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The Yeti is an ape-like cryptid taller than an average human that is said to inhabit the Himalayan region of Nepal and Tibet.[3] The names Yeti and Meh-Teh are commonly used by the people indigenous to the region, and are part of their history and mythology. Stories of the Yeti first emerged as a facet of Western popular culture in the 19th century.

The scientific community generally regards the Yeti as a legend, given the lack of conclusive evidence,[4] but it remains one of the most famous creatures of cryptozoology. Analysis of samples associated with claimed yetis found a sequence of mitochondrial DNA that matched a sample from an ancient polar bear jawbone found in Norway, that dates back to between 40,000 and 120,000 years ago.

Pre-19th century[]

According to H. Siiger, the Yeti was a part of the pre-Buddhist beliefs of several Himalayan people. He was told that the Lepcha people worshipped a "Glacier Being" as a God of the Hunt. He also reported that followers of the Bön religion once believed the blood of the "mi rgod" or "wild man" had use in certain mystical ceremonies. The being was depicted as an apelike creature who carries a large stone as a weapon and makes a whistling swoosh sound

19th century[]

In 1832, James Prinsep's Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal published trekker B. H. Hodgson's account of his experiences in northern Nepal. His local guides spotted a tall, bipedal creature covered with long dark hair, which seemed to flee in fear. Hodgson concluded it was an orangutan.

An early record of reported footprints appeared in 1899 in Laurence Waddell's Among the Himalayas.[29] Waddell reported his guide's description of a large apelike creature that left the prints, which Waddell thought were made by a bear. Waddell heard stories of bipedal, apelike creatures but wrote that "none, however, of the many Tibetans I have interrogated on this subject could ever give me an authentic case. On the most superficial investigation it always resolved into something that somebody heard tell of."[30]

20th century[]

The frequency of reports increased during the early 20th century, when Westerners began making determined attempts to scale the many mountains in the area and occasionally reported seeing odd creatures or strange tracks.

In 1925, N. A. Tombazi, a photographer and member of the Royal Geographical Society, writes that he saw a creature at about 15,000 ft (4,600 m) near Zemu Glacier. Tombazi later wrote that he observed the creature from about 200 to 300 yd (180 to 270 m), for about a minute. "Unquestionably, the figure in outline was exactly like a human being, walking upright and stopping occasionally to pull at some dwarf rhododendron bushes. It showed up dark against the snow, and as far as I could make out, wore no clothes." About two hours later, Tombazi and his companions descended the mountain and saw the creature's prints, described as "similar in shape to those of a man, but only six to seven inches long by four inches wide...[31] The prints were undoubtedly those of a biped."[32]

Western interest in the Yeti peaked dramatically in the 1950s. While attempting to scale Mount Everest in 1951, Eric Shipton took photographs of a number of large prints in the snow, at about 6,000 m (20,000 ft) above sea level. These photos have been subject to intense scrutiny and debate. Some argue they are the best evidence of Yeti's existence, while others contend the prints are those of a mundane creature that have been distorted by the melting snow.[33]

Peter Byrne reported finding a yeti footprint in 1948, in northern Sikkim, India near the Zemu Glacier, while on holiday from a Royal Air Force assignment in India.[34]

In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reported seeing large footprints while scaling Mount Everest. Hillary would later discount Yeti reports as unreliable. In his first autobiography Tenzing said that he believed the Yeti was a large ape, and although he had never seen it himself his father had seen one twice, but in his second autobiography he said he had become much more skeptical about its existence.[35]

During the Daily Mail Snowman Expedition of 1954,[36] the mountaineering leader John Angelo Jackson made the first trek from Everest to Kanchenjunga in the course of which he photographed symbolic paintings of the Yeti at Tengboche gompa.[37] Jackson tracked and photographed many footprints in the snow, most of which were identifiable. However, there were many large footprints which could not be identified. These flattened footprint-like indentations were attributed to erosion and subsequent widening of the original footprint by wind and particles.

Dr. Biswamoy Biswas examining the Pangboche Yeti scalp during the Daily MailSnowman Expedition of 1954

On 19 March 1954, the Daily Mail printed an article which described expedition teams obtaining hair specimens from what was alleged to be a Yeti scalp found in the Pangboche monastery. The hairs were black to dark brown in colour in dim light, and fox red in sunlight. The hair was analysed by Professor Frederic Wood Jones,[38][39] an expert in human and comparative anatomy. During the study, the hairs were bleached, cut into sections and analysed microscopically. The research consisted of taking microphotographs of the hairs and comparing them with hairs from known animals such as bears and orangutans. Jones concluded that the hairs were not actually from a scalp. He contended that while some animals do have a ridge of hair extending from the pate to the back, no animals have a ridge (as in the Pangboche "scalp") running from the base of the forehead across the pate and ending at the nape of the neck. Jones was unable to pinpoint exactly the animal from which the Pangboche hairs were taken. He was, however, convinced that the hairs were not of a bear or anthropoid ape. He suggested that the hairs were from the shoulder of a coarse-haired hoofed animal.[40]

Sławomir Rawicz claimed in his book The Long Walk, published in 1956, that as he and some others were crossing the Himalayas in the winter of 1940, their path was blocked for hours by two bipedal animals that were doing seemingly nothing but shuffling around in the snow.

Beginning in 1957, a very wealthy American oilman Tom Slick funded a few missions to investigate Yeti reports. In 1959, supposed Yeti feces were collected by one of Slick's expeditions; fecal analysis found a parasite which could not be classified. Cryptozoologist Bernard Heuvelmans wrote, "Since each animal has its own parasites, this indicated that the host animal is equally an unknown animal."[41][42] The United States government thought that finding the Yeti was likely enough to create three rules for American expeditions searching for it: obtain a Nepalese permit, do not harm the Yeti except in self-defense, and let the Nepalese government approve any news reporting on the animal's discovery.[43]

In 1959, actor James Stewart, while visiting India, reportedly smuggled remains of a supposed Yeti, the so-called Pangboche Hand, by concealing it in his luggage when he flew from India to London.[44]

In 1960, Hillary mounted an expedition to collect and analyze physical evidence of the Yeti. He sent a supposed Yeti "scalp" from the Khumjung monastery to the West for testing, whose results indicated the scalp was manufactured from the skin of a serow, a goat-like Himalayan antelope.

Up to the 1960s, belief in the yeti was relatively common in Bhutan and in 1966 a Bhutanese stamp was made to honor the creature.[45] However, in the twenty-first century belief in the being has declined.[46]

In 1970, British mountaineer Don Whillans claimed to have witnessed a creature when scaling Annapurna.[47] According to Whillans, while scouting for a campsite, he heard some odd cries which his Sherpa guide attributed to a Yeti's call. That night, he saw a dark shape moving near his camp. The next day, he observed a few human-like footprints in the snow, and that evening, viewed with binoculars a bipedal, ape-like creature for 20 minutes as it apparently searched for food not far from his camp.[citation needed]

In 1983, Himalayan conservationist Daniel C. Taylor and Himalayan natural historian Robert L. Fleming Jr. led a yeti expedition into Nepal’s Barun Valley (suggested by discovery in the Barun in 1972 of footprints alleged to be yeti by Cronin & McNeely [48]). The Taylor-Fleming expedition also discovered similar yeti-like footprints (hominoid appearing with both a hallux and bipedal gait), intriguing large nests in trees, and vivid reports from local villagers of two bears, rukh balu ('tree bear', small, reclusive, weighing about 150 pounds) and bhui balu ('ground bear,' aggressive, weighing up to 400 pounds). Further interviews across Nepal gave evidence of local belief in two different bears. Skulls were collected, these were compared to known skulls at the Smithsonian Institution, American Museum of Natural History, and British Museum, and confirmed identification of a single species, the Asiatic Black Bear, showing no morphological difference between 'tree bear' and 'ground bear.' [49] (This despite an intriguing skull in the British Museum of a 'tree bear' collected in 1869 by Oldham and discussed in the Annals of the Royal Zoological Society .).

There is a famous Yeti hoax, known as the Snow Walker Film. The footage was created for Paramount's UPN show, Paranormal Borderland, ostensibly by the show's producers. The show ran from 12 March to 6 August 1996. Fox purchased and used the footage in their later program on The World's Greatest Hoaxes

21st century[]

In 2004, Henry Gee, editor of the journal Nature, mentioned the Yeti as an example of a legend deserving further study, writing, "The discovery that Homo floresiensis survived until so very recently, in geological terms, makes it more likely that stories of other mythical, human-like creatures such as Yetis are founded on grains of truth ... Now, cryptozoology, the study of such fabulous creatures, can come in from the cold."[51]

The Yeti is said to have been spotted in the remote Mae Charim area of the Luang Prabang Range range, between the Thai Highlands and Sainyabuli Province, Laos.[52]

In early December 2007, American television presenter Joshua Gates and his team (Destination Truth) reported finding a series of footprints in the Everest region of Nepal resembling descriptions of Yeti.[53] Each of the footprints measured 33 cm (13 in) in length with five toes that measured a total of 25 cm (9.8 in) across. Casts were made of the prints for further research. The footprints were examined by Jeffrey Meldrum of Idaho State University, who believed them to be too morphologicallyaccurate to be fake or man-made, before changing his mind after making further investigations.[54] Later in 2009, Gates made another investigation during which he discovered hair samples. A forensic analyst concluded that the hair contained an unknown DNA sequence.[55]

On 25 July 2008, the BBC reported that hairs collected in the remote Garo Hills area of North-East India by Dipu Marak had been analyzed at Oxford Brookes University in the UK by primatologist Anna Nekaris and microscopy expert Jon Wells. These initial tests were inconclusive, and ape conservation expert Ian Redmondtold the BBC that there was similarity between the cuticle pattern of these hairs and specimens collected by Edmund Hillary during Himalayan expeditions in the 1950s and donated to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, and announced planned DNA analysis.[56] This analysis has since revealed that the hair came from the Himalayan Goral.[57]

On 20 October 2008 a team of seven Japanese adventurers photographed footprints which could allegedly have been made by a Yeti. The team's leader, Yoshiteru Takahashi claims to have observed a Yeti on a 2003 expedition and is determined to capture the creature on film.

A group of Chinese scientists and explorers in 2010 proposed to renew searches in Shennongjia province, which was the site of expeditions in the 1970s and 1980s.[58]

At a 2011 conference in Russia, participating scientists and enthusiasts declared having "95% evidence" of the Yeti's existence.[59] However, this claim was disputed later; American anthropologist and anatomist Jeffrey Meldrum, who was present during the Russian expedition, claimed the "evidence" found was simply an attempt by local officials to drum up publicity.[60]

A yeti was reportedly captured in Russia in December 2011.[61] A hunter reported having seen a bear like creature, trying to kill one of his sheep, but after he fired his gun, the creature ran into a forest on 2 legs. Border patrol soldiers then captured a hairy 2-legged female creature that ate meat and vegetation. The creature allegedly was more similar to a gorilla than a bear, but its arms were shorter than the legs (in contrast to a gorilla). It was about 2 meters (6 feet 7 inches) tall. This was later revealed as a hoax, or possibly a publicity stunt for charity

Modern Day Use Of The Yeti

  • The Yeti appears in The Snow Creature.
  • In Half Human, the Yeti is shown at large size where it is large enough to carry a dead deer over its shoulder.
  • A bunch of Yetis appear in The Abominable Snowman. Around the end of the film, a number of Yeti arrive and take away the body of their fallen compatriot. John Rollison realizes that the Yeti are an intelligent species biding their time to claim the Earth when humanity has destroyed itself.
  • The film Snowbeast featured a Yeti-like snow monster that terrorized a ski resort.
  • In Monkeybone, a Yeti (played by Doug Jones) is an inhabitant of Down Town where it sells tickets at the Morpheum Theater.
  • The Yeti appears in Yeti: A Love Story.
  • The Yeti is a featured monster in Chill Out, Scooby-Doo!. It was the disguise of Minga Sherpa in order to get Del Chillman to not stop his radio show.
  • The Yetis appear in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. This version of the Yetis have faces that are near dog-like faces.
  • The Yeti appears in Yeti: Curse of the Snow Demon played by Taras Kostyuk. It stalks a football team that are the survivors of a plane crash.
  • A pack of Yetis appear in Rage of the Yeti.
  • Some Yetis appear in Hotel Transylvania.
  • In The Cabin in the Woods, the Yeti name is used for a white ape-like beast that is also referred to as a Sasquatch and a Wendigo.
  • The annual American Christmas broadcast special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer featured Bumbles the Abominable Snowman.
  • In various Looney Tunes cartoons, Hugo the Abominable Snowman is a Yeti.
  • In the Robbie the Reindeer television specials, the character Des Yeti (voiced by Dick Enberg) is a Yeti
  • A yeti appeared in a Spider-Man story from The Electric Company.
  • In the Scooby Doo, Where Are You! episode "That's Snow Ghost," the Snow Ghost is a Yeti-like creature.
  • A Yeti appeared in the DuckTales episode "Lost Crown of Genghis Khan" as the Abominable Snow Monster.
  • The Yeti also appeared in Lost Tapes episode "Yeti," wherein it kills a billionaire explorer on Everest, whose remains, along with the Yeti, are discovered and brought to a government center to be publicly revealed as a new creature, but events ensure it is taken to a research facility instead.
  • A Yeti appeared in Episode 25 of Jonny Quest.
  • A robotic Yeti in "The Abominable Snowmen", a six-part serial from 1967 in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who (they returned in "The Web of Fear, "The Five Doctors", and "Downtime")
  • In Power Rangers Operation Overdrive, the character Norg is a Yeti.
  • In the second season Sabrina, the Teenage Witch episode, "My Nightmare, the Car," two characters are separately stranded in remote locations and spot what they think may be a yeti.
  • In The Secret Saturdays, the character V.V. Argost is revealed to be a Yeti in the final season.
  • In Ugly Americans, Yetis are among the creatures living in New York.
  • In season 2 of Destination Truth, Josh Gates and his team went to Mount Everest in Nepal in search for a yeti.
  • In the Ben 10: Ultimate Alien episode "Escape from Aggregor," Dr. Animo mind-controlled a Yeti to attack Ben while he prepares a bomb that would turn anyone in the radius of the explosion into Yetis.
  • In Regular Show, the character Skips (voiced by Mark Hamill) is a Yeti.
  • In a Season 38 episode of Saturday Night Live that was hosted by Bruno Mars, there was a segment in that episode called "Yeti Point" where it was mentioned that there are a lot of Yeti in that area and that they point at the person before they attack. The lodge's eyepatch-wearing desk clerk (played by Bruno Mars) tells the Johnsons (played by Jason Sudeikis and Vanessa Bayer) all about the Yeti that live on Yeti Point and how one of his co-workers named Roger (played by Bill Hader) was sexually harassed by a Yeti. While the Johnsons were preparing to check into the lodge, a Yeti (depicted as a man in a Yeti suit) appeared outside the lodge causing the desk clerk and Roger to go outside to deal with it. While the hikers talked, the desk clerk was thrown by the Yeti and Roger gave the Yeti a flower indicating that the Yeti was still in a relationship with Roger.
  • The Yetis are featured in the TV movie Abominable Christmas.
  • The video game Urban Yeti! features a yeti as the main character who undergoes a quest to find a mate in a human city.
  • In Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, the frozen tundras of planet Grelbin are home to creatures called Y.E.T.I. that attack Ratchet in his search for Moonstones.
  • In Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! a Yeti is terrorizing Buddhist-like monks in one of the first levels of the game.
  • In Spyro: Year of the Dragon, one of the playable characters is a club-wielding yet eloquently-spoken Yeti named Bentley.
  • In Dangerous Hunts 2, the last enemy you face is a Yeti.
  • The The Legend of Zelda series features several creatures similar to the Yeti, like the eponymous Yetis from Snowpeak in Hyrule (The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess) or the Anouki and Yooks from the Ice Realm (The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass).
  • The Naughty Dog game Uncharted 2: Among Thieves features yeti-like creatures that are revealed to be costumes worn by warriors from Shambhala.
  • Slam Bam from Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure is a four-armed Yeti and comes in the Empire of Ice Adventure pack.
  • The final mystery enemy from Carnivores: Ice Age is a yeti.
  • In Zoo Tycoon the exhibits can include a Yeti from northwestern Canada.
  • In the Warcraft franchise, there are Yetis who are creatures in the Humanoid category.
  • In the game Tomb Raider II, the yeti can be encountered on the Catacombs of The Talion level.
  • In "Delta Force: Land Warrior" mission "Free Press", a yeti can be encountered at a certain point in the map. It can be killed as well.
  • The Yeti is featured in Tintin in Tibet by Hergé
  • The Yeti is featured in Martin Mystère by Alfredo Castelli
  • The Yeti is the main creature in the Goosebumps book The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena by R. L. Stine. This version of the Yeti is found in Alaska and has a liking for trail mix.
  • The Yeti appears in the gamebook in the Choose Your Own Adventure series.
  • The Abominable Snowman is a superhero character in the Marvel Comics publications.
  • The Snowman is a Batman villain in DC Comics.