Monday, September 8, 2008

The Abominable Snowman.

The Himalayas have been a source of great mystical and legendary tales which are told the world over.One such legend is that of the Yeti or the Abominable snowman.The abominable snowman, also known as "Yeti" by local residents, is said to be similar to the reported Bigfoot in the United States and Shennongjia of central China's Hubei Province.

Well, long before I had ever read or seen(on TV) anything about this mysterious creature, I have in my memory as a small child stories which my grandmom used to tell us about a mysterious creature said to exist in deep forests in the Himalayas.She used to call it 'Sokpa'. But the descriptions were exactly the same as that of Yeti( For the record, the first reported sighting or footprints of the Yeti was in Sikkim.)
For small five-eight year kids we were thrilled with the stories and always begged for more.She would give firsthand accounts of people she knew who had seen the Yeti.From the narrative, it was not at all potraying a picture that the creature was dangerous or 'bad'. The Yeti only wanted not to be disturbed and never harmed a human unless provocated(as if anyone had enough guts to stand before a 9 foot tall creature and provocate it!).

My great grandfather had seen the creature and so had some of the uncles of my grandma and we all used to look at the scattered lights of homes across the huge hills during icy cold nights and try to potray in our minds that a Yeti might at this time be walking the dense jungles.

Many expeditions have attempted to prove the Yeti’s existence, but no scientific evidence has definitively confirmed it. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’s October 1962 article “Wintering on the Roof of the World,” reports on Sir Edmund Hillary’s search for the Yeti. The famed Everest pioneer’s expedition (which had other scientific goals) did document a phenomenon that appears to account for “Yeti tracks.” In shaded snow Hillary’s team found impressions resembling fox tracks. The tracks led to a sunny area where melting had elongated the tracks into large human-like footprints. Likewise, the melting of tracks of a snow leopard, bear, or wolf could create huge “footprints.” Over time, human footprints in the area have been seen to grow to nearly 21 inches (53 centimeters).

Here is a photo of a footprint attributed to the Yeti. Judging by the depth of the footprint impressions, the average yeti most way upwards of 800 pounds. Many Westerners have also observed this creature while on expeditions in the mountains. The most recent sighting was in 1986 when the creature was observed by the famous climber Reinhold Messner. In 1992, an expedition discovered the Yeti's footprints in and around their camp when they awoke in the morning.

The areas in this region are not well traversed, so it is believable that an unknown primate lives here and remains yet undiscovered by science. What do you like to believe??


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