Stories of the Yeti, the burly ape-like beast of the Himalayas, have made the rounds in Nepali folklore for centuries and still stir the imagination to this day. Now, after decades of doubt, has the Indian Army finally proved the mythical monster's existence? We wouldn't count on it.
The Indian Army claims to have found footprints of the Yeti, aka “The Abominable Snowman,” near the Makalu Base Camp on the border between Nepal and China. They even posted images of the footprints on their verified Twitter account in a totally unassuming tweet, as if finding mythical creatures was no big deal.
“For the first time, an #IndianArmy Mountaineering Expedition Team has sited Mysterious Footprints of mythical beast “Yeti” measuring 32 x 15 inches close to Makalu Base Camp on 09 April 2019,” tweeted the Indian Army’s Additional Directorate General of Public Information on April 29.
“This elusive snowman has only been sighted at Makalu-Barun National Park in the past.”
The hashtag #Yeti was even the second-highest trending topic on Twitter in India (and not necessarily for the right reasons). While a lot of people were intrigued by the post, most others were left highly skeptical and the Internet has taken to some en masse trolling.
Although some people tried to be helpful.
Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence, none of which has ever been brought forward. As you've probably guessed, there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that Yetis or any other overgrown apes roam the ultra-tall mountains of Asia. Nevertheless, scientists have not shied away from investigating this curious piece of cryptozoology.
In 2014, scientists analyzed the mitochondrial DNA of two samples from the Himalayas, one from Ladakh in India and the other from Bhutan, that was reported to belong to a Yeti. Interestingly, the samples came from a mystery bear whose closest genetic relative is an ancient ancestor of the polar bear.
One of the most intriguing pieces of evidence was the “Pangboche Hand,” the bones of a hand taken from a Nepalese monastery by an explorer from the US in the 1950s. The craggy old bones were widely believed to be that of a Yeti, but DNA tests in 2011 revealed that they were, in fact, just human bone.
Of course, on the other side of the world in North America, certain enthusiasts have been obsessed with the idea of "Bigfoot" (also known as Sasquatch), another huge ape-like cryptid that lives in the forested wilderness. In one of the strangest chapters of this enduring myth, in 2008 two people (who, coincidentally, were owners of a company that sells Bigfoot merchandising) claimed to have found the carcass of a man-ape in North Georgia frozen in a block of ice. It turned out to be a rubber gorilla suit.