The Yeti: Truth or fiction?

In Tibetan the word, ‘Yeti’ means “magical creature” . It is believed to be a huge, hairy, creature that looks like a giant ape. It is believed to be very shy but have a loud, yelping call. Stories of this creature have been told for 6000 years!

The legend of the yeti, or the abominable snowman, as it is also called has never been proved to be true.

The Nepalese people believe that the yeti is nocturnal (it is awake at night); it whistles and growls; it picks up and throw huge stones to find food; it can kill with a single punch; it stands upright when it attacks; it will kill animals but it is not necessarily dangerous to humans.

Stories of the yeti have sometimes been terrifying. One story is about a Sherpa girl being dragged off by an ape-like creature with dark brown hair. However, one story tells us that a man was actually rescued by a yeti in 1938.

The first publicized report of a Yeti sighting came from a German photographer in 1925, but many Nepalese people report having seen the Yeti, as well. Mountaineers report having seen and taken photos of very large footprints in the snow. Some scientists that viewed the photographs could not identify the tracks as from any known creature.

Edmund Hillary, a British expedition member who reached the summit of Everest with Tenzing Norgay in 1953, found unusual animal hairs. Experts could not link the hairs to any known species.

When Hillary returned to Everest in 1960 to find evidence of the yeti  he felt that the stories of the yeti were only myths after all. They didn’t see a Yeti, but nor did they observe such animals like the snow leopard which was known to exist. So perhaps they were just unlucky?

People thought  the scalp of a yeti had been found but it turned out to actually be goat skin!


After spending thirty years in the Himalayas a scientist called Doig believes that the Yeti is actually three animals. The first is what the Sherpas call the “dzu teh”, a large shaggy animal that often attacks cattle. Diog thinks this is probably the Tibetan blue bear (a creature so rare it is known only in the west through a few skins, bones and a skull). The second type, called “thelma,” is probably a gibbon (a known type of ape) that Diog thinks may live as far north as Nepal, though it’s never been spotted past the Brahmaputra River in India. The third Yeti, “mih teh,” is the true abominable snowman of legend. A savage ape, covered with black or red hair that lives at altitudes of up to 20,000 feet.

So far there is no firm evidence to support the existence of the Yeti, but there is no way show that he doesn’t exist either. If he indeed lives in the barren, frozen, upper reaches of the Himalayas where few men dare to tread, he may find his refuge safe for a long time to come.







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