists. Recently, some hunters & local men gathered various samples to help Prof. Bryan Sykes from the Oxford University with the first proper scientific study on the existence of Yeti. Over 30 samples of hair were collected out of which only 2 seemed to be mysterious. These 2 have inconclusive results but there is a speculation that they might be similar to 40,000 year old genetic signature of a now-extinct breed of polar bear.

Any conclusive explanation of the mystery? Not Yet(i).

Over the last 70 years, as you can see, there have been great attempts at resolving this mystery. However, if you try to prove it, inconclusive proof is all you get. If you try to disprove or refute the existence, some pictures or inconclusive DNA match creeps up.

Some people have refuted Yeti as a legend while some worship them as a creature with superpower. Some people claim of having seen them while some claim of the Himalayan Brown Bear being mistaken as Yeti. Scientific communities take interest but do not believe in it while local cultures of India, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan take the existence of Yeti much too seriously. Bhutan government even issued a stamp to honor the creature.

Whatever might be the case, one fact is sure that the Himalayan wildlife has been time & again misrepresented or misunderstood. There’s a lot in those vast mountains that is yet to be known & discovered.

Image Sources: [1] [2] [3]

About Hardeep Pathak

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