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Almas The Unknown Creature of Legend

Updated on March 8, 2014

We have all heard the tales of Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti but there is another less spoken of creature that is said to inhabit the wildest and most remote regions of the Pamir Mountains of central Asia, the Caucasus in Eurasia and the Altai Mountains of southern Mongolia that appears to be the distant cousins of Bigfoot and Sasquatch.

The Almas

Legends of the “wild man” or Almas of Mongolia’s provinces are principally found in the western territories. The Mongolian Almas appear to have characteristics similar to that of the western Bigfoot or Sasquatch with descriptions given of them identifying them as large, man-like creatures between 5 and 6 ½ feet tall with a body mass up to 500 pounds. They are reported to walk as humans do standing erect on two legs. Except for the hands and the face which is sometimes reported as having a thick beard their bodies are said to be covered in thick dark brown, reddish brown, yellowish, or black hair. They are reportedly somewhat solitary cave dwelling creatures whose habitat is in the remote mountainous regions.

A representation of a female Almas
A representation of a female Almas

The female of the species is said to possess two large, long, and sometimes hairless breasts that are often described as being thrown over her shoulders enabling her when running to nip along quite smartly. When comparing the Almas to Bigfoot or Yeti their appearance is best described as being generally more human-like. Almas have similar facial features to humans but also portray a large protruding forehead under which a wide flat simian type nose is featured that does detract from their human-like resemblance.

Their bodies are described as having large well-developed muscles. When compared to humans their feet are said to be much wider and in length they are either longer or shorter. Their strong stocky bodies enable abilities far beyond normal human dexterity. When running or climbing they excel with physical alacrity. They are, it is said, omnivores whose diet ranges from the raw meat of animals to fresh fruit and vegetables while sometimes also dining on the roots of trees.

The Legends

The Almas appear to be nocturnal creatures wandering through remote regions at dusk or after nightfall. Being solitary creatures they are mostly encountered alone. Their chance confrontations seem to be predicated with the strong awareness of a very foul odor. Sometimes the Almas are said to be distinctively vocal screaming loudly with a hideous screech. Some legends state that the females react more viciously and fiercely than the males when they or their offspring are threatened.

Legends about the Almas usually arise from particular locations within the country of Mongolia. The central and eastern parts normally are not the source of Almas legends with little or no encounters occurring there. The provinces of Khovd, Govi-Altai, and Bayan-Ulgii in Western Mongolia lay claim to nearly all the Almas legends. The Tian Shen mountain pass bordering China along with the Altai mountain range is replete with strange tales of the mysterious creatures.

The Almas do not appear to be indigenous to Mongolia and their legends do not stem from one ethnic group in particular. Within Mongolia various groups such as Khalk and Kazakh also echo regional stories of Almas legends. In the Pamir Mountains and the Caucuses regions other ethnic groups including Russians and Georgians also have Almas tales of these man-like creatures. They speak of the Almasty the Russian name for a creature that exactly resembles the Almas of Mongolia.

The legend of Nadmid

One Mongolian legend of 1925 involves a teenage girl named Nadmid who apparently ventured out in search of her father’s stray calves and never returned. A search was instituted by her family but no trace of her was ever found. Giving up hope her grieving parents feared that she was dead and eaten by wolves.

One day a thin decrepit looking woman covered with hair walked into the family Ger (a Mongolian tent-like structure used as a home). She said her name was Nadmid and told how she was happy to be home. She recounted a story of being captured by an Almas and being held prisoner for six years. She wept as she claimed that she had become a monster, living in the wild and being kept in a cave until she finally managed to escape.

Her father emotionally could not accept her as his daughter. He believed her to be possessed. He drank and made his once beautiful daughter drink along with him. They drank until Nadmid became so drunk that she passed out. Believing that Nadmid and her family would be better off her father, drunk and confused killed the unconscious creature that lay before him bowing his head while sadly closing his eyes.

The legend of Samdan

This tale reveals a strange and unusual story that purportedly took place in 1912 and involves a 21 year old Mongolian youth named Samdan. It speaks of Samdan being kidnapped by a female Almas who grabbed him and whisked him off to her cave. Each night the female Almas would lick him until Samdan grew a thick coat of hair over his entire body which had the effect of making his body appear as that of an Almas.

As time passed the female Almas became pregnant by Samdan and gave birth to his child. Feeling more secure in her trust for Samdan after the birth of their child the female Almas decided not to seal him, as she did each night before, in her cave. Seizing the opportunity Samdan gathered his courage and ran like the wind. He escaped but not without incident. The Almas with their child in her arms gave enraged pursuit until she arrived at a lake that Samdan had crossed. Panic-stricken by the thought of entering the water, some reports say Almas have a deep fear of water, the female Almas stopped. Raising her head in a fit of anger and screaming a very loud screeching cry she grabbed their child between each hand and ripped it in two hurling half the body into the lake.

Returning home and finally convincing his family that it was he who had indeed returned Samdan was taken to a doctor who applied a herbal concoction to his body that removed all but a single mane of hair that spanned the length of his back thereafter anointing him with the name: Maned Samdan.

The legend of Zana

There is also a bizarre tale of the capture and tentative cultural inculcation of a creature reported to be an Almas named Zana. According to the local legends sometime in the mid 1800’s in T'khina an obscure mountain village nestled some fifty miles from Sukhumi in Abkhazia in the Caucasus a human-like female creature whose body was covered with hair was captured. For a period of about three years Zana was placed in virtual solitude by Edgi Genaba. She was thrown food and dug holes to sleep in. Slowly she adapted to her new surroundings but resisted the attempts of curious inhabitants to dress her in village clothing. She preferred to be naked but ate about anything villagers prepared for her. Another version states that Zana refused all efforts to cloth her and would only except nourishment in the form of raw meat.

Khwit was exceptionally strong and quick tempered and  prone to picking fights. He died in 1954 at the age of 70
Khwit was exceptionally strong and quick tempered and prone to picking fights. He died in 1954 at the age of 70

As time passed Zana was allowed limited freedom but the price of her freedom was to be passed as property from one owner to the next. She did eventually learn a few simple household tasks taught to her by Edgi Genaba but no verbal communication was apparent. It was said that Zana had developed a fondness for wine. Using her fondness to their advantage some of the male villagers had relations with her and as a result Zana gave birth to several offspring of which only four survived.

Except for being exceptionally dark skinned the children seemed fairly normal which may be an indication that Zana might have been from a species closely related to humans. The children were physically very strong as one son was said to possess the ability to use only his jaws to lift a chair with a man sitting on it completely off of the ground. Intellectually they appeared far superior to their mother with one son becoming a pianist.

It is also said that the father of Zana’s children, Edgi Genaba, had given away his surviving offspring to local village families. There were two males one named Dzhanda who was born in 1878 and the other Khwit Sabekia born in 1884 and two female children one named Kodzhanar born 1880 and Gamasa Sabekia born 1882. They all are said to have married and had families of their own. Zana herself died in the late 1800’s though her living grandchildren are said to have been the subject of study in the 1960’s.

Tragic Deaths

In 1940 a squad of soldiers in the Mongolian army opened fire on a group of saboteurs they chanced upon near the Chinese and Mongolian border. After the shooting was over they moved in closer to examine the results of their attack. All were killed but what they found was not the dead remains of their perceived enemies but the slain bodies of an unknown man-like species.

Shot as a Spy

In 1941 a wild man was captured by the Soviet army. Appearing human, but covered in dark hair he was interrogated. Their questions remained unanswered. Ostensibly he was either unwilling or unable to speak but was thought possibly to be a German spy. Lt. Colonel Vazhgen S. Karapetian was notified of the capture and ordered his troops to bring the prisoner to him for further investigation. Karapetian met with the creature and upon questioning realized that he was some sort of wild man. Being faced with more urgent duties he left the fate of this unfortunate creature in the hands of his subordinates. The creature was taken back to the troop’s headquarters and executed as a German spy.

In Conclusion

In October of 2003 the BBC reported a news story that brought the Almas controversy back into the limelight. It involved the discovery by Sergey Semenov of a foot and a leg of a creature heretofore unknown. While climbing in the Altai Mountain range of southern Mongolia they were discovered about 11,483 feet up in the frozen regions of the range. The bones appear to be several thousand years old according to x-rays and other scientific tests but still remain unclassified.

See for yourself...

Sergey Semenov discovered the foot and leg of an unknown creature
Sergey Semenov discovered the foot and leg of an unknown creature

Further attempts to identify these relics may very well bring to light evidence for the existence of hairy bipedal creatures in the Altai mountain range. If so, and if this discovery can prove conclusively that the Almas do indeed exist then the study of other mysterious man-like creatures may soon be accepted at the alter of scientific research.


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