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Yeti Facts

Updated on May 7, 2015

The mystical and legendary Yeti invokes the same wonder and awe that its North American cousin Bigfoot does for monster lovers. And although evidence for it's existence remains rare and unconvincing the Yeti is a powerful symbol in legends and lore. Is it a long lost great ape or some new species of mountain primate?

The Yeti has been researched and tracked through its inhospitable home high in the snow covered mountains but still the concrete evidence is just not there.

Read on for more information about this famous cryptid as we explore the amazing world of the Yeti!

Mount Everest north face is possibly a home to Yeti
Mount Everest north face is possibly a home to Yeti

5. The Name Yeti

The name Yeti is derived from the Tibetan language and is comprised of two words. The first being 'ya' which means rocky or rocky place and the word che which is used to describe a bear.

The name "Abominable Snowman" was first used in 1921 when a fellow named Charles Howard-Bury who was leading an expedition up Mount Everest found some giant footprints in the snow. Later a reporter who had interviewed the returning climbing team would accidentally incorrectly translate one of the words used to describe what was thought to have made the foot prints.

Brown bear distribution map which would be similar to areas the Yeti would live
Brown bear distribution map which would be similar to areas the Yeti would live

4. Geographic Distribution

Signs of a giant ape-like cryptid have been found all over the Himalayan region of Nepal and Tibet where constant snow cover on mountainous peaks provide excellent footprint clues but little else. The people of the region regard the creature very highly and the Yeti is a large part of their history and mythology. In Katmandu, the capital of Nepal, the Yeti has become a major source of income for the tourist industry.

The terrain the Yeti supposedly inhabits is vast, desolate and mostly unexplored leaving many possible hiding locations for the creature including hundreds of caves and hidden tunnels.

Recently clues, such as footprints and sightings, have surfaced in China, Mongolia and Russia which have lead researchers to believe the Yeti may be migrating north.

Possible proof?


3. The Most Famous Sightings

The 1950s saw a number of famous sightings by teams climbing Mount Everest which helped to fuel western interest in the the Yeti.

The first was by Eric Shipton, who was a distinguished Himalayan mountaineer, who photographed some very large footprints in the snow at 20,000 ft above sea level. The photos have been intensely reviewed and examined and have been claimed by some to be the best evidence of the Yeti so far.

The second major sighting in the 50s was by Sir Edmund Hillary who reported seeing large footprints in the snow at great heights. He even went so far as to write about it in his autobiography, although he would seem much more skeptical in future books.


2. Description of the Beast

Descriptions of the Yeti all describe the creature as being between 6 to 10 feet tall, walking upright and covered in reddish brown to white coarse fur. It appears to be a human from a distance but seems ape-like when it seen for closer vantage points.

The descriptions seem very similar to those of Bigfoot leading many researchers to believe it may be a cousin to the North American creature that may have been separated when the continents drifted away from each other.

Some claim the creature is violent and will attack without provocation while others maintain that it will simply run and hide from intruders.

Himalayan brown bear
Himalayan brown bear

1. Possible Explanations for the Yeti

There are three main possible explanations offered by researchers into the Yeti. The first being mis-identification of another animal species primarily a Tibetan blue bear or Himalayan brown bear.

The second and slightly more outrageous claim is that the creature may actually be a hermit or recluse who has taken up residence in one of the unexplored caves high in the mountains.

And the last possible explanation is that the creature is actually a Yeti or species of giant extinct ape such as Gigantopithicus. Without further evidence though we may never know what it actually is. Lets hope the quest to find the truth never ends!

Yeti Poll

Could a creature like the Yeti exist without solid evidence?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is great all this stuff except the bear part is real!

    • profile image

      bruno535 5 years ago

      good help

    • FreakyV profile image

      FreakyV 5 years ago from Canada

      @sukkran trichy: Thank you sukkran!

    • LaurenIM profile image

      LaurenIM 5 years ago

      Love to hug a Yeti. I want there to be yetis too!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 5 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      i love your 'fact' series lenses. this one is very informative.

    • cinefile profile image

      cinefile 5 years ago

      I really WANT there to be a yeti