Yeti and the Himalayas

5th August 2012

Myths and legends are usually popular in the mountains and the Himalayas is not a stranger to these stories. One of the most popular myths known to many people came from Nepal where a huge creature roamed Mount Everest. Known as the Yeti, people in the Himalayas believe in the existence of such a creature even if the absence of convincing evidence.

Sightings have been reported but none of these have been verified since no one really knows what a Yeti looks like. The word Yeti comes from the language of the Sherpas with Yah, meaning rock, and Teh meaning animal so Yeti roughly translates to them as a rock animal or rock living animal.

According to numerous accounts, the Yeti is similar to the Bigfoot, which is another story originating in North America. The Yeti looks like an ape and bigger than any human. There is plenty of news stating where the existence of the Yeti originated but some believed that it is a manifestation of people's faith in Buddhism. Himalayan people worship the God of the Hunt also known as the Glacier God while some tribes believed that a wild man's blood is essential in mystical rituals. These two central figures in religion are both shown and described as sharing the traits of an ape with a huge weapon made of stone.


After the religious side of the Yeti's story, other accounts depend on sightings by travelers, trekkers, and even researchers. They claimed that they saw a creature resembling the Yeti's characteristics such as a huge, longhaired, ape-like creature running in the mountains. Besides claiming to see the actual creature roaming in the Himalayas, other people described evidences of the Yeti's existence such as giant footprints in the snow or even a purportedly scalp of the Yeti with the hair intact. Unfortunately, after close examination by scientists, these evidences were proven false indicating that while the footprint or the scalp belonged to an animal. 


Many people have claimed to see the Yeti roaming on the snow. However, they gave different descriptions every time although the general characteristics were retained such as a big creature that walks upright just like a human. Because of lack of evidence and conclusive proof, fascination about the Yeti dwindled in the 21st century. However, the idea of a creature surviving time and is still roaming the mountain peaks of the Himalayas is enough to cause wonder and excitement for people wanting to learn more about the mythical and mystical being.


Folk tales about the Yeti are quite popular especially in the Mount Everest Region of the Himalayas where people believed that a Sherpa village girl and her yaks were attacked by a Yeti. All the yaks were killed and they were found with their necks broken. According to the village girl, the Yeti killed the Yaks as the description fits the creature as an ape-like animal.


Because of the numerous stories surrounding the creature many people have offered their explanations for the confusion. One valid and possible explanation why people claim to see the Yeti, yet no evidences of a mythical creature exist is the diverse wildlife that the himalayas have. The Yeti can be mistaken for a bear or an ape. The color of the hair is common to other animals such as the dark brown tint of the hair and the reddish color during exposure under the sunlight. Some hair specimens taken by witnesses showed that the strands were definitely from a bear and not a Yeti after scientific testing. This reason is also plausible as it can prove why many people have sighted the Yeti in different parts of the himalayas but their description often differs from the other claims. It might have been different animals altogether and the existence of the Yeti is just a result of mistaken identity from another animal mixed with the Sherpa's myth and religion.

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