On Monday, the Indian Army announced that they had sighted footprints of the Yeti, or "The Abominable Snowman", as the beast is often referred to in common parlance.
For the unaware, the Yeti is a mythical creature, believed to reside in the snow-clad mountains. It has eluded public sightings so far. In other words, no one has really been able to prove Yeti's existence although many have claimed to see him. The Yeti is supposedly a furry creature, almost resembling a bear.
The Indian army shared a few images on their official Twitter handle stating that they had visual proof of the Yeti. Their Mountaineering Expedition Team had come across "mysterious footprints measuring 32X15 inches" which allegedly belong to the Yeti.
For the first time, an #IndianArmy Moutaineering Expedition Team has sited Mysterious Footprints of mythical beast 'Yeti' measuring 32x15 inches close to Makalu Base Camp on 09 April 2019. This elusive snowman has only been sighted at Makalu-Barun National Park in the past. pic.twitter.com/AMD4MYIgV7 — ADG PI - INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) April 29, 2019
Previously, any claims of Yeti sightings had been debunked, with sceptics stating that the Yeti is purely mythical in nature. But what exactly is the Yeti?
Several references to the Yeti can be found in Nepalese folklore; the Yeti is a creature, bigger than the average human and is mainly found in Siberia, in the Himalayas and in Eastern and Central Asia. For the Himalayan people, the Yeti is a mystical creature who looks a lot like a loping wolf, possesses a weapon made of stone and makes a whistling sound as it passes by.
In the early 20th century, several trips were made by Westerners who were determined to scale the Himalayas in search of this mythical creature. Numerous Sherpa guides and travellers reported sighting an apelike creature, larger than normal, yet walking upright like a human. This creature left behind abnormally large footprints.
In fact, in 1954, the Daily Mail reported that it had found evidence which ascertained the existence of the Yeti. Daily Mail reported that they found hair samples which were supposedly from the scalp of the Yeti. Scientists later affirmed that the hair samples were neither human nor from bears.
In 1973, The Oryx published an article that refuted prior claims. According to the article, people had been searching for the Yeti in the wrong place. The Yeti was not a snowman at all, based on what the authors wrote. Instead, the Yeti resided in the dense forests in the Himalayas which would be able to sustain it.
According to reports, however, the Yeti is just a myth and one shouldn't read too much into the claims of sightings. Hair and other physical evidence which are reportedly from the Yeti actually belong to bears. Nevertheless, one shouldn't rule out possibilities altogether because the Himalayas are vast and expansive; the chances of the Yeti existing in the folds of the mountains are, without a doubt, plausible.