Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Yeti: The Himalayan Bigfoot?

TV Show Host Josh Gates with Footprint
Hollywood Version of the Yeti
From childhood and through the ages we've always heard about the illusive Yeti, also known as the Abominable Snowman. He's appeared in our cartoons, movies, and even on the news when one person or another claims to see him. But did you know, the Yeti gained his origin in Nepal?

You Westerners might be thinking: "But I thought Big Foot was sited on the opposite side of the world?" -- Well you would be right and wrong in that assumption. In fact, Big Foot and the Yeti are NOT one in the same. I guess you could say, the Yeti is the mountainous version of Big Foot. Is it a coincedence that two similar creatures have been spotted across the globe? I'll leave that for you to debate.

The Yeti actually has a long history in Nepal, and he was not, in fact, named  Yeti by Nepali people. In Tibet, he is known as ''Miche,'' or man bear. In Nepal he is known ''Bun Manchi,'' or jungle man. ''Mirka'' is also another Nepali name common in the area. Most all Yeti sightings have been in the Everest Region of Nepal--but others have occurred in parts of Tibet, Bhutan, and even the Annapurna Region of Nepal.

Analyzing a "Yeti" Finger
The Yeti started appearing in the Western culture in the 19th century. An early record of large, strange footprints appeared in the 1899 book, Among the Himalayas, by Laurence Waddell. The heat really turned up on the hunt for the Abominable Snowman in the 1920's. In 1921, Lt. Col. Charles Howard-Bury recorded finding large, strange footprints that he credited to a wolf, but stated that his Sherpa guide immediately corrected him saying it was from the "The wild man of the Snows." Again in 1925, N.A. Tombazi, a photographer for the Royal Geographic Society, wrote that he saw the ''creature'' at 4,600m., near the Zemu Glacier.

Yeti Skull in Tengboche
Fast forward to 1953, when Sir Edmund Hillary and guide Tenzing Norgay reported seeing large footprints while scaling Everest. They later started to doubt what they saw and eventually chalked it up as nothing more than a legend, althought Tenzing Norgay did report his father seeing the Yeti twice in his autobiography. In 1954, John Angelo Jackson was the first to trek from Everest to Kanchenjunga--at which point he photographed ancient symbolic painting of the Yeti at Tengboche Gompa.

Along the trail to Everest Base Camp, you will find a number of temples that hold supposed Yeti skulls. The most famous one can be found in Khumjung. These skulls have been examined by anthropologists, doctors, and scientists, but no one can prove anything.

What do you think?? Fact or Fiction?

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