Wednesday, July 22, 2015

abominable snowman - a bear tale

The Abominable Snowman (aka. Yeti) has some history behind it. It's a creature that is supposed to inhabit the Himalayas at about the level of the snow line. Pre-19th century there were pre-Buddhist beliefs of some Himalayan people which involved worshiping a "Glacier Being" as a God of the Hunt.

Over the 19th and 20th centuries, many reports have been made of finding large footprints or seeing a creature in the distance walking on its hind legs.

In the 1950's, there was legitimate belief that a large ape like creature actually existed in the Himalayas. This is not really a particularly far fetched sort of idea. These weren't claims that aliens were visiting or that ESP was real, so there were expeditions sent out to try and find the creature.

As a random bit of trivia, it's funny that in 1959 James "Jimmy" Stewart reportedly smuggled the remains of a supposed Yeti in his luggage when he flew from India to London. This is the so called Pangboche Hand. Go ahead and click on that one. It's kind of a surreal story.

Ultimately, all analyzed hair samples claimed to be from a Yeti have turned out to be some other animal. However, the tracks might actually be real tracks created by bears. Britannica claims that at certain gaits, bears place their hind-foot partly over the print of the forefoot thus making a large imprint like an enormous human footprint positioned in the opposite direction.

I wasn't able to find any examples of overlapping prints making prints in the opposite direction, but this page gives a variety of examples comparing prints made by overlapping bear tracks.

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