ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN, is the name given a legendary creature of the Himalayan mountain range. It is reported to be in forested regions near the snow line. The creature is also known by the name Yeti and by other local names. The “abominable snowman” reportedly walks upright and has the general appearance of half-man, half-ape. It is said to have long, fine hair and the facial features of an ape. Many of the stories and deseriptions of “abominable snowmen” are based on the finding of large, formerly unidentifiable prints in the snow around the Himalayas. The first and seeond toes of the creature are said to be large and widely opposed, while the third, fourth, and fifth toes are small and close together.
Various expeditions have been undertaken to ascertain the truth behind the “abominable snowman” legends. There was a great deal of interest in the subject during the 1950’s, especially around the time of Sir Edmund Hillary’s conquest of Mount Everest in 1953. In 1960 Hillary led an expedition that did much to disprove the legend. Today, the “abominable snowman” is believed to be a bear or other Himalayan mountain animal. The prints used to support the legends are thought to be either the prints of a bear or markings left by drifting snow and falling rocks.
The legend of the “abominable snowman” has been kept alive largely by the Sherpa, a people indigenous to the high Tibetan slopes of the Himalaya. In addition, the “abominable snowman” has a religious significance to the people of some Himalayan countries. For these people the creature is an awesome figure to be feared and proteeted. The governments of Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan officially recognize and “protect” the “abominable snowman.”
There is no real evidence for the existence of “abominable snowmen,” and most scientists are reluetant to consider the matter seriously. For a while, the idea that these Himalayan creatures might be relics of Neanderthal man was ad-vanced, but now this idea has been discarded.
No creature ealled an “abominable snowman” has ever been examined scientifically, and none has ever been reliably deseribed. However, there have been reports that Chinese, Mongolian, and Russian scientists have captured so-called “abominable snowmen” in southern China and in the Caucasus.