National GeographicNat Geo Wild


The search for the Yeti dates back as early as 326 BC and continues today. Learn more about the elusive creature.

  • The search to find the Yeti can be traced back to the time of Alexander the Great, who in 326 BC set out to conquer the Indus Valley. Having heard stories of the Yeti he demanded to see one for himself, but local people told him they were unable to present one because the creatures could not survive at that low an altitude.


  • In the 1950s the Nepali government cashed in on the increasingly popular Yeti myth by issuing Yeti-hunting licenses priced at £400 per Yeti. To date no-one has succeeded in capturing a specimen dead, or alive.


  • Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhutan is a national park officially dedicated to preserving the Yeti.


  • The name ‘Abominable Snowman’ was coined in 1921 by journalist Henry Newman who mis-translated the Tibetan label Metoh-Kangmi, “dirty men in the snow”.


  • Mystery primates are reported from every continent except Antarctica. They include the Sasquatch of North America, the Yowie in Australia, the Yeren of China, the Hibagon in Japan, the Orang Pendek in Sumatra, the Almasty of Russia, the Ferles Mor in Scotland, and the Mapinguari of Brazil.


  • It is suggested that the Yeti myth originated in Tibet, and reached Nepal via the Sherpa, descendants of families who emigrated from the Khams region of Tibet across the Himalayan range in the middle of the sixteenth century.


  • Possible explanations for the unusually large footprints found over the years include the effect of evaporation and melting snow, the ‘overstepping’ phenomenon in which the longer tracks of an animal’s hind feet overlap and obscure the tracks of the shorter forefeet, and even the prints left by nomadic mountain men wearing roughly-woven snow sandals.


  • The first scientist to investigate the Yeti was German Professor Ernst Schaefer. Allegedly, he was employed by the head of the SS Heinrich Himmler to search for the Yeti in 1938 in the hope that it would turn out to be the progenitor of the Aryan race. Schaefer reached the conclusion that the Yeti was in fact the Tibetan bear.


  • The Yeti is big business in Nepal. Visitors can stay at the luxurious Yak and Yeti hotel in Kathmandu and even travel with Yeti airlines.


  • The Himalaya mountain range is both remote and vast with a length of about 2,400 km and a width of 200-400 km. The range includes Mount Everest, the highest peak on earth, standing at 29,028 feet high. The Yeti is said to roam between the treeline and permanent snow at 14,000 to 20,000 feet.


  • The annual Mani Rimdu Festival is celebrated in Nepal during the full moon of October/November. During the festival, monks wear masks to portray divine beings and perform ritual dances. Traditionally, one of the dancers will take on the role of the Yeti.


  • Sherpa tradition holds that the Yeti will only show itself to those who believe in it.


  • In 1969, the Board of County Commissioners of Skamania County, Oregon, introduced a bill stating that any person found to have slain a Bigfoot creature would be punishable by law by a fine of up to ten thousand dollars or imprisoned for up to five years. The board did not, however, claim that such a creature definitely existed.


  • Bigfoot sightings have been reported in every US state except Hawaii.


  • The most famous Bigfoot sighting is the creature filmed by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin in the Bluff Creek region of northern California. Despite much investigation since the footage was captured in 1967, it is still uncertain whether this was the product of a hoax or a genuine sighting.


  • Before 1847 the gorilla was unnamed and known only through rumor. Believed to be a myth in the west and a supernatural being by African tribespeople, it was only when a missionary in West Africa was shown a gorilla skull that the animal was accepted as real.


  • The Hunt photo

    The Hunt

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