The Legend of Yeti

Bigfoot. Yowie. Orang Pendek.

Ape-like folkloric creatures are found in almost every culture around the world.

However, none is as well-known and iconic as the Yeti, also known as the Abominable Snowman.

Standing between 8 and 11 feet tall (2.4 and 3.3 meters) and generally thought to have either black, brown, or reddish hair, though many stories and artworks inaccurately depict it as white.

The Yeti is a bipedal ape-like creature believed to inhabit the Himalayan Mountains. Its name roughly translates to metoh-kangmi which means man-bear snowman.

Worshipped even before the 19th century by indigenous peoples of Sikkim as a God, modern-day Buddhist myth says that Yetis are defenders of the mountain that protect it against evildoers and that they live isolated in snow caves.


First mentioned in 1832 with B.H. Hodgson’s account of seeing a large creature covered in black hair, which he believed to be an orangutan.

The legend of Yeti wouldn’t gain great popularity until the mid-1950s with Sir Edmund Hillary and Eric Shipton’s expeditions.

Sir Edmund Hillary, one of the two men to first climb Mount Everest, was a steadfast believer of the Yeti who spent much of his life in search of evidence. Snow footprints and hair were just a couple of the things found by Edmund, though his findings turned out to be not from a Yeti but from bears and goats.

On the other hand is Eric Shipton, whose explorations lead to some of the most famous photographs of supposed Yeti footprints ever made.

Sightings, footprints, and vestiges like hair and feces are still consistently reported, even nowadays in the 21st century. It’s common to see groups of scientists analyzing new supposed Yeti vestiges every few years, though the results are generally disappointing for those who wish to believe in the snowy creature.


The most common explanation for the Yeti is that people are simply misidentifying different animals like the Langur monkey, Tibetan blue bear, and Himalayan brown bear, or even wandering humans.

Others believe that the Yeti may be a descendant of an extinct species, such as the extinct Gigantopithecus. Though most believe the Gigantopithecus to have been quadrupedal, which wouldn’t fit with the Yeti's description, who is supposed to be bipedal.

Despite the Yeti’s popularity, the scientific community’s consensus is that the Yeti is nothing but folklore because of the mounting evidence that disproves the existence of such a creature. It is believed to be nothing more than a creature that belongs to cryptozoology, the pseudoscience study of mythological and folkloric creatures, referred to as cryptids.

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