Yeti: A myth or a reality?

For the last many decades the urge to discover a real Yeti has captured the imagination of many explorers around the world. What cast a spell over the world by one photograph of a footprint of a supposedly hominoid captured by a British explorer named Eric Shipton in the year 1951 while looking for an alternate route to Mt. Everest, the search for this mysterious creature has intensified in the years that followed.
Eric Shipton came upon this footprint of the "Abominable Snowman" in 1951 and took a picture. He placed his ice ax next to it for scale.

Yeti”, the Sherpa word meaning a Wild Man, mostly found expression in local legends and folklore of the community. In the stories, the Yeti is always a figure of danger.

There exists many variants about the story of Yeti in local folklore of the Himalayan communities.

One possible conclusion about according a dangerous/fearful character to Yeti is to warn the Sherpa community against approaching dangerous wild animals or to use it as a warning so that the small children don’t wander away and stay close and safe within the community. 

But the minds of the inquisitive explorer didn’t stop at being satisfied with the folkloric association of Yeti and rather went ahead into the deep Himalayan forests themselves in pursuit of this mysterious creature.

Several conclusions have been made regarding its true nature on the basis of sightings and examination of DNA samples of the supposed body fragments of Yeti found by explorers at different points of time. But in maximum number of cases the DNA examination has only pointed towards similarity with other known animals, mostly linked to the Himalayan bear.

In spite of all attempts to establish the true identity of this mysterious creature, the evidence collected by different sources till date have never been conclusive to construct its true identity. 

Whether or not Yeti truly exists, whether it is an animal, hominoid or a giant ape-like snowman, only further research and conclusive evidence will tell. Till then the search for this elusive Himalayan creature shall go on…!! 

Post Written By - Manash Hazarika

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