Yeti – The Mystery Of Himalayan Big Foot

If you have read the adventure stories of Tintin in your childhood days, you may be familiar with the story ‘Tintin in Tibet.’ Yes, I am talking about a mysterious ancient polar bear-like creature named ‘Yeti’ inhabiting the mountain ranges of the Himalayas in Asia.

Yeti- The Mystery of Himalaya

Today, it is known as an ancient myth of the abominable snowman portrayed as a white, furry, and ape-like shaggy polar bear running around mount Everest and planting its large possible footprints of Yeti in the snow. But in a scientific sense, it has always been a simple bear without clear evidence of the mysterious bipedal creature.

Yeti – The Abominable Snowman

Throughout different eras, Yeti believers have described the origin of these brown bears from different perspectives in different fashions. Some said they had seen a close body fur mixed Asiatic black bear with reddish-brown hair, and some have heard occasionally emitted mysterious loud high, pitched cry from far mountains.


Like many other mythological beliefs, ancient legends like yeti lie close to the religious acceptance of the pre-Buddhist religion Bön. People of this belief worshipped a hunting god, whom they called the ruler of all the forests’ animals. Then the god came to be known as ‘Yeti.’

An artists depiction of the himalayan big foot

According to common scientific explanations for enormous bears such as Yeti, it is a descendant of the giant ape Gigantopithecus. Dated back from 3,000 to 12 million years ago, some fossil remains of Gigantopithecus having primate biology have been found in India and China, where these mysterious creatures became isolated due to topological changes.

Polar bear or brown bear?

The story of the giant ape came from the Yeti believers who claimed yeti sightings or very large footprints seen in the remote mountain regions of the Himalayas and the nearby places. The word ‘Yeti’ is rooted in the Sherpa word ‘Yeh-teh’ meaning “small, man-like animal,” like a man bear snowman, or ‘Meti’ which refers to ‘bear.’ Among the local people, this giant ape is known as ‘Metoh-kangmi’ or “man-bear snowman.”

Following a very detailed description, this Himalayan brown bear is bipedal, has a fat nose, and has long, straight hair. Some were described as tree bear-like dark grayish, head-covered unidentifiable creatures with small ears and long fangs, leaving odd tracks in the mountains, and the found footprints are seen above the Himalayan snow line.

Sightings of the reddish-brown hair

Along with the local people, westerners had also focused on the Yeti’s existence. In 1950, during an attempt to conquer Mt. Everest, Eric Shipton took the first image of the Yeti footprints, which brought the issue to the limelight. Throughout the 20th century, several American and British explorers managed to take numerous photos of Yeti’s footprints.

From these expeditions, the photographs collected by other adventurers started to make people believe the existence of this loch ness monster and, on the other hand, made the mystery of the Yeti more huddled. These photographs were published by the Oxford University Press.

Footprints of Yeti

In 1986, Anthony Wooldridge, who has extensive hiking experience, claimed to see a Yeti standing in the snow, having its shoulders sloped sharply down to a mighty chest at a significant distance, but it didn’t move or make any noise. He then took two photographs of that creature, which were later examined and proven genuine.

As clear proof of a Yeti, John Napier, an anatomist and anthropologist who served as the Smithsonian Institution’s director of primate biology, and many in the Bigfoot community seized upon the photos, but later it turned out to be all a mistake. In recent events, in 2019, the Indian army also claimed to capture the footprints of Yeti located 12 miles distance from south of Mt. Everest.

In Search for the Wildman

For more than a hundred years, people, scientists, researchers, and explorers have tried to gather proven genuine samples of the man bear. In the conquests of searching Yeti legend, the first hands-on example was found in 1960 when Sir Edmund Hillary managed to borrow skin and scalp samples from the Khumjung monastery.

With the DNA samples running DNA analysis from the hair samples, Marca Burns said that the hair sample was maybe made by the skin of an animal which closely resembled the tested specimen of Serow, but certainly not equivalent to it: maybe a local miscellany or race of the identical species, or maybe a different but nearly related species.

In his book My Quest for the Yeti: Confronting the Himalayas’ Deepest Mystery, legendary mountaineer Reinhold Messner conveyed his own encounter with a large, unknown creature.

Russian expedition

In 2011, the Russian Government organized a conference of Bigfoot experts, who claimed that Yetis nests and shelters were seen. However, the claim was later turned down by another American scientist Jeff Meldrum. But supposedly, the interest of people in this “known animal” grew even more, leading to different television series related to Bigfoot in the Pacific Northwest, subsequently spreading all over the U.S.

To the BBC, author Shiva Dhakal described Yeti as a figure of danger. In 326 B.C., when Alexandar the Great demanded to see the creature, according to National Geographic, local individuals told him they were not able to present one because the creatures could not outlive at low altitudes.

Is Yeti real?

Analyzing the DNA instances collected from the expeditions, the Royal Society journal declares that there is no reason to believe that there is no mysterious bipedal creature leaving odd tracks in the remote mountain areas. They are relevant to brown bears and Asiatic black bears.

In the autobiography, My Quest for theYeti, South Tyrolean mountaineer Reinhold Messner claimed Yeti as an endangered brown bear or Tibetian blue bear. In 2003, Dr. Makoto Nebuka, a Japanese researcher, claimed that the word ‘Yeti’ is the corrupted form of the word ‘Meti’ which means ‘bear.’

After several expeditions been done into the remote mountain areas of Russia, China and Nepal, the presence of the Yeti remains unproven. Compared to North America’s Bigfoot, the said to be Yeti has close body fur, muscular, dark grayish or brown hair is relatively short in height. In the history of the Yeti, it is a character in the ancient legends and folklore of the Himalayan people.

A Popular Folk Tale about Yeti

A ton of folklore and stories have been passed down through the years by the people of the Himalayas.

This legend begins with a man who comes across a Yeti who is growing directly in front of his eyes. It was getting Taller and taller, like the snowman’s height increased at the speed of the rising sun. As the man spectated the remarkable display, slowly, he found himself losing energy. Supposedly, he winded up falling unconscious.


After all the hard work done throughout history, the Himalayas’ deepest mystery of Yeti remains unproven. Though some say it is a common form of Himalayan or Tibbetian large bears, the region’s people still fear and treasure the abominable snowman like other dangerous wild animals.

Have you ever been curious about this reddish-brown or white man-like creature? Do you believe that Yetis are real? Or do you think why I should believe in the existence of Yeti without any clear evidence?

If you found this interesting check out our post on Famous Cryptids That May Actually Exist!

Nilanjana Das

I love investigating the unknown and exploring the weird and unexplained. I find it fascinating how our minds can create whole worlds of mystery and suspense. What's even more exciting to me is uncovering these mysteries and looking for evidence that they actually exist!

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